Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
Steller's sea wolf
Proposed scientific names
Other names Plebun, sea wolf, tsheshshak
Sea reported Pacific Ocean
First reported 1774
Prominent investigators • Georg Wilhelm Steller

Steller's sea wolf was a sea serpent reported from the subarctic waters of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Kamchatka River.[1] "Sea wolf" (морской волк, morskoy volk) was the name applied to this cryptid by Russians; its indigenous names were plebun to the Itelmens and tsheshshak on the Kamchatka River. Some sea serpents and river monsters of the adjacent Pacific Northwest of America were also termed sea wolves, such as the wasgo and sisiutl.

According to Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709 – 1746), who was never able to see one for himself, the sea wolf was a large marine mammal resembling a whale, but somewhat smaller, and with a more slender build. Its meat was eaten by the Itelmens, but its fat was avoided, as it supposedly caused rapid diarrhea. When Steller first encountered sea cows (Hydrodamalis gigas), his cossack told him that they were not sea wolves. According to Peter Simon Pallas (1741 – 1811), plevun was the Russian name for the sperm whale. However, the name pla-un is currently used in the Commander Islands to refer to Baird's beaked whale (Berardius bairdii).[2]

Notes and references

  1. Various (2013) An Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology and Conservation
  2. Golder, Frank Alfred (1922) Bering's Voyages: An Account of the Efforts of the Russians to Determine the Relation of Asia and America