What’s that swimming in the lake? It’s a USO, an Unidentified Swimming Object! It’s green, it’s scaly, it’s bumping into boat docks and terrorizing water-skiers. Part of the folklore of Lake Tahoe, a notorious sea creature has been seen and feared for centuries.
Some say it’s a huge sturgeon planted in the lake by accident. There’s also the Mackinaw theory, the giant trout theory, the boa constrictor theory, and the brontosaurus
theory. The little museum showcasing Tessie is touristy but fun—you see a life-size Tessie, read eyewitness accounts of Tessie sightings, see “real” photos of her, and buy Tessie T-shirts, souvenirs, and toys; video arcade and snack bar.