I had planned on a different post tonight, but when I saw Nessie mentioned on FamilySearch a few minutes ago I switched gears so this is going out a bit later than I originally planned. If you saw my earlier post from September 7, 2019, Loch Ness DNA? – DNA Saturdays September 7, 2019, some of what is in this post will mirror that post.
Including my standard Cryptid/Cryptozoology explanation below;
Entities that may be considered cryptids by cryptozoologists include Bigfoot, the chupacabra, or Mokele-mbembe. Related pseudosciences include Young Earth creationism, ghost hunting, and ufology. Some dictionaries and encyclopedias define the term “cryptid” as an animal whose existence is unsubstantiated.
The Loch Ness Monster is one of Scotland’s best-known legends. You likely know the story of the fabled creature. There have been reported sightings and rumors about its existence for generations.
What Is the Loch Ness Monster?
Loch Ness is a freshwater loch, or sea inlet, in the Scottish Highlands. For centuries there have been rumors of a large creature called the Loch Ness Monster that dwells in the waters there. With multiple sightings but no concrete evidence, there has been much debate over its existence. The most likely theory today is that the Loch Ness Monster is a giant eel (if it exists at all).
Affectionately referred to as Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster has inspired search parties, books, studies, tourist attractions, movies, and more.
Loch Ness Monster Sightings
The first recording of a monster in the waters near Loch Ness appeared in the 6th century in Life of St. Columbia. In the account, an Irish monk found locals burying a man who they claimed was dragged underwater in the River Ness and killed by a beast.
More recently, newspaper stories of the Loch Ness Monster started appearing in the 1930s. One article published in 1934 reported a sighting as early as the 1870s. The best-known article appeared in 1933 in the Inverness Courier. The article explored a report from Aldie Mackay, who saw what she described as a beast rolling in the water.
After that, letters and photos began streaming in. Other published sightings described the Loch Ness Monster as a dragon, monster fish, sea serpent, creature, or whale. All reports had one thing in common: something large was in the waters of Loch Ness.
Since then, numerous reports and photos have claimed to provide evidence of Nessie.
Loch Ness Monster Pictures
If you know anything about the Loch Ness Monster, chances are you’ve seen a hazy, black-and-white photo floating around. The most famous photo depicts a large creature with a long, curved neck poking out of rippling water.
For years, the surgeon’s photo was used as proof that the Loch Ness Monster exists. Analysis of the photo later led most to believe that it was a hoax. Based on the size of the water ripples and surrounding objects, it’s estimated that the object in the photo is only two or three feet long. Since then, it’s been claimed the picture was a practical joke.
Other photos or videos have appeared over the years but have either garnered little attention or were debunked.
Is the Loch Ness Monster Real?
Because there is no concrete evidence that the Loch Ness Monster exists, many claim that it is a hoax. That being said, there are still many who believe Nessie is out there.
For years, people have debated the credibility of reports and photos. For example, the 6th-century account from an Irish monk was recorded 100 years after it happened and could have been misreported. As another example, a 2014 Apple Maps image shows a large mass in the water. However, many believe the mass to be ripples from the wake of a boat or wood.
A DNA survey of the lake in 2018 revealed no large fish or reptiles. However, the professors conducting the survey did find a lot of eel DNA. The researchers conceded that it is possible that the Loch Ness Monster was, in fact, a very large eel.
What about you? Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?
Legends and Traditions
While the Loch Ness Monster may or may not be a hoax, the story has lived on for generations. There’s something special about how stories such as these can influence people over hundreds of years. What was possibly something as mundane as an eel has turned into a cultural phenomenon that has impacted countless lives.
Does your family have any legends, traditions, or stories that have been passed down over the years? How have they influenced your family or you personally? Record your stories with the Memories app or on FamilySearch.org to preserve and share them with your family.