2011_memphre25c1

Memphre is one of a series of mythical Canadian creature coins that will be available in 2011. ((Courtesy: Royal Candian Mint))

A mythical monster said to live in Lake Memphremagog, Quebec, has eluded positive identification but there's a chance its image might end up in your pocket soon.

Memphre, as the creature is affectionately known, is set to appear on a new series of Canadian twenty-five cent coins.

The quarters aren't widely available yet but some people in the Eastern Townships are already looking forward to collecting them.

Terry Winslow, owner of the Blue Seal Animal Nutrition Centre in Lennoxville, is one of them.

"I'm not a coin collector but I'm interested in all kinds of animals, but particularly these types of creatures that might live in our lakes, and things that are unknown, undiscovered animals," he said. 

Winslow said he doesn't know if Memphre truly exists, but he doesn't think reported sightings are pure fiction either.

"It might be as simple as a very large sturgeon or a group of sturgeons that have surfaced together," he said.

"Another possibility is that it could be something that we haven't discovered as of yet."

Winslow said he hasn't seen the coin where he lives — south of Montreal — but he has put a reservation on the first shipment due to arrive at his local post office.

Royal Canadian Mint officials said the Memphre collector coin is a bit larger than the Toonie.

It's part of a series of coins about mythical Canadian creatures including a sasquash coin and another aquatic creature known as Mishupishu, from Algonquin legend.

"The story of Canada's mythical creatures, which includes Memphre, is a really compelling one and something that's worth sharing with the rest of Canada and letting Canadians know more about their folklore and their legends," said Royal Canadian Mint spokesman Alex Reeves.