From the chupacabra to the Loch Ness Monster, mystery creatures continue to capture the imaginations of millions of people around the world. Some mysterious creatures, however, seem to have faded from our collective memory. A strange nine-legged fish caught in Nevada in 1905 is one such creature. What makes this creature even more remarkable is the fact that the fish was captured by a party of respected officials, including a state comptroller, an attorney general and a game warden.
From the August 11, 1905, edition of the Hartford Republican:
State Comptroller Sam Davis, warden John Considine, Attorney-General James Sweeney and Louis Beaver, all of Carson, have landed one of the queerest freaks in the fish line ever seen in Nevada. It is neither fish nor animal, yet closely resembles both. It was caught in the Carson River, close to the Holstins ranch, by Mr. Davis.
It measures about 18 inches in length and has nine legs. It has a head, fin, gills, and scales of the fish, but the nine legs are covered with fine downy hair. No one has yet been found who can in any manner classify the strange freaks.
Mr. Davis and his companions were fishing with the regular flies when the animal fish sprang from the water and hooked on Mr. Davis' line. For 10 minutes a battle royal took place, the fish finally being landed on the bank nearly exhausted.
As he was about to pick up the strange creature, however, it began to walk away. It was not until then that the party noticed that the fish had legs. So taken back were the men that the strange creature came near escaping in a nearby alfalfa field. Unfortunately, both for science as well as for the curiosity of the party, the animal fish was killed by the excited men in their efforts to capture it alive.
Mr. Davis, who by the way is one of Nevada's most respected citizens, states that in all his experience he has never seen a fish similar to the strange catch of the trio. From one who claims to have seen the freak it is learned that it is to be embalmed and sent to the Smithsonian Institute.
(view the original newspaper article here)