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Mystery behind China’s ‘Loch Ness monster’ has finally been revealed… or has it? (VIDEOS)

Mystery behind China’s ‘Loch Ness monster’ has finally been revealed… or has it? (VIDEOS)
China has been rapt by wild rumors of a mysterious creature lurking in the waters near the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei province. Grainy footage posted online has fuelled numerous conspiracy theories, but is the Chinese Nessie real?

Dubbed the “Three Gorges Water Monster,” the beast (or whatever it is) has dominated online discourse in China since the footage first appeared last Friday. One Weibo thread containing video of the ‘beast’ has been viewed more than 32 million times.

Scientists were suspiciously quick to dismiss the possibility of a new species or mutation, putting a damper on some of the most popular theories; they instead suggested it was likely to be a giant water snake. 

“Disappointed. This is a cruel blow to human imagination and the desire to explore,” wrote one frustrated Weibo user.

However, questions persisted, with others claiming it was a Chinese giant salamander, which can grow to 5.9 feet in length. Many also decried the lack of decent video quality to make a proper, educated guess as to the cryptid’s true identity.

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“Monsters always appear only when there are few pixels,” a skeptical commenter wrote on the social networking site. 

As off-the-wall theories continued to flourish, and investigations were launched, several Chinese outlets threw a spanner in the rumor mill. 

China’s ‘The Paper,’ reported that the mysterious long, black beast was, in fact, a 20-meter-long industrial airbag spotted floating along the Yangtze river. 

According to the report and subsequent video footage, workers at a nearby pier, downstream of the sighting locations, fished out a long piece of industrial tubing they believe was the culprit behind the viral craze. 

Meanwhile, China’s CCTV news outlet reports that the object was actually a mesh sunshade from the nearby ferry terminal where the video was shot. The network claims that an employee at the terminal shared the video as a joke but it quickly spread like wildfire across Weibo and other Chinese social networking sites. 

Other angles reportedly show the ‘creature’ flowing with the current in shallow water, not against it or under its own power in deeper waters. 

This isn’t the first time rumors of a mysterious aquatic beast have caught hold in China. There has long been talk of a “Lake Monster” in Kanas Lake in north western Xinjiang, however, experts believe that the beast is actually just a taimen, a kind of salmon that can grow to 180cm. 

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In yet another viral video that swept across Chinese social media, in August 2017, footage emerged of an unusual creature in the murky waters of Luoping County in Southwest Yunnan province. Officials were quick to dismiss this “monster” as either an alligator or another piece of floating detritus. 

It appears that China will have to wait for some time before it can claim its own ‘Nessie.’

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