Friday, August 17, 2007

The Toe Nibbler Conspiracy

Artist's Conception of Allatoona Toe Nibbler
Many people have claimed to see a Toe Nibbler lurking through the murky waters of Lake Allatoona in Northwest Georgia. Others go as far as to say that they have actually felt a Toe Nibbler take a little nibble while they were swimming. Of course, there are some people that think that a Toe Nibbler is a fictional creature that was invented to frighten little children and keep them out of the water.

So, what is a Toe Nibbler? Does it really exist? If so, is it dangerous? Where does it live? What does it look like?

Lake residents and visitors first started suspecting a Toe Nibbler around 1952 with the first newspaper mentioning the unexplained damage caused by what the newspaper refers to as a storm in July 11th, 1953. Some did not believe that all of the damage was due to mother nature. Those that have seen the Toe Nibbler describe it as being smaller than a human (accounts range from three to four foot in length.) Most often it is said to be dark green, brown, or black in color and has been seen sliding along under the surface of the water. It seems to enjoy shaded areas of the lakes and is seen most often up in small, but deep, coves along the shoreline.

The few accounts of up-close confrontations with the creature agree that it has small, black beady eyes and one eye witness stated that they saw a three toed webbed hand or foot extend out of the water.

Most people that swim or boat on the lake attribute the occasional nipping at their toes or fingers to curious and harmless fish. And in many cases, fish are the culprits. But in some cases, harmless fish aren’t the cause of the nibbling. It is a far more extraordinary creature.

Photographic evidence of the creature’s existence is limited at best. With the majority of the lake going public ignorant of the presence of a Toe Nibbler and the Corps of Engineers and local and State governments eager to dismiss it’s existence, all current photographs are accidental.

For the few believers, science may shed some light on the Toe Nibblers true identity. It has been true for decades that many inland lakes have been suspected of having mysterious creatures lurking in their depths. The most famous of these is Loch Ness and the now famous Loch Ness Monster. Closer to Lake Allatoona in the United States is “Champ”, the mysterious inhabitant of Lake Champlian in Vermont. Unlike these more famous lake dwellers, the Toe Nibbler has gained less notoriety due to its’ small stature and reclusive nature.

But Toe Nibblers may not be unique to Lake Allatoona. European scientists have long researched the lake inhabitants. Findings from the Copenhagen Institute for the study of Aquatic Life-Forms, indicate that there may be any number of tridigital (three toed) aquatic creatures living in large bodies of fresh water in North America. Sightings of the species, dubbed digitus-masticus or "toe nibbler" have been increasing over the last few years, but go back as far as 1952 to the infamous "foot feeding frenzy" in Florida's Lake Okeechobee, where a group of vacationing chorus girls suffered a group nibbling.

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