The Quest for Ogopogo

Like for any budding crypto-zoologist, my arrival in Kelowna meant a lot more than just delectable food and drinks. It meant I would have the unique opportunity to hunt for the infamous seamonster, Ogopogo.

In case you’re one of those rare people who aren’t up on their knowledge of dinosaurs and Canadian folklore, I’ll explain that Ogopogo is said to be a 50ft long Basilosaurus.

Interpretive drawing of a Basilosaurus

Interpretive drawing of a Basilosaurus

With this, Ogopogo specifically was said to have frozen in Lake Okanagan until the 1800s when it was first spotted again by a group of first nations. From there, it was not seen again until 1926 (during a 30 car pile up nonetheless). Since it was the 1920s and all anyone did was hangout in speakeasies listening to foxtrots, it was decided that the beast would be named after Ogo-pogo, the Funny Fox-Trot.

During my quest, I decided to document the details of my experience in a daily diary:

Day 1

As this marked the first day of my first excursion tracking down mythical creatures, I decided to try to seek the aid of an accomplis for my mission, a dive operator called Serpentine Aquatics. However, after a brief inquisition, I found they were not true to their serpentine name and that I would have to continue my quest for the beast on my own.

After our interaction, I decided to extend my research to determine where and when the best places to look for Ogopogo would be and determined that City Park in downtown Kelowna was said to have various attributes to the mythical being.

Day 2

I embarked on a brave journey to City Park, evading perils such as oncoming traffic and the intense heat of the sun (by Canadian standards). After an intense excursion, I reached my destination, but the elusive Ogopogo was nowhere to be found. I passed countless wild shops and restaurants, but there was no sign of the beast itself.

While the lakefront was beautiful, I was looking for something more!

While the lakefront was beautiful, I was looking for something more!

After much searching, I was prepared to adjourn my quest for the day when I saw a distinctive shadow in the distance. Although I was filled with excitement, I approached with caution, fearful that this would be a false sighting. As I approached however, it became clear that this was indeed the creature I was searching for! Ogopgo had revealed itself to me!

Ogopogo lives on!!

Ogopogo lives on!!

Once Ogopogo had revealed itself, it seemed to lose its shy demeanour altogether, and I made 2 additional sightings that very day at a nearby water park.


It appears to have a playful nature!

It appears to have a playful nature!

Day 3

Still high on the success of the previous day, I expanded my search out of the downtown core and found that Ogopgo inhabited a diverse range of habitats from mosaic walls to children’s playgrounds and laundromats. It was beginning to become clear that Ogopogo is not a shy beast, but really a bit of an attention whore who loved the spotlight and had become a type of unofficial mascot for the town of Kelowna.

IMG_1218 IMG_1274

Day 4 (Concluding Remarks)

While Ogopogo is said to be an ancient being, it is very much a symbol of the present, bringing forth the spirit of Kelowna and the Okanagan as a whole with its fun attitude and aquatic nature.

I would encourage anyone who visits its natural habitat to seek out this fine creature and get to know it and its culture.


4 thoughts on “The Quest for Ogopogo

  1. Very interesting. I love dinosaurs but never heard of this creature.
    So, it is not an urban legend, it really exists?
    How many are there supposed to be left?
    Do divers ever see it???
    Fascinating!!! More stories like this please :-)

    FYI: one of my most memorable moments of my life was snorkeling/swimming with a whale shark off the Tanzanian coast. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos but should write about it. It was so powerful. Ever since this first encounter (it was in 2010) I have said to myself that I should choose my travel destination by the possibility of spotting a whale shark. Such a lovely animal.

    • Haha, Ogopogo is definitely more of an urban legend than a real monster, similar to Nessie in Loch Ness :P

      I’ve always wanted to go diving with sharks! Are they common to see in Tanzania!?

      • You have to go to an island called Mafia, which is a short flight from Dar Es Salaam. There is a specific period when the whale sharks migrate along the coastline. Don’t take my words for granted, but it may be from October to January (we were in October). There are a few spots in the world for whale sharks: Mexico, Thailand, the rest I don’t remember. Try :-)

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