15-Foot ‘Loch Ness Monster’ Spotted In Alaska’s Chena River Sparks Excitement On Facebook — But Biologist Suggests It May Have Been A Rope With Ice Attached [Video]
A video that appears to show a mysterious 15-foot monster swimming in the icy waters of the Chena River in Fairbanks, Alaska, has gone viral online, with many baffled viewers debating its nature, and a few wondering aloud whether Scotland’s Loch Ness monster has finally relocated to Alaska.
The video, showing what appears to be a large mysterious creature swimming in the Chena River in Fairbanks, Alaska, was captured on October 18, 2016, by Craig McCaa, who works with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska, according to Alaska Dispatch News.
McCaa, BLM Fairbanks District Office Public Affairs Specialist, said he was standing on the University Avenue bridge that crosses the river snapping photos as part of efforts to capture the changing seasonal landscape of the area after ice began forming, when he noticed a “strange thing” that looked like a massive creature swimming in the middle of the river against the current, according to the Daily Mail.
He watched the object moving in a swaying or swimming motion in the cold, murky water for several seconds, straining to identify it visually. But the object, estimated to be about 15-foot-long, never surfaced. It remained half-submerged in the water throughout the time he watched it.
“It never fully revealed itself,” McCaa told the Alaska Dispatch News (ADN).
Puzzled, he began filming it.
He later uploaded the video to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Facebook page on Tuesday, where it went viral, receiving tens of thousands of views.
He later told ADN that he increased the speed of the video slightly but did not enhance the movement of the mysterious object in the water. But he appeared to deliberately accentuate the eerie quality of the mystery of the unidentified object in the water by adding a spooky soundtrack.
What is that "ice monster" in Alaska's Chena River? pic.twitter.com/XRM3abqunq
— WREG News Channel 3 (@3onyourside) October 30, 2016
“It’s strange thing. I don’t know what I would have done if I had come by in a canoe or something,” he said. “But looking from it above on the University Avenue bridge I didn’t feel too threatened.”
Questions about the nature of the mysterious object that looked like a massive creature swimming in the water sparked a lively debate on Facebook. Social media users vied to propose reasonable as well as outlandish theories to explain the mysterious object.
McCaa said that at first, he thought the object was a rope that had become covered with ice.
“I initially thought, and several people thought, it could be some rope that snagged on the bottom of the river with chunks of ice,” he told ADN. “Other people have mentioned everything from sea monster to giant sturgeon.”
While many viewers agreed with McCaa, saying it was only a rope or some other inanimate material, such as a branch or a clump of weeds covered with ice, several Facebook viewers thought it looked like a massive sea monster swimming against the river current. Others suggested it could be an ordinary sea animal, such as an eel or a sturgeon.
Viewers who argued that it was a living creature pointed out that an inanimate object, such as a rope, would simply have moved along with the current rather than against it.
— InstallWorld (@Install_World) October 30, 2016
But one viewer suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that Loch Ness monster or one of its offspring may have relocated to Alaska from Scotland.
Another joked that “Nessie” arrived in Alaska just in time for Halloween.
But ADN later reported that an Alaska Department of Fish and Game Tanana River Management Biologist Klaus Wuttig, suggested that the “creepy thing” was most likely a rope stuck to a bridge pier.
He argued that the rope appeared to be covered with what he called frazil ice, a form of soft, amorphous ice that forms in moving water from ice crystals under cold weather conditions. The ice caused the rope to float to the surface, he added.
He said that despite looking as if it was swimming upstream, the object was actually stationary in the water.
“It looks like it is swimming but it’s actually stationary and just wading in the current,” Wuttig told ADN after watching the video.
“It looks like like it’s swimming upstream,” he said. “But it’s not organic.”
The biologist denied suggestions that it could be a giant sturgeon, noting that giant sturgeons have never been seen in the river.
[Featured Image by Fer Gregory/Shutterstock]