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'Monster' of Tianchi Lake sighted
By He Na (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-11 05:29

CHANGCHUN: A local tourist claims to have seen and videotaped the Tianchi Lake monster in the Changbai Mountain, in Jilin Province, Xinhua reported yesterday.

Tianchi Lake monster in the Changbai Mountain was allegedly sighted and videotaped by a local tourist. [Xinhua]

On Thursday morning, 52-year-old Zheng Changchun and his daughter and son-in-law were standing enjoying the scenery in the western side of the mountain.

Suddenly, towards the middle of the lake, Zheng saw a strange, black object emerging from the water and disturbing the calm surface.

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

"All the tourists by the lake stared at it."

Keen video buff Zheng grabbed his family camcorder and managed to get the whole sighting on film, until whatever it is in the lake vanished beneath the water. His son-in-law also took some pictures with his zoom lens.

Zheng said that when they climbed to the top of the mountain above Lake Tianchi at about 10 am, it was covered with thick fog that suddenly gave way to bright sunshine. The water emerged as clear as a mirror, ideal for photography. Zheng's film lasts almost a minute, and in it a black object can be seen emerging from the water in the same place three times, each time lasting just a few seconds, before it finally vanishesand does not reappear.

"We were more than 1,000 metres away so it's difficult, but I would say what we saw above 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."

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

Legends about the monster hidden in this 373-metre deep lake go back more than a century.

There have been more than 30 reported sightings by tourists from home and abroad over the past 20 years.

There are quite a few pictures and videos of this creature, but none is clear enough to give a good enough clue as to what it is.

"Some enthusiasts are coming up with computer images of it based on interviews. I do hope this will be helpful to unveil this century-old mystery, " said Wu Guangxiao, who is investigating the Tianchi Lake monster.

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