ABC News Online – August 1st, 2003
A group of soldiers claim to have spotted China's "Loch Ness Monster" in the second sighting of the mysterious animal in less than a month, state media said.
The black-headed creature suddenly broke through the surface of Tianchi Lake in north-eastern Jilin province early on Wednesday, astounding about a dozen servicemen visiting at the time, Xinhua news agency reported.
The animal, which was equipped with 10 centimetre horns and a scaled back, swam around for about two minutes before disappearing, according to the agency.
A report earlier this month said a similar animal was seen five times during a period of about 50 minutes, Xinhua reported.
The month of July appears to be high season for spotting China's "Nessie", as hundreds of sightseers were reported to have seen it at the same time last year.
Rumors that the 373-metre-deep volcanic lake harbors some sort of monster have been circulating for more than a century.
However, scientists dismiss the reports, saying the lake is too cold for large creatures and volcanic eruptions happening as recently as 300 years ago would make life extremely hazardous for any animal making the lake its home.
The Tianchi monster is not the only "Nessie" said to be living in China.
The marine life of Hanas Lake in north-western Xinjiang region reputedly includes a 10-metre-long salmon species that attacks both people and cattle.
Last updated 07/08/2003