The Loch Ness Monster or “Nessie” has been a famous part of history since ancient times and is known as one of the most famous urban legends. Nessie has fascinated cryptozoologists for many years. Nessie sightings go as far back as ancient times as depicted by the drawings the Picts made of her on stone. These stones give us a peek into what she looks like. They show us a large creature with flippers that resembles a dragon. Over the years, she has brought in lots of tourism and she brings in £41 million to the Scottish economy each year.
The Loch and its Nessie
The Loch Ness rests in the Highland council area of Scotland with a depth of 788 ft (240m) and a length of about 23 miles (36km). In the Loch is the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain. The Loch lies in the Glen Mor or Great Glen area and forms part of the system of waterways that were linked by the Caledonian Canal created by Thomas Telford. This Loch has attracted a fair amount of tourists and investigators over the years in search of the famed Nessie. Several people have attempted to conduct sonar explorations over the years, but still no evidence has yet to be produced. Some people speculate that it is a species of the extinct plesiosaur. Scientists believe that it is a giant eel. Some say that some sightings could be due to fallen branches. Could it be an eel? Fallen branches? With the Loch’s great depth, it will be no surprise to find a dinosaur hiding under its waters.
Sightings of Nessie
The first written account of Nessie was in the biography of Saint Columba in the year 565 A.D. In his biography, he recorded that he found what appeared to be a monster fighting with some swimmers and that it had in fact killed one of the swimmers. Through prayer, Columba was able to drive her away—he told her to “go back” and she obeyed.
In May of 1933, the press would record what became known as the first sighting of Nessie. A local businessman and his wife were travelling along the north shore of the Loch when they saw something in the water. They stopped for half-an-hour watching for her, but she made no further appearance. They described her as a large whale-like animal rolling and plunging on the surface of the water. In December of the same year, the Daily Mail commissioned a big game hunter named Marmaduke Wetherell to track and find her. While tracking her along the Loch’s shore, he found footprints that he claimed belonged to a very powerful animal with soft-footed feet about 6 metres (20 feet) long. This incident was thought to be a hoax.
In the following year, the English professor, Robert Kenneth Wilson, took a photo and that photograph became known as the “surgeon’s photograph”. Like the footprints of the previous year, this photograph was also thought to be a hoax.
In May of 1996, Gary Campbell had his own experience. It was this that led him and his wife to create a register for people who had their own experiences with the famed creature of the deep. There had been no such record system before. Within 2 decades there had been 1,111 sightings recorded within its database as well as other modern recording from newspapers, direct reports and other sources. Some of these sightings are also recorded from historical data. In Campbell’s register there is no referring to Nessie in any recordings, but they make reference to her as “something inexplainable in the Loch Ness”.
We’ve seen above that not all sightings turn out to be Nessie, but with so many sightings from people who not only live in the area, but some that even fish on the Loch when these sightings occur. Only a third of these sightings are actually legitimate sightings while the other two-thirds are misinterpreted as Nessie sightings. In this register they record an average of 10 sightings per year. It would seem our dear Nessie is rather shy. There are hundreds of photographs and videos all linked to Nessie and all this provides evidence of her existence. There are two sides to this argument, though. One side says it is a plesiosaur that is hiding beneath the Loch’s waters, while others claim it is an eel or fallen tree branches. I don’t know what side you stand on, but I know that there could most definitely be something hiding in the waters of Loch Ness. Is it Nessie or an eel or branch? You decide for yourself.