The residents of Churubusco, Indiana, have long boasted about a legendary snapping turtle named Oscar patrolling the waters of Fulk Lake. Said to be 500 pounds of ambling reptilian fury, Oscar hasn’t been spotted since 1948. But if you have the time and resources to hunt him down, you might want to consider buying the lake where he’s said to reside—it’s up for sale.
The mythology embedded in the property’s 44 acres near Churubusco began in 1898, when farmer Oscar Fulk insisted he spotted a massive turtle in the water. A second sighting in 1948 provided some rather loose corroboration, with fishermen insisting the turtle was as big as a boat. Despite the paucity of evidence, residents began to circulate tales of a quarter-ton turtle, with some becoming obsessed with proving his existence. A local historian named Gale Harris, who said he spotted Oscar in 1949, once considered the logistics of draining Fulk Lake to capture his quarry.
Oscar, also known as the Beast of Busco, became something of a resident Loch Ness Monster, with spectators crowding Fulk Lake hoping to catch a glimpse. In 1949, over 200 people claimed to have seen Oscar rising out of the water to gobble up ducks laid out as bait. The media frenzy gave Churubusco the nickname of “Turtletown, USA.”
Freshwater turtles can grow to impressive proportions, with the nearly extinct Swinhoe’s softshell turtle in Vietnam clocking in at 6 feet and 370 pounds. An imposing beast known as the alligator snapping turtle, which has a spiked shell that makes it resemble something that would attack Mario, can grow to nearly 250 pounds. Though it’s been spotted in Indiana, it’s considered an endangered species there.
The 9-acre lake is now part of the hunting property up for sale. The asking price is $1 million, a bargain if it means proving the Beast of Busco is no myth.
[h/t The AV Club]