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Chinese Nessie 'alive and well'

Not all of China's dragons are mere legends say fans of the Tianchi monster
Not all of China's dragons are mere legends say fans of the Tianchi monster  

BEIJING, China -- China's very own version of the Loch Ness Monster is alive and well in a deep volcanic lake in the northeast of the country, if reports from several eyewitnesses are to be believed.

According to the China Daily Wednesday hundreds of sightseers to Tianchi Lake in Jilin province have reported seeing the creature in recent weeks, although no photographs of the monster have yet made it into circulation.

Legends about the Monster of Tianchi Lake have been circulating for well over a century and the creature has a loyal following of local fans who have organized the Tianchi Monster Society in an effort to document sightings.

Over the years various witnesses have described seeing either a large turtle like animal, or a long black creature, some 20-30 meters long with a small head shaped like that of a horse.

The latest sightings conform more to the horse-headed type creature.

The China Daily quoted local tourism official Xue Junlin as saying that during the latest appearance the "monster" came within 10 meters of the shore and jumped out of the water "like a seal."

Xue said the creature's performance lasted for about 10 minutes before it slid back into its submarine lair.

At 373 meters deep Tianchi Lake is the deepest volcanic lake in China, situated in the midst of soaring mountains.

However, despite widespread sightings, the China Daily says scientists are skeptical that any large creature would be able to survive in the lake given its recent history of volcanic activity.




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