Scientists Find Best Evidence That The Loch Ness Monster Actually Exists? – The year is 1978, and a small family is pleasure boating in the waters of Loch Ness. The Loch is unique amongst freshwater lakes, and much deeper than most, reaching as deep as 744 feet in places. It is a long spit of lake, almost 22.5 miles long, yet about one and a half miles wide, and there is evidence that it once connected to the ocean.
This fact, along with its mysterious depths, have long fueled rumors of a large creature living beneath its icy cold waves. Nessie, as it’s taken to be called, has been spotted in the loch for almost 1500 years,yet to this family out for a pleasant boat ride, Nessie couldn’t be further from their minds. The boat is zipping along the surface of the loch at a dozen miles an hour.
The waters are calm today and the sun is high in the sky, it’s a perfectly pleasant afternoon to be enjoyed on the water in the rented boat. Then, suddenly, the boat slams into a massive creature lurking just under the water! The boat is rocked and the engine grinds to a halt as the propeller is seriously damaged by the creature’s body.
The family’s grandfather, well along in years, looks down into the water and is so terrified by the shock of the accident and what he sees that he immediately suffers a heart attack and collapses. Without a sound, the creature dips down into the depths, and with a broken propeller and ruined engine, the family is left helpless in the middle of the loch.
Eventually other boaters respond to the distress flares being launched by the family. Their boat is towed back to shore and the grandfather rushed to the hospital, where he’ll unfortunately be pronounced dead. Rumors begin to circulate that the family encountered the infamous Nessie, and this time there’s proof! The family along with the rescuers who helped drag the boat out of the water find long strips of flesh caught in the boat’s twisted and bent propeller.
The owner of the boat rental company described the flesh as long strips of black flesh an inch thick. Finally, physical proof of what may be lurking in the depths of the Loch. Unfortunately when the boat rental company owner returns from consoling the family over their loss, his repair workers have stripped the stricken engine apart and thrown away the fleshy bits back into the water.
In a fit of rage the owner berates the repair workers, the only physical evidence of Nessie is lost forever. This incident occurred in the late 1970s, yet it wasn’t the only collision with a large creature in the mysterious Loch Ness that was verified by multiple witnesses. In 1943 a Royal Navy vessel collided with what the boat’s commander described as “avery large animal. . . a living creature”.
In 1952 a man attempting to set a water speed record died when his boat struck a mysterious and very large wake in the middle of the loch. Could it be true then? Could Loch Ness be home to a creature as yet unknown by science? Many scientific and not-so-scientific expeditions have been dispatched to Loch Ness, and the results of similar expeditions to other alleged lake monster locations have encouraged someto believe in the possibility of Nessie.
Lake Champlain in Vermont has long been home to a creature known as Champ, the US’s very own lake monster. Evidence of this lake monster though has been as frustratingly sketchy as that of Nessie-until in 2003 when hydrophone operators conducting an extensive underwater survey of the lake discovered something shocking.
Originally hired by the Discovery channel to aid in the filming of a documentary on the Lake Champlain monster, the sonar operators stayed behind after the film crew left to continue their underwater survey. Just a day after the film crew left, the sonar operators picked up an extremely unusual sound,a rapid fire series of clicks in irregular patterns.
The next day and at a different location the crew picked up the sound again, and finally a week later they picked it up once more. The recordings at times lasted an incredible ten minutes, and at one point the operators believe that the creature came as close as thirty feet to the boat. After evaluating the sounds recorded, Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, president of Fauna Communications Research, described them as bio sonar of the same type used by whales and dolphins.
To her, whatever creature made the sounds was a real, living creature, and very clearly using sonar to navigate the murky depths of Lake Champlain. She should know too, as her company specializes in learning how animals communicate with each other- both on land and in the sea. Yet Lake Champlain has no whales or dolphins, and no access to the sea by which a lone whale or dolphin could accidentally wind up in the lake.
Though Muggenthaler declined to speculate on how big this creature was, or what it was,she made it clear that the creature was not a fish, as the recordings were ten times louder than any fish in the lake, and that it was for sure not a mechanical noise. A born skeptic, Muggenthaler would not go as far as to endorse the existence of a lake monster in Lake Champlain, but is sure that her team did not record any known species living in the lake.
In Loch Ness, sonar equipment has revealed some interesting and very intriguing finds. In 2014 a ferry captain tracked what appeared to be a very large creature several dozen feet below the waves as his ship made its daily trip across the loch. Accustomed to seeing strange things on the sonar display after years on the lake, this captain said that the image on that particular day very quickly grabbed his, and the crew’s attention. Unfortunately due to the murkiness of the loch, they were unable to see anything below them.
However just weeks before this incident, a man had spotted what appeared to be a huge creature lurking just beneath the waves of the loch using apple maps. This incident eerily repeated itself just this year in August. As 24 year old captain Mike Bell was finishing up the history of the Loch Ness monster to his group of tourists, one of them eagerly pointed at his sonar.
