About 20 films have been inspired from the myths related to the Loch Ness Monster, including famous ones like Loch Ness (1996) and The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007). Apart from the big screen, its adaptation is also seen in numerous TV shows, as well as in songs, games, and literature.
The existence of the Loch Ness Monster is both a mystery and myth. Many first-hand sightings have been reported, especially in the last century. The first ever record of this creature dates back to the 7th century, wherein, a monk called Saint Columba encountered it during his stay in Northern Scotland. However, this account cannot be said to be wholly genuine, as in those days, tales about such creatures were quite common. As the years passed by, subsequent reports had differing content regarding its appearance and size.
Scientific research states that the creature exists only in mythology, but staunch believers say that it might be a last remnant or a last surviving dinosaur species, possibly a plesiosaur (a dinosaur species that possibly existed in the Triassic Period). According to fossil studies, plesiosaurs were marine reptilian dinosaurs, and were present in the Triassic Period (around 200 million years ago). Few others suggest that it survived the last Ice Age, though it is fairly impossible for a creature to survive for such a long time. The creature was nicknamed 'Nessie' in the '40s.
Till date, extensive research has been conducted to detect the creature's presence in the lake, and several expeditions have also been arranged, though without any success. In spite of all these studies, no conclusive evidence of its existence has been found till now. Read the following facts to decide whether the animal is a hoax or real.
Interesting Facts About the Loch Ness Monster
✱ It is said that the monster is a animal, which can be categorized under the cryptid category. This means that insufficient evidence is present to proves its existence. Such creatures are classified under the branch of Cryptozoology.
✱ According to several reports, the beast has a body form of a snake, with a distinct tail and an elongated head. Its length is probably more than 50 feet, and it has at least two humps on the back portion.
✱ In a year, on an average, more than 20 'sightings' of the beast are reported in Scotland. In the latter half of the 20th century, the animal was called Nessiteras rhombopteryx by the scientific community.
✱ In 1933, after a hiatus of many years, the Loch Ness Monster was supposedly seen by Alex Bailiff. Soon, other reports of sightings increased, and the first possible photograph was taken by Hugh Gray in the same year.
✱ A fishing boat called Rival III claimed to have made contact with the animal by using SONAR technology, in 1954. After traveling a short distance, the contact was lost, and as actual sightings were not possible, a proper conclusion was could not be drawn from this incident.
✱ About 100 participants of a triathlon which was organized in Scotland in 2005 received insurance against possible attacks by this monster. The insurance amounted to about 1 million British pounds!
✱ Several people claim to have seen the creature with the help of Google Earth images taken by orbiting satellites in the first decade of the current century.
✱ According to several theories, the creature died many years back, as it could not acclimatize to the drastic climatic changes taking place since the last 200 years. Many say that it did not survive because of global warming.
✱ The Surgeon's photograph taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson was one of the most popular evidences for the existence of the creature, but it was proved to be a fake after several years. This photo allegedly shows a head and a long snout-like facial extension. It was found that the photograph was a negative and the object in the water was actually a toy submarine.
✱ The depth and length of the lake where the creature is supposedly found is about 750 feet and 20 miles, respectively. The Loch is one of the largest freshwater bodies in Great Britain. Besides this lake, others similar water bodies are also said to be home to different cryptids.
✱ In 1960, an engineer called Tim Dinsdale shot a film that allegedly shows the creature swimming in the water. Dinsdale did not see the actual animal, but rather based the assumptions on the sight of a hump-shaped structure moving through the water.
✱ In 2007, Gordon Holmes, a lab technician, filmed a video, wherein, a huge, dark, black mass was seen moving across near the lake shores. Later, it was concluded that it must have been another animal like an otter or a seal, and the video was regarded as being inconclusive to prove the creature's existence.
✱ A photo showing a hump-like structure in the water was published by George Edwards in 2012. The photo was supposedly taken in 2011, and according to Edwards, the hump was present above the water for several minutes, before going down. It resembled the assumed hump-like back portion of the animal. This photo too was termed as not being authentic enough, and it was believed that the structure must have been a boat hull.
✱ Several expeditions have been arranged till now to search for the Loch Ness Monster. A few known ones are the Loch Ness Monster BBC (2003), Operation Deepscan (1987), Big Expedition (1970), Discovery Loch Ness (1983), etc.
Reasons for its Existence and Non-existence
✱ Considering the first section, it is almost impossible for a species like Nessiteras rhombopteryx to survive, but if the conditions of the Loch Ness have been fairly constant for thousands of years, then the monster may well be a relic from the last Ice Age.
✱ It is likely that the creature is an amphibian, and hence, does not need to rise out of the water frequently. The possible presence of gills also supports this fact.
✱ A third possibility is that the animal must have adapted fast to the changing environmental conditions, and this might be its key to survival over thousands of years. It might have adapted to be a herbivore, eating algae and other aquatic plants, instead of consuming other small animals.
✱ In support of its non-existence, if the animal is a plesiosaur, then it should frequently come up above the water surface for breathing. As this has not yet been documented, chances of this animal existing are slim.
✱ Before the last Ice Age, the Loch Ness lake was frozen. Hence, it would have been impossible for a dinosaur the size of this animal to survive for so long, if this theory is considered.
✱ In spite of using modern technology and techniques, proper evidence or a sign about the creature's presence has eluded the scientific community for long. Also, the rate of substantially accurate sightings have also lessened in the last few years.
✱ Thus, it means that the entire story about the Loch Ness monster is a hoax right from the start, when it was first mentioned in the monk's record. Even if the creature was present, it is likely to be dead by now.
Whether it is a hoax or something real, the Loch Ness Monster is surely the most publicized mystery ever. We may never know the answer, but if it really exists, then a lot of questions about the past conditions of our planet can surely be answered. Nevertheless, the effects and influences of the buzz created by this mystery are also seen in the tourism and culture of the Scottish Highland regions.