Tahoe Tessie

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In Lake Tahoe folklore, Tahoe Tessie is a creature which resides in North America's largest alpine lake, Lake Tahoe, located in Nevada and California. Tales of the lake-dwelling creature can be traced to stories told by members of the Washoe and Paiute tribes in the mid-19th century, stating that the creature resides in an underwater tunnel beneath Cave Rock, and sightings have continued into modern day.

Description[edit]

Sightings describe Tessie as being between 10 and 80 feet long, having a large, serpentine body "as wide across as a barrel," and coloration ranging from jet black to turquoise. Its skin is usually described as smooth, despite having reptilian features.

Sightings[edit]

In the 1950s, two off-duty police officers out on the lake reported seeing a large, black hump rise from the water, and keep speed with the boat, going over 60 mph (97 km/h).

According to an anonymous witness on Weird California.com, "Myself, along with 3 others watched a large serpent-like creature feeding/hunting in a school of large trout. It was in the middle of winter of 1979 off the dock at Homewood. It was about as big around as a telephone pole and maybe 30'-60' in length from what we could see of it. It didn't swim like a snake (side to side). It was diving up and splashing down with its head/neck into the school of fish, which were leaping out of the water ahead of it. We were speechless for several minutes afterwards."

In the 1980s, two fishermen reported seeing a 15-foot-long (4.6 m) serpent pass underneath the surface of the water, near Cave Rock.

Several weeks after, two divers reported finding an underwater cave, and a creature shot out, leaving the silt stirred. Where the creature had been, there were two large fin-prints.

Sometime in the late 1990s, a kayaking instructor reported seeing a glimpse of what looked like a green two-person kayak flip over and immediately sink. When he approached the area in a speedboat, there were no traces of the kayak, and his students did not report flipping over at any time.

In 2004, an off-duty bartender on the Tahoe Queen took a picture of a black hump in the water, which he claims is the top of the creature's head.

In 2006 a family vacationing near Tahoe sighted a large, black, scaly looking creature similar in appearance to a sturgeon with an upturned white nose. However, the creature moved up-and-down like a mammal, instead of side-to-side like a reptile.

In the media[edit]

Tahoe Tessie is a popular logo for many Tahoe-based companies, with a cartoon version being in many children's picture books, and a popular character featured in local newspapers. There even used to be a local museum and hotline, but both recently closed.

Purported sightings continue in modern times.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sheffield, Keith (2005-04-29). "Dark shapes in the lake: Tahoe Tessie legend remains alive for visitors". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2019-08-25.