By Anna Hider
Going to Scotland to look for the Loch Ness monster sounds like a lot of fun (at least, it does to me!), but it’s not exactly convenient; you have to fly or stowaway on a boat to get across the Atlantic. However, there’s another, closer-to-home answer. Let me introduce the Lake Champlain monster, Champy!
Champ, or Champy as he’s affectionately known, lives in Lake Champlain (hence the name), which is located near Canada. He’s been living there for awhile, since records of him go back to native Indian legends (they called him “Tatoskok” though). The lake’s namesake, Samuel de Champlain, allegedly spied Champy as did a few others. In 1883, we get our first solid evidence of a sighting- an account from Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney. This led to many others coming forward, saying that they’d seen something in the lake as well. Keep in mind, this is all well before people started suspecting Nessie’s existence in Scotland.
Nessie and Champy are thought to be similar, though. Both live in deep lakes formed from glaciers that have plenty of fish to feed a plesiosaur. And, much like the Surgeon photo that allegedly captured photographic evidence of the Loch Ness monster, there’s a well-known picture of Champ, taken by Sandra Mansi.
Whether or not Champy is real, there’s no denying it’s a big deal to the people living on Lake Champlain- he’s the mascot of the Vermont minor league baseball team (the Vermont Lake Monsters) and there’s statues and celebrations in his honor. But don’t take my word for it- see if you can spot this mysterious Lake Champlain monster for yourself!