Chinese Lake Monster Videos: Fake or Real?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 24th, 2007

Reports of “monsters” in Lake Kansai have issued from China since at least the 1980s. In recent weeks, via news reports rebroadcast on YouTube, we are beginning to see various videos that are apparently of different animate objects. Are any of these motion pictures of animals? Or merely mistakes and known animals posing as cryptids?

Well, you don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way that thar distance Lake Monsters, but do we even need a cryptozoologist for this one?

Lake Kanasi Monster

Legendary lake ‘monster’ is captured on camera

China’s Loch Ness monster has been sighted. Or so Chinese state-run television says. Not just one, but more than a dozen huge creatures can be seen churning across Lake Kanasi in remote western China, leaving a foamy wake more like an enormous motorboat than a big fish.

A rare video filmed by a tourist at the lake in the Heavenly Mountains of the wild Xinjiang region, has reignited debate over the existence of an underwater creature that can compete with the Loch Ness monster in both mass and mystery.

The grainy film shows about 15 objects moving at high speed just beneath the surface of the lake and whipping the smooth blue water into a bubbling white frenzy. Chinese Central Television broadcast the video on its news channel, describing the footage shot by a passing tourist on July 5 as the clearest ever seen of a legendary beast that has been rumoured for centuries to live in the depths of Lake Kanasi.

Local myth among the Chinese Mongolians living in the scenic mountains near the Russian and Mongolian borders has it that the animals have been known to drag sheep, cows and even horses from the shore and into the deep to devour them.

Yuan Guoying, of the Xinjiang Institute of Environmental Protection, told The Times that the video provided important proof in his more than two decades of research at the lake. “Only fish could make waves in this formation. I think the video is real.”

The television commentator described the sighting as the first since June 7, 2005 when two black creatures measuring more than 10 metres in length appeared on the surface swimming at speed from the shore to the centre of the lake. The newsreader described the latest appearance: “They sometimes gathered in a flock, sometimes spread about or moved shoulder to shoulder. The scene is grand and they looked like a fleet.”

State television made no attempt to identify the animals, saying only: ‘This time a large number of unidentified creatures emerged, bringing more mystery to Lake Kanasi.”

Professor Yuan has been on their trail since 1980 and has been gripped by the mystery since his first sighting in 1985 when he says he saw as many as 50 of what he called fish. “They looked like reddish-brown tadpoles because I could only see their heads on the surface. They opened their mouths to breathe and their length was about 10 to 15 metres.”

He spotted the animals again on May 28, 2004 when he was standing looking down at the lake from a nearby hill. “I thought there was a huge piece of black plastic in the lake and that someone had been polluting it. But then I released that it must be the back of a giant fish. I was shocked because they were just too big. Looking at them was like looking at submarines.”

When Mr Yuan got back to his office he tried to calculate the size of the animals by setting their proportions against those of the surrounding landmarks such as trees or the shape of the shoreline. “I didn’t dare say they were bigger than 20 metres because no one would believe me.”

Chinese researchers in the 1980s said the ‘monster’ was likely to be a huge member of the salmon family – one of eight species of fish living in the lake. Mr Yuan gave their name as Hucho Taimen, a freshwater salmon tht thrives in deep frigid waters. He says the biggest Hucho Taimen salmon ever captured was 2.1 metres long and was found in Russia.

The animals that roam Lake Kanasi live in an area about 24 kilometres by two kilometers and with an average depth of 122 metres and as deep as 188 metres at one point.

Mr Yuan believes that a lot more research is needed although China lacks the scientific equipment to make further studies. And it would be impossible to catch a fish of this size. “This fish will have tremendous strength.”

Other Chinese scientists have cast doubt on his findings, but Mr Yuan is adamant. “People will just say ‘You’ve got to be kidding’. But I saw them with my own eyes. I am a scientist. I have no choice but to believe what I saw.”Jane Macartney
Times Online

There you have it. The video of whatever they were.

Are you still waiting on the nice graphics to go with the above text of this fishy story or an interpretation of the videos? The following graphic is not it.

Chinese LM

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

18 Responses to “Chinese Lake Monster Videos: Fake or Real?”

  1. Richard888 responds:

    The creatures look real but they remind me of river dolphins. With all the foam they leave they are quite obvious. Even if they aren’t fresh water dolphins couldn’t they be captured just as easily as river dolphins?

  2. Pvolitans responds:

    Judging by the extent of the wake left behind, the videos make me wonder if they’re for real. Animals dedicated to a fully aquatic life rarely leave such a large wake as this implies that the method of locomotion is energetically inefficient.

  3. mrdark responds:

    The bottom video and the first half of the top video are useless. With the camera that far away, for all we know they were guys on jet skis practicing acrobating synchronized maneuvers for the Chinese installment of the Cypress Gardens Ski Show.

    The second half of the first one is much more interesting, primarily because of the apparent color of what was rising out of the water. I’d say a school of dolphins, rhythmically rising out of the water in succession, thus giving the appearance of a longer creature undulating below the surface.

    But then, I’ve never seen a very green dolphin.

  4. darkshines responds:


    Seriously though, it looks like a group of dolphins or large fish. If the creature is so out going enough to be “captured on film” then dredge the lake and bring it up to the surface.

