The Brosno Dragon – Blowing Smoke or Really There?

Far away, in a remote region of Russia, about 250 miles NW of Moscow, lies a mysterious deepwater lake known as Lake Brosno.  People have reported seeing what they described as a dragon lurking in its cold, dark waters for centuries.

They named the dragon Brosnya and blamed it for overturning fishing boats and being responsible for the disappearance of many a person. Residents in the small towns ringing the lake live in terror to this day. They claim that it can actually crawl out of the lake and onto land.

Brosnya is described as being 5 meters long (16 feet), and iridescent. Some have reported that it glows.

What is It?

Local paleontologist, Nikolai Dikov, reports that the pictures taken of Brosnya, along with descriptions of eyewitnesses, suggests a supposedly extinct order of reptiles with mammalian teeth. Further fueling this controversy, paleontologists working near the Siberian lake of Sestakovo, excavated bones of a creature believed to be similar to the description of Brosnya. We’ve been unable to determine where lake Sestakovo is in relation to Lake Brosno. It would lend more weight to this creature’s existence if they were relatively close together.


Here’s a brief list of the legends associated with Brosnya:

  • One 8th century legend reports that the entire Tatar-Mongol army was scared by the creature, preventing them from invading Novgorod. The Batu-khan ordered the troops to rest lakeside so the horses were allowed to drink from the lake and the men drew close to the shore. Suddenly the creature appeared roaring at the disturbance and devoured a horse and some of the soldiers.
  • A reference from the Primary Chronicle reports that fishermen were devoured by the beast. This chronicle also mentions that a “sand mountain” rose from the lake periodically.
  • Another story describes how the Varangians planned to hide stolen treasure in the lake, but when they approached a small island, a dragon appeared and swallowed the whole island.
  • During WWII, it was reported that the dragon rose out of the water and ate a Nazi plane.

The Facts

None of these legends seem plausible to us, especially when you consider what else is happening in that area. Let’s explore those facts:

  • Lake Brosno was formed during the ice age, so it was carved by a glacier. It is deep, one report we read stating it was 43 meters (140ft) at its deepest, while another reported it is 120-160 meters (394-525 ft) deep.
  • There is volcanic activity deep below on the lake floor. Volcanic eruptions can release gasses into the water that rise to the surface looking suspicious and odd to onlookers.
  • Saltwater fish have found their way into the lake, surprisingly. These would include burbot and perch.  Just below is the Burbot fish, part of the Northern Pike family. Below that is the photo of the Perch fish.

What to Make of All This

People may be mistaking large eruptions of gasses from the volcanic activity below as the dragon. In other, unrelated investigations, science has proven that large eruptions of gasses can sink ships of all sizes. So that could explain what happened to the fishing boats.

It’s also been reported that very large boars, and elk/moose, swim across the lake and could be mistaken for another large creature, like a dragon. We’re not sure we buy this explanation because the people in that area are used to seeing boars, elk, moose – are they really going to be fooled by them?

As far as swallowing an island and eating horses and soldiers – who knows. Those tales were from so long ago that nothing about them can be substantiated so we’re filing them under “folklore”.

But let’s look at the fish in the lake. Burbot and perch are saltwater fish. How did they get into a fresh water lake? The lake is deep enough to hide a cave system that may reach the sea, or a backwater of the sea.

That begs the question, if these fish are making it back and forth, could an elusive creature like Brosnya also be going from the sea to the lake, and vice versa?

Echo Location

In the summer of 2002, Brosno “Dragon Experts” from the Komsomolsk research association visited Lake Brosno to perform deep echo sounding. When interviewed by the Moscow newspaper Argumenty i Facty, lead investigator Vadim Chernobrov said, “Deep Echo sounding registered an anomaly. There was a huge jelly-like mass of a railway-car size [hovering] five meters above the bottom. The mass stood motionless. We waited for some time and then decided to make it move; we threw an underwater petard, a low capacity explosive device. When the device blew up, the creature started slowly going up. We stared at the water and it was clear; there was nothing resembling a monster. However something unusual was still felt in the lake water.”

We think that explanation lost something in the translation. Echo sounding into water is supposed to cause animals that echo-locate (dolphins, porpoises, etc) to reply. We’re wondering if they were doing that, or just using echo location to “map” the water and lake bottom underneath them. A “jelly like” mass could have been anything from lake debris, to a pocket of gas, who knows.

One thing is clear – there isn’t much scientific data written about Lake Brosno, much less Brosnya. And what is written is not always clear upon translation.

Verdict, Please!

So the mystery remains. Because the lake is so deep, and seems to connect to the ocean, we’ll agree that the Brosnian dragon could possibly exist. But for now, there’s no way to prove it.

What do you think?

Til the next time!

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