Tahoe and Vicinity May 14, 2020


The story, as told by some Tahoe residents, is that after Jacques Cousteau’s 1970s deep dive into Tahoe waters, he remarked “The world is not ready for what I have seen.” However, after some investigating the Los Angeles Times, along with other newspapers, reported that Jacques Cousteau never visited or made an underwater exploration of Lake Tahoe.


In 2011, a group of deep divers found the body of a man who’d been missing since 1994. The remains, in a wetsuit and still buckled into weights and a tank, was lying on a shelf over 200 feet below the surface. The missing diver had been with a friend but equipment problems caused him to begin sinking. An immediate and thorough search found no sign of him, leaving his well preserved remains hidden for 17 years.

Many are convinced that lava tubes connect Lake Tahoe with other area lakes. Some maintain that a tube exists between Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake, others swear that Tahoe is connected to Fallen Leaf Lake. No matter which lakes are attached what lakes, the believers are sure the presumed lava tubes hold many secrets — not to mention bodies.


Stories are plentiful about Tahoe Tessie, the legendary sometimes seen monster (think Loch Ness) who’s been seen swimming around our Lake. The UC Davis Tahoe Research Group attributes the stories and sightings to pareidolia (look it up) and/or the mistaken identification of a large breed fish. There are a few people who believe that when Tessie is resting between appearances, she hides out in an underwater cave at the base of supposedly haunted Cave Rock on the Lake’s east shore.


The most intriguing investigation of Lake Tahoe’s depths was in 2016. A group of amateurs dropped a Go Pro camera at one of the deepest points of the Lake. It took 4 minutes for the camera to reach the muddy bottom. The results were a bit disappointing, so the operators reeled their camera back in, attached a glow stick and a can of sardines to the Go Pro, and dropped the whole package overboard. After another 4 minutes they saw a smallish fish, and then the camera caught a larger very shark-like fish. Upon viewing the video, experts at UC Davis said the large swimmer was a big trout. Seriously?