UK Kayakers Claim They Spotted Loch Ness-Like Sea Creature

Couple say they spotted three or four mysterious humps emerge from a lake.

February 19, 2011, 4:04 PM

Feb. 19, 2011— -- Bownessie, the mythical younger and less famous sea monster of Britain's Lake Windermere, who lives in the shadow of her northern neighbor, the fabled Loch Ness monster, may have been spotted today.

Two 20-something Brits told the U.K.'s Daily Mail that they spotted three or four mysterious humps emerge from the water while they were kayaking on Lake Windermere in Bowness-on-Windermere, near the western coast of northern England.

Tom Pickles, 24, and Sarah Harrington, 23, said they stared at the shape, terrified as it moved through the water at about 10 miles per hour.

"I thought it was a dog," Pickles said. "Then I realized it was much bigger and moving really quickly. Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast. I could tell it was much bigger underneath from the huge shadow around it."

"Its skin was like a seal's, but its shape was abnormal -- it's not like any animal I've ever seen before. We saw it for about 20 seconds. It was petrifying. We paddled back to the shore straight away," Harrington said.

The couple managed to snap a shot of the baffling figure with a camera phone before it disappeared into the water.

Experts who have examined the fuzzy photograph have said that the image is authentic, but that the file size is too small to tell if it was altered.

And of course there are the skeptics who say the monster, whether in Loch Ness or Windermere, is just a myth."I have a whole lot of doubt that it could be a Loch Ness monster. I don't think a monster can exist biologically," said Ian Winfield, a scientist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology at the Lancaster, England, Environment Centre.

"It's a bit of fun, it adds a bit of spice to life," he said. "It would be wonderful if it was true. I mean if we had some kind of creature alive in the British Isles it would be fantastic but I really don't think it can be so."

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