A former marine ecologist is aiming to use underwater cameras to spot an elusive lake beast in Alaska.
Nestled at the north end of the Alaska Peninsula, Lake Iliamna is 77 miles long and as much as 22 miles wide, making it one of the largest lakes in the United States.
Like many large lakes, Iliamna is also home to its very own monster legend – a mysterious aquatic denizen of the deep that has been at the center of local folklore in the region for years.
Many fisherman swear by the creature’s existence and even claim to have encountered it first-hand.
So great is the mystery that in 1980 the Anchorage Daily News offered a $100,000 reward for tangible evidence or scientific verification of a previously undiscovered species in the lake.
Now in a renewed bid to find out what lurks in Iliamna’s depths, former marine ecologist Bruce Wright will be visiting the region this summer armed with a special underwater camera.
He will also take samples of the water so that it can be DNA tested.
His personal theory is that the sightings can be attributed to the presence of large sleeper sharks in the lake – a species that can grow to enormous sizes and live for hundreds of years.
“If we see a new species, that would be pretty fascinating,” he said. “And if I find a sleeper shark, that’s worth the effort too.”
“There will be plenty of questions about why they’re there and how do they make a living.”