Lapras is a very interesting and unique Pokémon. It is in fact one of my favorites.
Let’s start off with its name. It’s name “Lapras” is based on the word “lap” like the routes it ferries people on. “Lapidify” meaning to change to stone in reference to its Cloyster-like shell that looks like rock and “Loch Ness Monster,” a mythical monster resembling a Plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs are ancient ocean-dwelling reptiles that largely lived at the time of the dinosaurs. The name Plesiosaur is Greek for “nearer the reptiles” as they were believed to be crossed between fish and reptiles. Lapras’ main body closely resembles a Cryptoclidus, a large and common long-necked Plesiosaur with an ironically shorter neck than most in its suborder.
Just to recap: Lapras is based on a mythical creature based on an ancient swimming dinosaur; however, it is not a fossil Pokémon.
As a child the two things I loved most were dinosaurs and Pokémon. LeafGreen was my first game and after receiving my Lapras (which I used against Gary’s Charizard) I assumed it was another fossil Pokémon. A scientist in a high-tech engineering company gives it to you, so it’s not a long step to imagine it’s an already revived fossil. I thought in later games it would again be gifted, or even obtained through a fossil. Of course in Emerald (my second game ever), it was not there at all. Then in HeartGold it is treated as an event Pokémon of some kind. You see its pixelated form and walk up to battle. This pleased me as it treated Lapras with the respect and prestigiousness it deserves. With my infinite childhood imagination, I concluded it was Red (or my own) escaped Lapras. I caught it (of course) and loved it giving no more thought to the fact that they could be found in the wild.
Then, came Platinum. In Platinum you can find it in Victory Road. Admittedly, Lapras is quite a rare Pokémon that can only be found in a few areas of Victory Road. But this left me distraught, for a long time I hated Platinum for this reason. I felt like they had ruined Lapras. Now, I think maybe a couple of escaped Lapras escaped together and bred only in a few small underwater pools, but I still can’t quite get other what they did. But the PokéDex entries are even more interesting.
In Generation I it says Lapras has nearly been hunted to the point of extinction and how it loves to ferry people across the water. Yellow mentions something very interesting, never repeated in later games; the fact that Lapras can read minds. Later PokéDex entries mention its kind nature, and ferrying capabilities. A few mention its extreme intelligence and how it understands human speech, but not how it can read minds. This was very intriguing to me, a Pokémon that is neither Psychic, nor a Legendary being (for lack of a better word) psychic.
One more theme which the in-game Pokémon contradict is: How in the original Gold and then HeartGold where it says “because they rarely fight, many have been caught,” this is strange because Lapras is a great battler, which you fight in the very game it is mentioned. Not only is Lapras insanely powerful but also very difficult to catch, unlike the PokéDex entry suggests.
This makes me very suspicious of the PokéDex entries of Lapras as a whole.
This is fortunate as the a few PokéDex entries slightly contradict my theory. So for such a unique and mysterious Pokémon I am willing to discard certain PokéDex entries as unreliable. I know some people will take arms with me for doing this, but let’s imagine that the PokéDex were real. The Lapras being ‘over-hunted’ entry has not been mentioned since LeafGreen in 2004. A PokéDex is the equivalent of an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias have been known to have mistakes, a piece of information that has not featured in the almost yearly editions in 10 years is not the most reliable. This suggestion of unreliability in that particular information is convincing (at least to me).
So all things considered on with the theory, I don’t think the PokéDex entry is trustworthy.
Lapras is known as the Transport Pokémon. People have a great need for transport and Lapras loves and excels at it. In our world, genetically engineering an animal purely so we can be transported easier is immoral and discouraged. But in the Pokémon world they pit animals against each other in vicious fights. So it is not too far a stretch to assume that they may fiddle with the biological data of helpless animals for generations for the minor benefit of humanity.
Genetic engineering is no easy task, but Lapras is similar to a long extinct animal, so it was probably found as a fossil. What if they had a plesiosaur, but they couldn’t resurrect it because the specimen was corrupted or something else had gone wrong so they had to modify its DNA. How do we know that it was probably the genetic material of a Cloyster? Because Cloyster is Ice- and Water-type like Lapras and it would not be the only Pokémon featuring a body part made or a Pokémon from the Bivalve line. When it come to the intelligence and telepathy, maybe it was designed that way by the scientists that created it (though I have to mention my distrust of Lapras’ Psychic powers). The same can be said for its kindheartedness.
Obviously there are issues with this theory and I understand that some may disagree completely. I would love if you left your problems or adjustments below.
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