A television reporter claims to have discovered China's answer to the Loch Ness monster, state press reported Sunday.

Local journalist Zhuo Yongsheng shot footage of six "seal-like" creatures in the northeastern Tianchi lake, which local legend has long said is home to Loch Ness-style monsters.

"They could swim as fast as yachts and at times they would all disappear in the water," the Xinhua news agency quoted Zhuo as saying. "Their fins, or maybe wings, were longer than their bodies."

Legend says that China's own version of Scotland's legendary monster has dwelled in the murky bottom of the volcanic lake for over a century.

The original "Nessie" dates back to the seventh century, when a water beast is said to have appeared before Saint Columba, the founder of Christianity in Scotland in the Highland lake's depths.

Zhuo said he had not previously believed in the lake monster legend, "but I believed my own eyes."

However, scientists dismissed the reports, saying the lake was too cold for life.

Volcanic eruptions would also make life extremely hazardous for any animal making its home there, they said.