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Mysteries of the deep

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The first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster might have come as early as the year 565. The legendary Scottish beast is said to have emerged from the deep and eaten somebody, before being ordered back below the water line by Saint Colomba.

But the first glimpse of Nessie’s Yangtze River sibling was a lot more recent – just last week, in fact. Video footage of a mysterious creature was posted to Pear Video – a platform backed by Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital – and soon went viral, sparking a host of theories about what the newly named ‘Three Gorges Monster’ really was.

Netizens speculated it could be a giant sturgeon that had ballooned in size because of a polluted diet. A professor from Huazhong Agricultural University postulated it was more likely to be a water snake, while other scientists seemed to think it could be a giant eel.

An image then published by ThePaper.cn showed the object in question, washed up on some rocks. And rather disappointingly, the new consensus determined that it was a large piece of black cloth that most likely fell off a ship. That meant that unlike her Scottish equivalent, the lifespan of China’s Nessie was measured in days rather than centuries.


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