Makkeweks is an enigmatic ocean creature that spends most its life deep under water, but surfaces from time to time to the delight and dismay of the rare few who have ever seen it.https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Coyote_And_His_Wife-Costanoan.html. Most prominently, Makkeweks is known to surface in Lake Merritt, usually during the fall months when the lake’s tributaries dry up and additional bay water flows into the “lake.” https://oaklandside.org/2020/07/31/whats-lurking-beneath-oakland-lake-merritt/. In fact, there is even conjecture that Makkeweks is responsible for the dinoflagellates that cause the lake to glow a bioluminescent blue under a full moon. https://baynature.org/article/why-is-lake-merritt-turning-blue-at-night/).
The first recorded sightings of Makkeweks were by the native Ohlone people, who tell of the creature scaring – and at times even killing – unaware bystanders. https://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/anthpubs/ucb/text/ucp004-005.pdf. However, following the damming of Lake Merritt in 1868 and its use as “the most perfect sewerage main in the world,” reported sightings plummeted. https://baynature.org/article/loving-lake-merritt/. Even so, rumors that Makkeweks was still finding its way through the 7th Street tidal gates and into the lake persisted throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/76858806/lake-merritt-monster-p1/. Recently, these rumors were confirmed when employees at Lake Chalet reported that Makkeweks surfaced within a mere stone’s throw of the restaurant's docks, and local cryptozoologist Dr. Richard Bailey identified Makkeweks' signature “round monster humps.” https://oaklandnorth.net/2011/06/22/is-there-a-monster-in-lake-merritt-scientist-says-yes/
In commemoration of these sightings, the City of Oakland constructed a statue in Snow Park to inform citizens of Makkeweks' return, and to hopefully avoid the fear Makkeweks caused the Ohlone. https://www.codaworx.com/projects/makkeweks-oakland-public-art-program/. Instead, the City has attempted to spin the sightings as “an indication of a healthy marine environment” and a "poetic conjecture about the perennial mysteries of the Deep." http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/ceda/documents/report/oak039510.pdf. Additionally, local entrepreneurs have attempted to capitalize on the allure of Makkeweks through the sale of fashionable attire. http://thelakemerrittmonster.com/HOME.html; https://www.oaklandish.com/products/lake-monster-tee-black. Local filmmakers are also in the process of producing a feature length film on the subject. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tlmm/the-lake-merritt-monster-short-film