As far as I know there is a danger of swimming into "climbing plants/creebers" in lakes. This can bring you in an extremely dangerous situation where you tangle up more and more cause you panic.

Am I able to avoid swimming into these? How should I react if I get stuck?


It's quite tough for me to give an exact reference to a particular plant. They mostly grow on the ground of lakes and have kind of tentacles. They might tangle around your knuckles and if you react jerkily you'll be tangled up more an more.

This is a picture like a locale newspaper (a report where a 26 year old man was "tangled to death") has illustrated it:


Some other

Sadly I don't know if they're accurate or random stock-photos.

  • 2
    Could you reference what a climbing plant is? Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 12:05
  • Why are they difficult to avoid swimming in to? Surely you can see them and avoid them?
    – bon
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 12:16
  • What do you think now?
    – OddDeer
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 12:25
  • Perhaps aquatic grasses or lily pads? Things like that? Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:06
  • @ChrisMendez I would say yes to aquatic grasses but no to lily pads :)
    – OddDeer
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


That's hornwort. It grows around here too. Wonder to fish around as well as lily pads are great to fish around.

Anyway, those plants grow at a depth where strong sunlight can get to it. In all natural settings where I have seen this grow it has been less than 6 ft of depth. So I guess it's possible to get tangled and drown, but a few things come to mind.

Most people are averse to swimming where things are touching them. You don't suddenly find your self in the middle of a patch of this, you'll start getting touched by the weeds within a few moments of reaching the "border" and would likely start trying to swim in the air while turning around.

This plant is also relatively weak and also slippery while under water, so unless somehow you get bound by a bunch at once, I personally don't see this plant as a danger, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't cause harm.

I wade out into this stuff and lily pads all the time when fishing for bass, pike and pickerel.

  • Wow, thanks :) Didn't expect such a nice answer cause of the vague information I gave.
    – OddDeer
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 14:51

This is a photo of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). It can grow extremely dense in some locations. People don't usually choose to swim where this and other plants grow very dense, but if they do, they are most at risk from entanglement if they panic. I work professionally on aquatic plant management, and also am an avid lake swimmer.

  • Hornwort is brittle and breaks up with little force. There are few other plants that can entangle swimmers. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 15:45
  • Hydrilla causes a drowning death every few years at the local state park despite warning signs. Commented Apr 19, 2019 at 16:20

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