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Lake Tahoe shares its shores with both California and Nevada; the lake is 22 miles long, 12 miles in diameter and an amazing 1,645 feet deep. Lake Tahoe is one of several area lakes that make up the remains of a vast inland sea called Lake Lahontan which at one point covered 8,500 square miles. Home to record sized trout, Lake Tahoe also appears to be the home a giant aquatic animal name Tessie by the locals. Tessie is described by eye witnesses as being in excess of 60 feet long, with an undulating serpentine body, dark skin and reptilian features. Descriptions of the creature remain fairly consistence from one sighting to the next; however some accounts have likened Tessie a fish, claiming the beast to resemble a giant sturgeon.

The legend of Tessie dates back to the 1800’s when member of the Washoe and Paiute Indian tribes began to tell white settlers tales of a monster dwelling in the depths of the lake. Over the passing years many sightings of Tessie have been reported, so many in fact that in the mid 1970’s renowned french oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, supposedly lead an expedition to explore the depths of Lake Tahoe. While submerged in the lake Cousteau reportedly had an encounter with something so terrifying that he refused to reveal any information to the public on what he had seen. Sources close to Cousteau quoted him as saying “The world is not ready for what is down there!” To make matters worse, Cousteau never revealed any of his data or film footage regarding what may be the most important and incredible freshwater encounter by a known expert in the field of Marine Biology.

What did the legendary Jacques Cousteau encounter at the bottom of Lake Tahoe that would lead him to such a reaction? Unfortunately Jacques Cousteau has since passed away, taking with him all evidence of what he saw in Lake Tahoe. Tessie on the other hand is still alive and well, sightings of the creature still continue to be reported to this day.

The Evidence
Although no physical evidence of Tessie exists, 100’s of eye witness reports and a supposed amateur video tape, which has yet to be made public, insist that something very real, and very large, lurks in the depths of Lake Tahoe.

The Sightings
• Beth Douglas, of Sacramento, and her friend Ron Talmage, of Rocklin, reported seeing something “solid” with three to five humps along its back swimming through the waters of Lake Tahoe one Friday afternoon.

• In 1982 Gene St. Denis and a friend were looking out across Lake Tahoe near Cave Rock, they reportedly saw a “blotchy gray creature about 10 to 15 feet in length.” On another occasion, St. Denis reported that while swimming over a large hole in the lake bottom, he felt what he described as a large explosion underneath them, followed by what appeared to be a 16 foot long creature swimming away. “We waited for the silt to settle,” said St. Denis, “and found large fin prints where the creature had been.”

The Stats – (Where applicable)

• Classification: Unknown – Possible Marine Reptile
• Size: 10 feet to excess of 60 feet in length
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown, most likely fish
• Location: Lake Tahoe - USA
• Movement: Swimming
• Environment: Lake