This is What’s Trending Today.
Many people have heard the story of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster.
The sea creature, often called Nessie, is said to live in Loch Ness, a large waterway in the Scottish Highlands.
Yet, have you ever heard of an ice monster in the American state of Alaska?
Well, an ice monster is what many people thought they were seeing when a federal government agency published a strange-looking video. The Bureau of Land Management put the video on its Facebook page.
The pictures were taken in Fairbanks, a city in north-central Alaska. Alaska is the northernmost part of the United States. While winter has yet to officially begin, weather conditions in Fairbanks already are very cold.
In the video, a fish with ice on its back appears to be swimming in the Chena River.
The video was only 20 seconds long. But it was enough to get people wondering what they saw.
One person said he thought it showed a shark that lost its way.
Someone else wrote that he thought the video was a prank designed to trick people. The writer said the Bureau of Land Management wanted to bring attention to its Facebook page.
A number of media organizations picked up on the ice monster story and talked about it on their shows.
Other writers asked if the video was edited in some way, removing some images or adding others. Perhaps, they reasoned, the bureau was trying to frighten people around the celebration of Halloween.
Some people said the ice monster was a “zombie salmon,” or a larger fish: a sturgeon.
One writer even suggested the creature was an alligator or crocodile. But such an animal could not survive in Alaska, where it does not get very hot, even in summer.
Some readers said it was ice moving in the river current, or ice that was frozen to a rope or some other object.
On October 31, the Bureau of Land Management published an update.
It agreed with some of the people who commented on the original piece.
An expert from the Department of Fish and Game told the bureau the picture looked “really cool,” but it was probably just ice stuck to a rope. The ice caused the rope to float and move in the river’s current.
Even though the mystery seems to be solved, some people do not seem persuaded. Others are still wishing it was a “real” monster.
And that’s What’s Trending Today.
I’m Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Did you think it was a real “ice monster?” We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
bureau – n. a government department or part of a government agency
prank – n. a trick that is done to someone, usually as a joke
edit – v. to prepare a book, newspaper story or television program to be seen or heard; to change, move, or remove parts of a work
zombie – n. a dead person who reportedly has the ability to move because of magical powers
monster – n. a creature that frightens or produces fear
update – n. a report that includes the most recent information
current – n. a continuous movement of water or air in the same direction