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Champ, Sea Serpent of Lake Champlain

Listed under Monster Hunting in New England, United States.

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There have been more than three hundred sightings of Champ, the Lake Champlain mystery creature, thought of by some to be a relic from the age of the dinosaurs. Champ is collectively described as being a long necked ’water serpent’ with one or more humps, a dark reptilian sheen and white markings around it’s mouth.

Sightings of Champ have been reported in European writings since the early 1600’s, but it has also appeared in the stories of the regions indigenous inhabitants for hundreds of years and has been most recently spotted in 1977 when a heavily disputed photograph, now considered to be undoctored, was taken of it, which re-ignited public interest and speculation.

There are obvious links between Champ and the Loch Ness Monster, who Champs earliest sightings pre-date, especially seeing as both creatures live in environments formed around the same period in the earths development and both are large, deep freshwater lakes with healthy populations of fish, the kind which could support much larger predators.

The prevalent thoughts of the moment are that Champ, if it exists, is a prehistoric marine reptile left over from the Cretaceous period. However there are several problems with this theory: plesiosaurs who most resemble the pervasive descriptions of Champ lived in the oceans not in fresh water surroundings and the fact that the animal has been sighted repeatedly over a five hundred to six hundred year period implies that there must be a community of them existing in order for them to have continuously produced healthy offspring, or of course that their lifespan must be significantly longer than any animal currently acknowledged by zoologists.

But Lake Champlain is certainly large enough to support enough of these reptiles, Dennis Hall of Champ Quest estimates between six and fifteen Champs are living in the lake, he has personally made nineteen sightings and has also taken a small amount of video footage. Dennis differs in his opinion of Champs genesis, believing it’s a an ancient kind of giant shell-less snapping turtle. Dennis believes the case for Champs existence has already been proved by his own and others photographic proof, but he has no desire to make the majority of his proof public as the main role of Champ Quest is to protect the creatures and the publicity a confirmed sighting would cause would probably do Champ more harm than good.

Currently much of the search for answers is being conducted via sonar and the current hope seems not to be to capture Champ but to discover a skeleton that proves it existed at some point and possibly still does. This doesn’t put off the thousands of hopeful Champ spotters who visit Lake Champlain annually.

Written by  jasceb.

Other expert and press reviews

“America's Loch Ness Monster”

Often called America’s Loch Ness Monster, the lake monster known as Champ (“Champ” being the generic term for a possible breeding population) resides in the deep cold water lake known as Lake Champlain, which straddles the New York-Vermont border and ex… Read more...

Written by  Brian Gaugler.

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