To Mike and his tourist’s surprise, the sonar very clearly showed the blip of one fish 15 meters beneath the boat. Another 20 meters beneath that fish though was what appeared to be a solid mass, anywhere from three to eight meters long. Does this prove Nessie’s existence- or at least the existence of a large, unknown creature in the lake?
Well, it’s certainly compelling evidence, but as experienced sonar operators know, schools of fish can often clump together so tightly that they resemble one solid mass. The loch is home to 10 different types of fish, and some like the Atlantic salmon andsea trout can group together in large schools. In 1975 though an underwater expedition captured some extraordinary photos that may have hinted at the possibility of Nessie existing.
This expedition used cameras sunk at varying depths and rigged to strobe lights to automatically fire when detecting movement. The cameras captured some very extraordinary pictures, including one image which came to be known as the ‘gargoyle head’. This photo shows what appears to be a monstrous head, though unfortunately a follow up expedition in the 80s revisited that same spot and discovered a sunken log that looked exactly like the infamous photo.
One of the other photos however was not so easily explained. This photo shows what looks exactly like a modern rendition of the plesiosaur, a sea-faring dinosaur which Nessie is thought to possibly be descended from. While other photos from the expedition were discounted as being random bits of debris caught in the waves, this photo has proven much harder to debunk.
One analyst said that based off a similar photo of an eel captured in another lake,and given the estimated distances involved, if this was truly a photo of an eel as skeptics claim, then the head and neck portion in the photo would have been 7.5 feet long. Then there’s also the fact that the photo does so very much resemble a plesiosaur, repletewith the long neck and even flippers.
When one of the original crew members was questioned about the original photos years later, he said that of all the photos, only this one made him believe they captured something other than natural phenomenon. Just this summer, a team of scientists from New Zealand initially made headlines when they announced the preliminary discoveries of their DNA study of the loch.
After taking over 250 samples in various locations and different depths in the loch, the team looked for DNA in the watershed by its inhabitants. Neil Gemmel, professor of biology and ecology at the University of Otago, New Zealand, told newspapers that after testing each of the main monster hypotheses, they ruled out all but one- Nessie may possibly be a dinosaur after all.
According to his original statement, “There are a few things that are a bit surprising”. Yet after combing through the data, the research team scaled back expectations dramatically. What they discovered was the presence of about 3,000 species in the loch, ranging from pigs, deer, and humans, to the known fish species and thousands of bacteria.
What the DNA study did not find was any evidence of a reptilian creature in the loch, or of any ‘unknown’ DNA or reptile cousin. The study found no evidence of crocodiles, lizards, adders, or any other reptilian relatives,though it did find plenty of frogs, toads, and other amphibians. The study did make one very shocking discovery though, and that’s the sheer amount of eels in the loch.
Everywhere the team tested, they discovered massive amounts of eel DNA, and professor Gemmel went on to say that he was not sure if the loch was full of a massive amount of eels- more than anybody had ever estimated- or if there was simply a moderate number of very large eels. Eels far larger than any known throughout Europe.
No giant eels have ever been caught in the loch however, though if they did exist then they certainly would account for many of the Nessie sightings- even the one that we opened up this episode with. A propeller could easily shear chunks of flesh off a very large eel, who’s skin can sometimes be dark and even black.
The European conger eel is the world’s largest eel, and have been discovered to be as long as 19 feet, growing to a maximum weight of 240 pounds. If conger eels had made their way into the loch, then certainly these monster eels could explain many Nessie sightings- yet eels tend to stick to the bottom of their habitats, happy to sit down in the murky depths where they hide and search for food.
With so many Nessie sightings at the surface, the conger eel is likely not a good match for what people have been seeing- if they have been seeing a creature at all. The DNA study seems to be a nail in Nessie’s coffin, conclusively proving that Nessie doesnot exist. Yet believers have one ray of hope left- the DNA study did not detect the presence of any seals, and yet seals have been routinely discovered in the loch.
It’s believed that these seals, which are not native to the lake, swim up the River Ness from the ocean, staying in the loch for a few months at a time before making their way back out to open waters. Could Nessie thus be doing the same thing? Sadly, with a depth of 30 to 100 centimeters in places, the journey would likely be impossible for an animal as large as Nessie.
For those who believe, hope remains that the Loch Ness contains a hidden monster- perhaps a relic from prehistory. Yet modern science is slowly narrowing down on one conclusion, and that is that Nessie likely doesn’t exist. Despite this, sightings of the same type of creature have been recorded in the area for almost two thousand years, and this similarity in stories is in itself intriguing evidence to the possibility that Nessie does exist, or once existed in the waters of Loch ness.
Do you believe Nessie exists? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.