  5. giantchaser responds:

    Well, I’d say the latter video was crud. But the first video showed me something like a green fish, but with large fins standing up, the elasomosoarus things did not have a fins on the top of its back. The large wake was in credible. This might be it. But maybe not.

    I have found an article saying theres a 10m fish in the lake.

  6. mjmurphy responds:

    The origonal story I read on this leaned towards the “taimen salmon” explanation. Taimen salmon are the worlds largest species, and have been recorded up to about 250 lbs. Legend has it they reach four tonnes in the lake.

    To me the vieo looks like a bunch of big (but not gigantic) fish.

  7. sasquatch responds:

    Doesn’t look like a salmon or dolphin to me. I’ve seen a herd of dolphins swimming off the coast of Spain and they looked nothing like this. Salmon? Well they move a lot faster and besides this thing (it doesn’t look like more than one to me in the close up video) looks way bigger than 250 lbs. And Green… Never seen a light green otter. I await the enhancements. And better film/video.

  8. showme responds:

    This is the most exciting cryptid video I’ve seen in a long time. I agree, this does not look like “normal” locomotion for an aquatic animal, but it sounds like it happened for a very short time, as if the animals were spooked by something, and sent into a panic. Can’t wait to hear from more about this one.

    A cryptid’s a cryptid, even if it’s “only” a new species
    of big fish.

  9. shumway10973 responds:

    I want broadband soooooo bad! Ok, first things first. If there was any place on this planet that I wouldn’t doubt for a second that dinos still existed, China is near the top of my list. I say that because the Chinese people actually did record the existence of dinos during man’s time on the planet. The man (yes, one man) that found the chinese valley where they first started wrote how he had to chase out large reptiles from the swamps. Then there are royal records and paintings of the emperor having his royal stage being pulled by medium to small dinos. So, yes, these could be dinos. Now, with that said…what are we looking at? I couldn’t get all of them in, but the top one got as far as when “it/they” started, what seemed to me to be, flopping in and out of the water. Quite similar to what some aquatic animals do when happy or during feeding. If dolphins, those are some of the largest dolphins I have ever seen.

  10. Maohk Kiaayo responds:

    …a group of dolphins should be described as a pod and a group of fish should be described as a school. … The man did describe the creatures surfacing to breath or gulping air. I dont know about how it goes around the world but I have seen various types of carp do this. Especially at the chinese place downtown HA! I have also seen catfish “gulp air”. And in Europe there is a catfish that grows to around 9ft or 2.7 meters maybe longer Im not sure and I can not remember its name. I just dont see how these creatures could not be captured if they are carnivorous, we are humans for gods sake if we can come up with the quantum theory I think we can capture an animal that only has three basic activities its entire life (Eat, Breath, Breed). Are they that skiddish? Or perhaps they are just that clever. Also could a gathering like this be some sort of mating ritual?

  11. michaelm responds:

    It’s obviously a couple of Yeren out for a nice dip…

  12. sasquatch responds:

    A pride of Yeren, or is that a flock?

  13. Cryptonut responds:

    Nothing but Otters….swimming in a line.

  14. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    Interesting footage. I don’t know enough about dolphins to know whether the people saying ‘dolphin’ can be correct. But IMO this is some of the better footage in awhile of possible cryptids. I just wish that the greenish creature in the 1st video was clearer.

  15. skeptik responds:

    The fastest group of otters I have ever seen!

    Seriously though, the closeup was great. Is this the same place where the supposed “monster giant tortoise” was taped?

  16. tapper responds:

    Too much foam to be an as-of-yet unidentified crytpid. It simply doesn’t make any sense. And how convenient that it’s occurring in a lake that borders a communist and dictatorship country. Similar to Noah’s Ark allegedly on a mountain in Iran, where valid scientists are not permitted to go, I guess we’ll never know.

  17. I.C.Beast responds:

    I agree that they are dolphins. If you watch any film or tv documentary on dolphins you will see that when they go at high speed they leave frothy trails behind them. Usually they swim faster if they sense food is around, Lake Kansai and the area around it is known as “The Kitchen of Japan” partly because it is where soy sauce and most of Japanese cuisine originated, but mostly as its waters contain over 50 different types of fish, some of which are among dolphins favourite foods. If this footage is of Lake Kansai in Japan, I believe that these cryptids are in fact dolphins.

    I have tried to give my evidence so that it makes sense please excuse the writing… it was just a quickie in paint.

    For the first picture it was taken from the first video on this page, with 52 seconds left, it couldn’t possibly be one creature as there are individual lines: Picture 1.

    The second picture was also taken from the first video. Again a very crappy picture using paint, to show the points of a dolphin. 🙂 This was taken with about 11 seconds left: Picture 2.

    Hope I helped 😛

  18. aberfitch892 responds:

    They can’t be dolphins unless if they are the baji river dolphins!! and those are (functionally) extinct as of 2004. Lake Kanas not kanasi or kansai is a landlocked lake in northern china near russia and mongolia.(altai mountain range) They are a species of fish that can get up to 9ft in the lake but those are not often seen. and i never heard of a green otter!!!!

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