VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A woman on Sunday released footage of what she called a “strange cryptid-like fish” swimming upstream in the swampy waters of First Landing State Park.
Omi S., a 34-year-old “aspiring photographer”, told Cryptozoology News she was hiking a trail with her two dogs, Bender and Pepper, when she noticed the unidentified creature last Friday, Jan. 23.
“The dogs were acting up, and I was quickly getting tired,” she said. “There was a small bridge north west of me, and I started down that bridge,” she added.
Reportedly, as she was crossing the bridge, she decided to take a few pictures of the landscape with her newly acquired 55-250mm camera lens.
“Photographers call it ‘the golden hour’, where everything is really pretty. I was at a bad angle with the light, and turned around. That’s when I happened to look down at the water and spotted what I first thought was a dead fish, but then it kept almost, swimming?”
The creature, Omi says, “would slowly dip” into the water every single time the flash fired. So she decided to capture the oddity on video instead.
Lasting one minute and 24 seconds, the film shows something brown and cylindrically shaped zigzagging its way out the seemingly strong water current. Throughout the footage, the alleged creature submerges into the water a few times before the photographer abruptly turns off her Canon SL1 DSLR camera.
“The reason the video stops is because of people,” she explains. “I have my dogs strapped to me and I have a very expensive camera in my hands. My larger dog Ben gets very excited when he sees people, two teenagers were approaching the bridge. When the teenage couple started walking across the bridge, I shut my camera off and got better control of my dogs. At the risk of losing a very expensive camera to the Marshland, or worse, my smaller dog Pepper getting stepped on, I tried to wrangle everybody together and calm everyone down. That’s why I say ‘shh’ a couple times in the video.”
Omi believes that what she recorded was the head of the purported creature, which she estimated to be about 3 feet long.
She is sure that it wasn’t an animal endemic to the area.
“We don’t have beavers in this specific area, we do have them way far inland. I’m wondering if it was some sort of ocean creature, or even a corpse of an ocean creature trapped in the tide,” she said.
And debris, she said, is highly unlikely since it “looked too organic”.
“I’ve showed this to a handful of people, and some of them think it’s a piece of trash caught in the current. But that doesn’t explain why it would duck down when my flash would go off or if something sudden would happen. It changed positions too, so it wasn’t something trapped on fishing line.”
Nutrias, also known as river rats, are large rodents native to South America that have made their way into the United States.
“Way bigger than a river rat. We do have Nutria up here in Virginia marshlands, but they are nowhere near this big,” she said.
Some viewers commented on the video pointing out the creature’s resemblance to the platypus, a duck-like mammal endemic to Australia.
Omi, who claims to have worked for a social media company, is currently the host of Turquoise and Beef Jerky Roadshow, a travel podcast based in North America.
The First Landing State Park, formerly known as the Seashore State Park, is a 2,888-acres protected landscape located on the Chesapeake Bay and governed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
In September of last year, controversial footage of an alleged hippopotamus in the Chicago river was uploaded to YouTube.