Scotland is famous for the Loch Ness monster, Nessie, but Italy’s Lake Como also has a monster: Lariosauro – or ‘Larry’ for short.
Lariosauro lives in Lake Como near the aptly named hamlet of Nesso on the shores of Lake Como in Lombardy. The first reported sighting of the Italian monster was by a fisherman who saw something mysterious in the lake in 1949. In 1957, a diver in a Bathysphere reported seeing a strange beast in the lake at a depth of 328 feet, saying that it had a head like a crocodile and feet like a reptile. The monster even became the subject of a book published in 2000, ‘Il Lariosaurio’ by Giovanni Galli.
Lake Como is a glacial lake, meaning it is both very old and deep. Believers in Lariosauro point out that although the area is now home to lakes and mountains some 225 million years ago during the Middle Triassic Period, it was covered by sea. In 1830, a fossil of a reptilian creature with a short neck and flippers was discovered at Perdelo on Lake Como. An extinct type of nothosaur, the 2-foot-long fossil was classified as Lariosaurus balsami in 1847. Lake Como is also known as ‘Lario’ after its Latin name ‘Larius Lacus’ and Lariosaurus means ‘lizard from Lario’. Some have suggested that Lariosauro is its descendant and perhaps even related to Scotland’s Nessie.
Watch a video on the Monster of Lake Como (click on the captions button for English subtitles):