Social media in China has been abuzz of late, ever since a number of grainy videos were released online that purportedly show a ‘river monster’ cruising the surface of the Yangtze River.
According to a Global Times story from September 15, the footage was reportedly captured from a ferry dock in the prefecture-level city of Yichang, in Hubei province. However, multiple reports the following day confirmed the video was taken near the Chizhou Yangtze River Ferry Dock in Anhui province.
In the videos, which are shot from different angles, a long, black thing can be seen ‘slithering’ across the surface of the water. The low-quality footage (which was clearly not shot with a Huawei phone) has led some to speculate that the world’s third-longest river might be home to China’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster.
Watch below to see the ‘river monster’ in action (VPN off):
Not everyone is buying into the monster story, though. Professor Wang Chunfang from Wuhan’s Huazhong Agricultural University has suggested the creature in the footage may simply be a large water snake, although we’re most inclined to believe snake and reptile expert Ding Li, who believes the ‘monster’ is likely an object snagged to the bottom of the river.
Video captured from another angle seems to confirm Ding’s belief, as the ‘water snake’ appears to be stationary, with its slithering motion caused by the river current. A netizen who claimed to be fishing near the location of the monster sighting confirmed this theory, writing: “It’s not a monster, just a large piece of plastic,” according to Global Times.
Beijing News has also reported that a staff member at the Chizhou Yangtze Ferry Dock verified that the ‘snake monster’ was indeed a black tarp, with a photo of the material washed up along the rocky shore of the river.
Image via @新京报/Weibo
While this C-File (our term for an X-File in China) appears to be closed, there are other alleged lake monsters in China that remain a mystery.
Tianchi Lake, in China’s northeastern Jilin province is thought by some to be home to China’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster. Image via Pixabay
Some people believe that Tianchi Lake, in China’s northeastern Jilin province, is home to a lake beast (or beasts). First sighted in 1903, descriptions of the creature vary greatly, but most witnesses describe seeing a large aquatic animal with a head that resembles a seal. In 2007, a Chinese TV reporter claimed to have witnessed six creatures playing on the lake surface; he described them as having fins or wings that were “longer than their bodies.”
In China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Lake Kanas is also believed by some to be home to mysterious aquatic leviathans; however, we believe the Kanas monsters are actually just giant salmon.
READ MORE: Meet 5 of China's Strangest Cryptids
[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]