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Exploration for "lake monsters" to launch in NW China
Updated: 2005-07-29 18:44

Chinese researchers will launch another investigation in August to explore the mystery of the "lake monsters" of Kanasi in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

An exploration team comprised of ecological experts and volunteers will observe the lake from August 12, said Yuan Guoying, president of Xinjiang Ecological Association, which organized the study, on Friday.

The exploration is organized in coordination with the annual meeting of the China Association of Science and Technology to be held in Urumqi, regional capital of Xinjiang in late August, said Yuan.

Kanasi, the country's the deepest alpine lake, is located at the center of the Kanasi nature reserve, the only Chinese reserve located at the bordering region of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia.

For hundreds of years there have been rumors that mysterious creatures that devour livestock live in the lake. Horses, cattle and sheep are said to go missing near the lake every year.

In 1985, teachers and students from the Xinjiang University Department of Biology launched the first search for the creatures and discovered that dozens of huge red fish, each 10 to 15 meters long and weighing more than four tons, lived in the lake.

Scientists concluded after a two-year-long investigation in 1989 that the fish, a species of Taimen -- a mighty salmon that grows to monstrous proportions -- were the "monsters."

In recent years, the lake monster legend has helped the Kanasi area attract increasing numbers of visitors and explorers, which has also aroused concern over the ecological situation around the lake.

"We also want the public to pay more attention to the area's ecological problems through the investigation," said Yuan.

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