|The Mansi Photograph of Champ|
Champ is just one of the creatures. He (or she?) calls Lake Champlain home. This 100 mile long lake stretches between the United States and Canada, and creates a border between the states of Vermont and New York.
The very first published report of a creature in the lake came in 1819, when a "Captain Crum" claimed to see a 187ft long monster with the head of a seahorse. If there ever was a creature fitting this description, it stayed hidden for nearly 50 years. Then, around 1873, new reports started to pop up, and they've been rolling in ever since.
These reports vary in their descriptions, with Champ being anywhere from 10 to the aforementioned 187ft long. Its head shape is also all over the place. Seahorse? Alligator? Antlers? The colors are at least somewhat consistent, with most reports giving it a dark grey-green-brown color.
The most famous Champ sighting came in 1977, when a photograph was taken by Sandra Mansi. Mansi, her fiance, and her two children were stopped at an overlook when they saw something breach the surface of the water. The group watched the creature before it submerged, and Sandra was able to get a photograph. Of course, skeptics think that the image is just of a log risen to the surface during the decaying process.
Like Nessie, there are many theories out there on what Champ could be. Plesiosaurs, Eels, Seals, and Sea Snakes are all in the running. While we may never know the truth, the legend has been lucrative for the surrounding area. Vermont even has a minor league baseball team called the Lake Monsters!