The Loch Ness Monster, nicknamed Nessie, is a large sea creature that some people believe inhabits Loch Ness, Scotland. However, most evidence of its existence has been discredited, and the monster is widely believed to be a myth.
Reports of a monster in Loch Ness date back to very ancient times. In particular, local stone carvings made by the Picts depict a mysterious beast with fins. The earliest written account appears in a biography of Saint Columba from 565 AD. According to this work, the monster bit a swimmer and was about to attack another man when Columba intervened, ordering the beast to “go back”. She obeyed, and over the centuries only occasional sightings were reported. Many of these alleged encounters appear to be inspired by Scottish folklore, which is replete with mythical aquatic creatures.
Loch Ness, Scotland
In 1933, the legend of the Loch Ness Monster began to gain momentum. At the time, a road adjacent to Loch Ness had been completed, providing stunning views of the lake. In April, a couple spots a huge animal – which they liken to a “prehistoric dragon or monster” – and after crossing the path of their car, it disappears into the water. The incident was reported in a Scottish newspaper, and numerous sightings followed. In December 1933, the Daily Mail tasked Marmaduke Wetherell, a big game hunter, with locating the sea serpent. Along the shores of the lake he found large footprints which he said belonged to “an animal very powerful soft-legged about 6 meters long”. However, upon closer examination, zoologists at the Natural History Museum determined that the footprints were identical and had been made using an umbrella stand or ashtray with a hippopotamus leg as its base. ; Wetherell’s role in the hoax was unclear.
The news only seems to boost efforts to prove the monster’s existence. In 1934, English physician Robert Kenneth Wilson photographed the alleged creature. The iconic image – known as the “surgeon’s photograph” – appears to show the monster’s tiny head and neck. The Daily Mail printed the photograph, triggering an international sensation. Many have speculated that the creature was a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that died out around 65.5 million years ago.
The Loch Ness area has attracted many monster hunters. Over the years, several sonar explorations (notably in 1987 and 2003) have been undertaken to locate the creature, but none have been successful. Also, numerous photographs purportedly showed the beast, but most were discredited because they were fake or depicted other animals or objects. Notably, in 1994, it was revealed that Wilson’s photograph was a prank carried out by a Wetherell seeking revenge; the “monster” was actually a plastic and wooden head attached to a toy submarine. In 2018, researchers conducted a DNA study of Loch Ness to determine what organisms live in the waters. No sign of a plesiosaur or other such large animal was found, although results indicated the presence of numerous eels. This discovery left open the possibility that the monster was an oversized eel. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, the Loch Ness Monster has remained popular – and profitable. At the start of the 21st century, it was thought to contribute nearly $80 million a year to Scotland’s economy.
We all know that the story of the Loch Ness Monster, which lurks in the dark expanse of Loch Ness in the Highlands, is more than just a story. Nessie really does exist, and there are over 1,000 testimonials and plenty of unexplained evidence that baffles scientists.
WHAT IS SHE LIKE ?
She is long and thin, usually green, with black bumps, tail, and snakehead. And she is shy.
When she comes out of the water, you can just see her body breaking through the waves. You’ll be eerily mesmerized by the sight, and you’ll immediately know you’ve seen it when you spot the perfect circles of murky water it leaves behind before disappearing back into the depths of the loch.
WHERE CAN I SEE NESSIE?
Visit Loch Ness and keep your eyes peeled as you explore the area!
The iconic Loch Ness is one of the largest and deepest bodies of water in the UK.
Its steep banks plunge to a depth of over 800 feet, and it is the largest of a series of lochs along the Great Glen.
Located just southwest of Inverness, the “Capital of the Highlands”, you can drive along its western edge.
This region is renowned for its spectacular scenery and is lined with picturesque villages such as Foyers and Dores.
Nearby is the magnificent and world famous Urquhart Castle, ideal for a romantic day out, and in the town of Drumnadrochit you can visit the Loch Ness Center and Exhibition and Nessieland, to learn more about natural history, the myths and mysteries of the loch.
You can also get a closer look at Nessie by boarding a cruise ship from various locations around the loch.
Don’t forget your camera, otherwise how are you going to take a selfie of Nessie!