The Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster

Maya Nagar, Journalist

The Loch Ness monster, also known as Nessie, is a mythical large marine creature. It’s thought to live in Loch Ness, Scotland. Even though the Loch Ness monster is a myth, many people believe otherwise.

 Reports of Nessie date back to ancient times. The oldest depictions of Nessie are from the Pict people. The Pict people lived in what is now eastern and northeastern Scotland, where scientists have found multiple stone carvings by the Picts that present a strange animal with flippers. The first written account that introduces the Loch Ness monster is The Biography of ST Columba, which was written in 565 AD. The story tells of the Loch Ness monster biting a swimmer. Nessie prepares to attack again, but Columba cuts in and shouts, “Go back!” After that, only occasional sightings were reported. Most of the sightings of Nessie were inspired by   Scottish mythology of water creatures.

     In 1933, the stories of Nessie grew and more people learned about Nessie. In April of 1933, a couple saw Nessie pass in front of their car on a road adjacent to the lake that was believed to be Nessie’s habitat. The couple explained that they saw Nessie cross their car’s path and then go back to the lake it’s believed to live in. The couple in the car compared Nessie to a “dragon or prehistoric monster”. After that, numerous sightings followed.

     In December of 1933, the Daily Mail newspaper commissioned a hunter by the name of Marmaduke Wetherell. Wetherell claimed he was going to locate the enormous monster. He ended up finding footprints along the shores of the lake Loch Ness. He described the footprints as “a very powerful soft-footed animal about 20 feet [6 meters] long.” The zoologists at the Natural History Museum proved that the tracks were all identical and fake. They also confirmed that the tracks were made with an umbrella stand or ashtray that had a hippopotamus leg as a base. Wetherell’s part in the hoax was uncertain.  All of the news inspired people to start looking for the Loch Ness monster. That’s when, in 1934, Robert Kenneth Wilson took a famous picture. This picture is named the ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ and when the public found that picture, Nessie grew more popular. After that, everybody started thinking about what the Loch Ness monster could possibly be. Even though it went extinct about 65.5 years ago, most people believed Nessie was a plesiosaur, which is stated to be a marine reptile. There were many fake photographs, sightings, and more going around which piqued the interest of multiple explorers and monster hunters who came to try and hunt down the Loch Ness monster.

     That’s when, in 1994, it was discovered that Wilson’s photo was a hoax. It’s was found that it was just a plastic and wooden head attached to a toy submarine all along. Although, in 2018, DNA tests were put in the waters of the famous lake. Even though there were no monsters, there were lots of eels. That’s when the idea that Nessie could be an oversized eel arose. In spite of the fact that there was barely any evidence to support that, the Loch Ness monster still stayed popular. In fact, it remained so popular that in the 21st century, Scotland gained $80 million annually to its economy because of Nessie.

     To this day, people still wonder if the Loch Ness monster is real. There’s lots of evidence to support each opinion about Nessie, which makes it even more of a debate. Anyone can visit lake Loch Ness, where Nessie is believed to live. Do you believe in the Loch Ness monster?