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It's the Tianchi Lake 'Monster'

A domestic tourist claims to have seen and videotaped the Tianchi Lake "monster" at Changbai Mountain in northeast China's Jilin Province, Xinhua reported Sunday.


On the morning of July 7, 52-year-old Zheng Changchun, his daughter and son-in-law were walking around the lake on the western side of the mountain.


Zheng claimed that, all of a sudden, a strange black object emerged from the water, disturbing the calm surface.


"I was so excited and shouted to everyone that there was a monster in the lake," Zheng said.


"All the tourists by the lake stared at the black thing," he added.


A video buff, Zheng grabbed his family camcorder and managed to catch the incident on film, until whatever it was disappeared back into the water. His son-in-law also took some photographs.


"We were more than 1,000 meters away so it's difficult to tell, but I would say what we saw sticking out of the water was about the size of the head of an adult ox," Zheng was quoted as saying.


"But I did notice that every time it was above water, there were huge ripples in the water, suggesting the rest of it was enormous," he added.


Changbai Mountain is the highest mountain in Northeast Asia standing at 2,189 meters above sea level. Tianchi is the deepest mountain lake and the largest crater lake in China.


Legend has it that a "monster" has been hiding in this 373-meter-deep lake. Stories about it go back more than 100 years.


There have been more than 30 reported sightings by domestic and foreign tourists in the last 20 years.


There are quite a few pictures and videos of this creature, but none is clear enough to give any clues as to what it might be.


"Some enthusiasts are coming up with computer images of it based on interviews of people who've claimed to have seen it. I do hope these will be helpful in solving this century-old mystery," said Wu Guangxiao, a Tianchi Lake monster investigator.


(China Daily July 11, 2005)

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