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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about “Champ.” Lake Champlain may have its own mysterious resident -- a brontosaurus lookalike called Champ.


CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood

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CURWOOD: On July fourth, the whole United States celebrates Independence Day. On August fifth, one tiny corner of the country celebrates Champ Day. There are no fireworks, but there are hotdogs, fried dough, and balloons, as residents of Port Henry, New York, trade stories of a monster they say inhabits the waters of Lake Champlain. Champ is the affectionate name for a creature, or creatures, that live between legend and rumor in the large lake that lies between New York and Vermont. Its full name is Champtanystropheus. And according to those who claim they've seen it, Champ is a lizard up to 20 feet long.

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CURWOOD: Picture a brontosaurus with fins and you'll start to get the idea. Samuel de Champlain himself said he saw it back in 1609. And before that, Indian lore spoke of monsters in the cloudy waters of Lake Champlain. Of course, the legend of Champ echoes that of its more famous Scottish cousin, the Loch Ness Monster. Like Nessie, Champ haunts a deep glacial lake. Also like Nessie, there's yet to be scientific proof of Champ's existence. But then, who needs proof when the mystery of the legend is so much fun? And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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