Looming from the deep, its back a cluster of snake-like humps -- is it England's answer to the Loch Ness Monster?
The terrifying "beast," thought to be up to 50 feet long, was captured on camera by two pals out kayaking on Lake Windermere in northern England. Shocked Tom Pickles and Sarah Harrington told how the mystery creature swept through the still waters at ten miles per hour -- creating a giant wake.
They claimed they watched it for 20 seconds before it vanished into the mist, leaving them to scramble 360 yards to the safety of the bank.
Astonishingly, theirs is the eighth sighting reported in the Lake District in just five years.
Last night experts hailed the snap (see the picture at The Sun) as the best proof yet that "something" lives in Windermere, which -- at 10.5 miles long and 220 ft deep -- is England's biggest natural lake. And referring to Scotland's own legendary monster of the deep, one lake ecologist told The Sun, "if this thing is as big as they say it was, we're in Loch Ness Monster territory."
Pickles, 24, snapped the creature on his mobile phone while on a team-building exercise with 23-year-old colleague Harrington in Cumbria, a region of northern England
They were near the Lake's Belle Isle when they saw the "monster" 160 ft to the south.
"At first I thought it was a dog, then I saw it was much bigger and moving really fast," Pickles said. "Each hump was moving in a rippling motion. I could tell it was far bigger underwater from the huge shadow around it. Its skin was dark black or browny and like a seal's -- but its shape was not like any animal I've ever seen.
"It looked about the length of three cars. It was petrifying."
"It was like an enormous snake," Harrington said. "It freaked us out. All I could think about was that I had to get off the lake."