Legendary lake 'monster' is captured on camera - Jane Macartney
China's Loch Ness monster has been sighted - or so Chinese state-run television says. More than a dozen huge creatures can be seen churning across Lake Kanasi in remote western China.
A rare video, filmed by a tourist at the lake in the Heavenly Mountains of Xinjiang, has reignited debate over the existence of an underwater creature that can compete with the Loch Ness monster in both mass and mystery.
The grainy film shows about 15 objects moving at high speed just beneath the surface of the lake. Chinese Central Television described the footage as the clearest yet seen of a legendary beast that has been rumoured for centuries to live in the depths of the lake. Local inhabitants have long believed that the animals have dragged sheep, cows and even horses into the deep to devour them.
Yuan Guoying, of the Xinjiang Institute of Environmental Protection, told The Times that the video provided important proof. "Only fish could make waves in this formation. I think the video is real," Mr Yuan, who has conducted research at the lake for more than two decades, said.
The television commentator described the sighting as the first for two years, when two black creatures that measured more than 10 metres (33ft) in length appeared on the surface, swimming at speed from the shore to the centre of the lake. State television made no attempt to identify the animals, saying only: "This time a large number of unidentified creatures emerged, bringing more mystery to Lake Kanasi."
Chinese researchers in the 1980s said that the "monster" was likely to be a huge member of the salmon family - one of eight species of fish living in the lake. Mr Yuan believes that a lot more research is needed, although it would be impossible to catch a fish of this size. "This fish will have tremendous strength, " he said.
From The Times, July 18th, 2007.