Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster

Updated Aug 21, 2014 at 10:19PM EDT by RandomMan.

Added Apr 01, 2013 at 11:02AM EDT by amanda b..

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The Loch Ness Monster, sometimes known as Nessie, is a cryptid that resembles a plesiosaur, supposedly inhabiting Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, the largest body of fresh water in Great Britain. Since the first supposed sighting of the creature in 1933, the monster has become a worldwide legend. It has also made multiple appearances in television shows and movies, including a 1999 episode of South Park where the creature is seen begging for $3.50.


Though reports of a monster in Loch Ness date back to the 6th century in a biography of the Irish monk Saint Columba[1], the creature did not gain worldwide attention until 1933 when George Spicer and his wife reported seeing a 40 to 50 foot long animal crossing the road near the loch.[2] Dozens of others also reported seeing a monster in the area that year, including Hugh Gray who took the first photo (shown below) of the animal that November.


In 1934, the most famous photograph of the creature was taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London-based doctor. The image came to be known as “The Surgeon’s Photograph”[3] and was published in The Daily Mail on April 21st, 1934. Though The Sunday Telegraph revealed the image to be a hoax in 1975, people have continued to debate its authenticity.

In 1938, the first alleged film of the creature was taken by South African tourist G.E. Taylor. This three-minute recording was not publicly shown except for a still frame published in Maurice Burton’s 1961 book The Elusive Monster.[4] Nearly 30 years later, in 1960, aeronautical engineer Tim Dinsdale was the second person who caught a reddish creature on film (shown below) after several days of filming in the area. Dinsdale’s film was digitally enhanced during the Discovery Channel special Loch Ness Discovered[5], where experts claim to have found a shadow trailing behind the above-water hump.[6]

Multiple sonar studies of Loch Ness have been carried out since the 1960s[7], with a 1969 study resulting in an echo twice as intense as one expected from a 10-foot pilot whale.[8] In April 2012, a new sonar study found a large object at least 5 feet wide 75 feet below the loch’s surface.[9] However, a marine biologist from Southampton suggested[10] the object may have been a strand of algae.

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