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"lake monsters around the world"
by gerard q.

do you believe in monsters? if so, you're not alone.

this article started out as an investigation into the rash of recent sightings of a monster in china's lake tianchi, but quickly evolved into much more. although nessie (aka the loch ness monster) is the most widely-known of the lake monsters, she (he? it?) is a far cry from alone.

canadians boast of the water demon of ogopogo lake, a twenty or more foot long serpent-like creature with flippers. utah tells of five different monsters in five different lakes. lake tahoe, lake erie, raspberry straight (near kodiak, alaska), lake champlain (between new york and vermont), and the chesapeake bay all claim to be home to giant sea-creatures that are frequently sighted and usually described as serpents with a head like a horse. similar creatures have been reported in the open oceans off of austrailia, californa, and england.

click for the van lake video

in 1997, this amateur video was released to cnn. it was taken in eastern turkey's van lake by a 26-year old university teaching assistant named unal kozak. over a thousand people in the region have claimed to see this lake monster, and with the modern miracle that is the internet, you can click on the video and see for yourself. the creature is said to be over forty-five feet long.

this dead sea creature was picked up by a japanese fishing boat. it was unidentifiable to the crew, all seasoned fishermen. the carcass smelled so bad that they decided to throw it overboard back into the water, but not before taking a few pictures of it. when it was laid out, looked like nothing they had ever seen in the ocean, but closely resembled the drawings of the loch ness monster.

unidentified japanese sea monster
giant fish in florida

in 2002, this giant sturgeon washed up on the banks of the tampa bay river in florida. this 127 pound fish is no mythical creature, but biologists believe that sturgeons are rare in the gulf of mexico, and they have long been threatened with extinction. yet, this 40-year old, pregnant female was living upstream in a freshwater river in florida, lending credence to the theories that many lake monsters were trapped when rivers dried up, cutting them off from the ocean.

i would be amiss if i didn't mention china's lake tianchi monster, the inspiration for this article. near the border of china and north korea, in a volcanic crater lake that translates to "heavenly lake", rumors of a sea-monster have circulated for over a century. it is described as a blackish green animal, with a round, black head with 10-centimeter horns and appeared to have scales on its back, according to a group of soldiers. others have reported seeing up to twenty such animals in the lake, with white rings around the bottom of their necks although the rest of the bodies is gray.

china's lake tianchi monster?

reports from all around the world continue to pour in. giant creatures have been, and are still being spotted in lakes from montana to japan. scientists can't classify them and biologists have yet to catch one. shaky home videos, accounts from eye witnesses, and blurry photographs are as close to proof as has been documented. are lake monsters some sort of mass hallucination, a case of people seeing what they want to see, or ancient creatures that somehow survived and continue to elude capture? new and amazing life forms are being discovered in the depths of the oceans and rain forests, so perhaps one day lake monsters will be in textbooks between the coelacanth and the giant squid instead of between big foot and the chupacabra.

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