(CBS NEWS) — A “two-headed lake trout” may sound like a mythical marine animal, but apparently the creature is real, and can be found in New York. A woman fishing on Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont border reeled in a trout with two mouths last week. The fish was caught by Debbie Geddes. Knotty Boys Fishing, a local competitive fishing team, shared a photo of the bizarre fish on Facebook, both horrifying and mystifying social media users.
Some commenters shared their own photos of two-mouthed fishes — apparently they are not unheard of. While some people claimed they’ve seen two-headed fish before, others thought the fish in the photo did not have two mouths and looked deformed from an injury.
Adam Facteau, a Knotty Boys team member, told CBS News their account of the two-headed fish “certainly is” true. As for the doubters: “The theories are crazy. Injury. Genetic defect. The Simpsons,” Facteau told CBS News via message.
While the fish did look ghastly, it is not a monster. But legend has it, Lake Champlain has one of those, too. Much like the Loch Ness Monster, Lake Champlain has long been rumored to have its own sea creature, nicknamed Champ.
Lake Champlain visitors have claimed to have seen Champ since the 1800s, and the tale is well-known in the area.
There was even a mention of a huge and unusual creature in explorer Samuel de Champlain’s diary in 1609. He said he’d heard from tribes in the area that some of these fierce fish, with “a double row of very sharp, dangerous teeth,” could grow up to 10 feet long.