Nova Scotia

Sea monster sightings off Nova Scotia documented in free e-book

The curator of zoology at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History has released a free e-book chronicling sea monster sightings off the province's coast.

Zoologist Andrew Hebda says sightings of sea monsters were first recorded in Mi'kmaq petroglyphs

Whether you're a believer or not, there's no disputing some people claim to have seen sea monsters in and around Nova Scotia over the last several hundred years. 

In 2003, lobster fisherman Wallace Cartwright told CBC Radio's As It Happens about a sea serpent he saw while checking his traps south of the lighthouse at Point Aconi.

At first he thought it was a log on top of the water, and said he "noticed that the log had a head on it, and the head came out of the water."

He estimated it was six to eight metres long.

"It looked to me like it was a brown animal. It had a head like a — something shaped like a sea turtle. And it had a body on it like a snake, and the girth on the body would be something like about like the size of a five-gallon bucket."

Cartwright's sighting is documented in Andrew Hebda's new e-book The Serpent Chronologies: Sea Serpents and other Marine Creatures from Nova Scotia's History.

Hebda's interest in sea monsters was first piqued when he was four years old and his father brought home a copy of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

He says in Nova Scotia, sightings of sea monsters were first recorded in Mi'kmaq petroglyphs. 

"If you go down to Keji you can actually see three petroglyphs that clearly have sea serpent motifs," he says.

Hebda is curator of zoology at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, and his e-book is free.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?