Killer Oklahoma Octopus Vies to Becomes the Heartland's Loch Ness Monster

(Image Credits: Oklahoma Lake: Flickr user FreeWine, Octopus: Flickr user Mrs. Gemstone, both images CC 2.0)

(from )
• Classification: Lake Monster
• Size: Roughly that of a horse
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Carnivorous
• Location: Oklahoma, United States of America
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Fresh water lake
Thanks to an episode of the television show Lost Tapes on Animal Planet, there's been renewed interest in the so-called "Oklahoma Octopus," a killer cephalopod rumored to lurk in the fresh-water lakes of the Sooner State, killing and eating unsuspecting swimmers.

As with most things in Oklahoma, it ostensibly goes back to the Native Americans, who told legends of a large creature that looked somewhat like a leech and ate men alive.

It's rumored to live in one of the central lakes in Oklahoma, with Lake Tenkiller and Lake Thunderbird being mentioned most often. The Oklahoma Octopus is said to be responsible for the unusually high mortality rates of swimmers in those lakes. You can see a (very cheeseball) re-enactment of one of the Oklahoma Octopus attacks from the show Lost Tapes below:
It's all very fun. But let's do like R. Kelly and have some real talk. Both of the lakes said to harbor the monster, Lake Thunderbird and Lake Tenkiller, are man made. Lake Thunderbird was constructed in 1965, and Lake Tenkiller was created by damming the Illinois River in 1947. Which means the stories of "ancient Native American legends" are probably tall tales in and of themselves.

Secondly, I was born and raised in Oklahoma and have spent a ton of time on its lakes. The most likely reason that the mortality rate is so high for swimmers isn't because there is a horse-sized octopus on the loose, but because the average person at the lake sucks down around a case of Bud Light throughout the day.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, no species of freshwater octopus has ever been found. Even if an octopus had somehow miraculously mutated into a creature capable of surviving outside of the salty ocean, how would it get to the lakes of Oklahoma? The nearest ocean is over a thousand miles away. Did the Oklahoma Octopus get up on its tentacles and walk all that?

But my poor home state needs all the tourist dollars it can get (somehow the World's Largest Praying Hands in Tulsa or the Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World monument in Beaver aren't packing 'em in like they used to), so I'm going to throw all those arguments to the side. There is a huge, man-eating octopus in Oklahoma, and you should totally drive your family down to catch a glimpse of it this summer. Remember to buy a couple t-shirts.

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A senior associate editor at Zimbio, writing about entertainment and current events.