This is how lake monster rumors get started: A manatee was seen swimming in Virginia’s Appomattox River. While it’s not unheard of for manatees to swim up the eastern seaboard, it’s not exactly common to see one in Virginia. Or at least, it didn’t used to be.

Sarah Zielinski writes:

Manatee sightings north of the Carolinas are not uncommon these days. Baltimore has even had a repeat visitor, nicknamed Chessie, that has shown up multiple times since 1994. But whether more manatees are swimming north in the summer or more people are noticing them isn’t known.

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The AP points out that “manatees typically reside in Florida, but sometimes head north if the waters there get too warm.” Or possibly when they’re tired of their grandmother’s kvetching and just need to get away for a while. Whatever they’re doing hanging out in Virginia and Maryland, the important thing is for people not to try to ride on them.

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