Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology

The Champagne types depicted on the smaller ends of their scales, drawn by Cameron McCormick and modified by 'Ictoon'.

The Champagne system is a system of categorising sea serpent sightings developed by Bruce A. Champagne in 2001, and finalised in 2007.[1][2][3] After examining 1,247 sightings, he concluded that there were only 351 credible observations, and classified the animals into nine categories, some of which have their own sub-categories. While Champagne's preliminary study recognised three types, the long-necked, eel-like, and multiple-humped,[2] the final Champagne types are the long-necked I, long-necked II, eel-like I, eel-like II, eel-like III, multiple-humped, sail-finned I, sail-finned II, carapaced, saurian, segmented, digited, and snake-like.[3][4]

In 2016, Champagne published an analysis of lake monster reports, in which he concluded that his multi-humped sea serpent, the "classic" undulating sea serpent, could explain several lake monsters,[5] making the Champagne system the only sea serpent classification system besides the Coleman-Huyghe system to incorporate lake monsters.


Image Name Range Champagne's identity Equivalents in other systems
Long-necked sea serpent I Cosmopolitan Long-necked pinniped
Long-necked sea serpent II North Sea Long-necked pinniped
Eel-like I, Cameron McCormick.png
Eel-like sea serpent I North Atlantic Ocean Reptile
Eel-like sea serpent II Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Beaked whale
Eel-like III, Cameron McCormick.png
Eel-like sea serpent III Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, South China Sea Reptile
Multiple-humped, Cameron McCormick.png
Multiple-humped sea serpent Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Possible reptile
Sail-finned sea serpent I North Atlantic Ocean Beaked whale
Sail-finned sea serpent II Cosmopolitan Possible reptile or mammal
Carapaced sea serpent Cosmopolitan Possible mammal or mammal-like reptile
Saurian sea serpent.png
Saurian sea serpent North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea Crocodile or crocodile-like reptile
Segmented sea serpent Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans Mammal
Digited sea serpent, Cameron McCormick.png
Digited sea serpent North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Possible amphibian or reptile
Snake-like sea serpent Atlantic Ocean Reptile

Notes and references

  1. Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology, ABC-CLIO, Inc., ISBN 1576072835
  2. 2.0 2.1 Champagne, Bruce A. "A Preliminary Evaluation of the Study of the Morphology, Behaviour, Autoecology, and Habitat of Large, Unidentified Marine Animals, Based on Recorded Field Observations," Crypto-Dracontology Special No. 1 (November 2001)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Champagne, Bruce A. "A Classification System for Large, Unidentified Marine Animals Based on the Examination of Reported Observations," Elementum Bestia: Being an Examination of Unknown Animals of the Air, Earth, Fire and Water (2007), Lulu Press, ASIN B001DSIB2W
  4. "Bruce A. Champagne," The Haunted Sea with Scott Mardis, Monster X Radio (2019) — Online
  5. Champagne, Bruce A. "A Preliminary, Comparative Type Proposal For Large, Unidentified Marine and Freshwater Animals," The Journal of Cryptozoology Vol. 4 (December 2016)