London: Russian scientists claim to have spotted the "jaws and skeleton" of a mystery creature which could be "the Siberian Loch Ness monster."
Divers braved temperatures of minus 42C to investigate long-held beliefs that a monster lives at the bottom of the remote Lake Labynkyr 4,500 miles east of Moscow in the Siberian wilderness, the Daily Mail reported.
And the geologists told local media their underwater scanner found the remains of jaws and skeleton which could be the rumoured beast nicknamed `the Devil`.
"There have been all sort of hypothesises about what kind of creature it could be: a giant pike, a relic reptile or an amphibia. We didn`t manage to prove or to disprove these versions..... we managed to find remains of jaws and skeleton of some animal," Viktor Tverdokhlebov told the Siberian Times.
Tales of a monster measuring up to 33 feet in length predate the accounts of Nessie in Scotland, Russian academics said.
Last year a picture emerged which appeared to show `Nesski` poking her head out of the water.
Top diver Dmitry Shiller led a Russian Geographical Society mission to one of the world`s most mysterious lakes which is an average 170ft in depth but has an underwater crevice reaching down to 262ft.
The lake puzzles scientists because unlike millions of others in Siberia it does not freeze solid in winter but maintains a temperature of at least plus 2C on the surface. More than 3,000 ft above sea level, it is in the same district as Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited village on earth.
Native Evenk and Yakut people have long claimed a ` Nesski` lurks in its depths.
Known as `the Devil`, testimony dating back to the 19th century says the monster has enormous jaws.
Images have also recently emerged from a 2006 scientific trip to the lake when strange objects - one of 21ft 4in (6.5 metres) in length - were recorded on a Hummingbird Piranha MAX 215 Portable fish-finder at a depth of 138 to 197 feet.