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10 curiosities and legends in Washington state

From disappearing islands in Lake Union to strange sea creatures roaming the Puget Sound, Washington state has many oddities. Here are ten of those curiosities and legends.

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Islands in Lake Union

Lake Union islands

In May 1962, harbor police spotted a small island (6' by 8') protruding from the water near the south end of the lake. Two University of Washington students quickly claimed it as Chelan Island, elected a mayor and city council, and listed 115 residents, according to

The island disappeared, but two months later, another island about the same size, and another six tiny islands, popped up on the east side of the lake.

The Army Corps of Engineers determined the islands were the result of dumping tons of fill dirt from the construction of I-5. Dumping fill dirt in the lake quickly came to a halt. Historylink says a high shoal from Chelan Island can still be seen on a recent soundings map.

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