Footage taken at the world’s third-largest river clearly shows an indistinct dark shape in the water, and has sent Chinese social media into a state of excitement.
Could it be a long lost relative of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster? That is what people are asking, and the answer, for now, is whatever they want it to be.
The grainy footage of the aquatic abnormality shows a long snakey object on the surface of the fast-moving water in western Hubei province.
A second piece of equally disappointing footage shows a similar scene, though from a different angle. This time, there is somewhat more movement from what could be the tail of the enormous thing.
Some have suggested it is a large snake swimming through the water. Professor Wang Chunfang from the Huazhong Agricultural University told Pear Video – which creates short news clips for Chinese audiences – it was likely to be a “water snake”.
The Yangtze, almost 4,000 miles in length, is also home to the Chinese giant salamander, which can grow to almost two metres in length. The species is critically endangered, with pollution, fishing and farming blamed for collapsing numbers of the world’s biggest amphibian.
One strong hypothesis gaining ground is that the supposed monster could be a piece of plastic sheeting wafting in the current.
Whatever the languid beast is or isn’t, what is certain is that it has won itself internet fame, with the clips receiving millions of views, while theories as to its identity continue to proliferate on Chinese social network Sina Weibo.
But at this stage there is no conclusive evidence to indicate it is not Nessie 2.
The original Loch Ness Monster from Loch Ness in Scotland has also had doubt over its authenticity cast upon it by scientists in recent weeks.
A major study of DNA in the water revealed nothing out of the ordinary except for an abundance of evidence of eels living in the freshwater loch. This has led scientists to suggest the legendary creature could be a giant eel.
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