The legendary Kansas lake monster Sinkhole Sam is one of those cryptid creatures I truly find interesting. The reason being is, it is possible this 15 foot long worm-like creature, could have actually been real.
Sinkhole Sam is a cryptid creature said to dwell in Lake Inman near the small town of Inman, KS. It’s described as worm or serpent like, being 15 feet long and has the girth of an automobile tire.
The Legend Begins
During the 1920’s, many of the lakes and natural water formations of central Kansas were drained leaving Lake Inman as one of the states largest natural lakes, measuring 1/4 of a square mile.
This lake has a section that is deeper than normal that locals call “The Big Sinkhole”. It’s this deep section of water where the first reports of Sinkhole Sam occurred.
The first sighting was by two unspecified men fishing in The Big Sinkhole. Later, two local men, Albert Neufeld and George Regehr said they also sighted the elusive creature.
Albert claimed to have shot at Sam from a bridge that was nearby, but wasn’t able to determine if he hit him.
The following years seen an increase in people coming in to the area for a chance to spot the beast, while there were several reports, there was never any actual evidence gathered.
Through all the reported sightings, some details varied, but the two characteristics that were common, were the length, estimated at 15 feet, and the girth, which was reported to be around the size of a car tire. Car tires vary, but usually are around 2′ to 3′ tall.
The sightings created national notoriety for the small Kansas town of Inman, and during the towns annual Sante Fe Days, which celebrates the history of the Sante Fe Trail through the area, there are always tales being shared of the sightings of Sinkhole Sam.
None of the reported encounters with Sam indicated it was a dangerous creature.
It’s been quite a while since any sightings have been reported, but even today you will see cars parked around the lake & their drivers looking over the murky waters, with hopes of spotting the serpentine cryptid.
What could Sinkhole Sam Be?
What I find interesting about cryptozoological creatures like Sinkhole Sam is there is a high possibility Sam is a real creature of some kind, either having grown to an abnormal size due to the size of it’s habitat, or being dislocated by the historical events of the area.
There is a legitimate possibility, due to the alteration and draining of the wetlands of the area, that Sam could have been a species that got trapped in Inman lake, survived for a given amount of time, then perished.
The creature’s normal death could account for the lack of sightings in recent years.
Chances are, there is no “paranormal” connection to this cryptid creature. If the legend is not a story simply based on over active imaginations, it could be an actual living animal.
Could Sinkhole Sam be:
A Giant Earthworm?
While most earthworms in the U.S. can easily fit in the palm of your hand, there are several species of earthworms throughout the world that are surprising large.
- The Giant Gippsland earthworm in Australia, who’s average length is over 3 feet, has been seen to grow as long as 9 feet.
- A South African species, who’s avarage length is 6 feet long, but have been found to grow to 22 feet.
- The Oregon Giant Earthworm‘s length can be in excess of 3 feet.
While the largest North American earthworm can be over 3 feet, the size of the other worms is quite impressive. Most worms spend the bulk of their time underground, but can be found in the water occasionally, even though that isn’t their choice environment.
A Giant Seaworm?
This seems unlikely. While there is solid evidence of these sea creatures being upwards of 26 feet in length and having the girth of a vehicle tire, there is no evidence of a fresh water species.
A Giant Eel?
There are several species of giant freshwater eel throughout the world and and these creatures would be one of the most logical explanations for Sam.
An American eels have been caught by fishermen in Kansas that have been close 3 feet in length. A far cry from the 15 feet of Sam, but an abnormally large one could fit the description.
A Giant Snake?
The other most likely candidate to be a common explanation for Sinkhole Sam would be a species of large snake.
The Giant Anaconda’s common length reaches 17 feet, but can reach up to 30 feet, and they prefer the water.
The Reticulated Python can reach up to 30 feet in the wild.
In fact, in Kansas City, there is a 25 foot long Reticulated Python, named Medusa. At the time of this writing, Medusa is the Guinness record holder for being the largest snake in captivity.
These snakes aren’t native to Kansas, but who knows, maybe a travelling circus lost their “Largest Snake In The World” star attraction when passing through the area. I’m saying this in jest of course, but perhaps Sinkhole Sam is a displaced large snake.
Maybe Something More Cryptozoological?
Perhaps there was something prehistoric trapped in underground caverns in the area. Something along the lines of Titanoboa, an extinct snake who’s length was around 50 feet long. Considering Kansas has an ample population of “prehistoric” paddlefish maybe some other beastie was pocketed away and witnessed by a few people in Lake Inman.
The Legend Of Sinkhole Sam.
So, over the years, the sightings may have slowed and no solid evidence has been collected, but still, to this day, people will drive out to the small lake that’s just a few miles from the small town of Inman and look out over the murky waters to try and get a glimpse of Sinkhole Sam, The Kansas Lake Monster.