Is this China's 'Loch Ness monster'? Footage goes viral

Grainy footage of something moving in China’s Yangtze River has been tagged as evidence of that nation's “Loch Ness Monster,” sending ripples through Chinese social media.

The BBC reports that the footage surfaced on China’s Sina Weibo social media site last week, showing what appears to be a long creature slithering along at Yichang, near the Three Gorges Dam.

But where some see proof of something fantastical patrolling the river, others were searching for more rational explanations. One expert described the animal as a “water snake,” and it has also been suggested that the mysterious creature is a Chinese giant salamander. Classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List, the salamander can grow larger than 5.9 feet in length.

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The explanation for the “sighting” may be even more mundane than those. Citing Chinese news website The Paper, Forbes reports that the “monster” may have been a long piece of black material caught in rocks.

Pear Video showed footage of workers removing what looked like a large piece of black rubber.

The “Loch Ness monster” continues to be a source of fascination. A newly surfaced video in Scotland, home of the enigmatic beastie, supports the theory that the fabled monster may be a giant eel. The Ness Fishery Board recently tweeted a video of a large eel-shaped object swimming in the River Ness.

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The Yangtze River flood peak passes Three Gorges Reservoir Area on July 15, 2018, in Yichang, Hubei Province of China. - file photo.

The Yangtze River flood peak passes Three Gorges Reservoir Area on July 15, 2018, in Yichang, Hubei Province of China. - file photo. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images)

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As for eels, they are themselves offering fascinating research opportunities. Scientists recently discovered a species of electric eel lurking in the waters of the Amazon that can generate a greater electrical discharge than any other known animal

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers