The Loch Ness Monster of Scotland’s Highlands is one of the most well-known and oft-debated cryptids of multiple generations of cryptozoologist believers. First allegedly photographed in 1934, the written legend of the creature haunting the waters of Loch Ness goes back to at least 565 AD when a monster supposedly bit someone swimming in the lake before being ordered by St. Columba to “go back.”
Everyone knows that cryptids are down to make a bro look cool, eliciting cheers and clapping from any crowds gathered for maximum Reddit karma later.
Prior to the written account in St. Columba’s biography, the Pict people of eastern and northeastern Scotland carved creatures in stone that featured a sea beast with flippers. In 1933, the stories and legends gained traction as a roadway built near Loch Ness allowed people a clearer view of the body of water.
In April 1933, a couple driving past the lake claimed they saw a “dragon or prehistoric monster” walk past their car. The Daily Mail paid a big game hunter named Marmaduke Wetherell in December of that same year to track the elusive beast. He claimed the emergence of footprints in the lake’s shores from “a very powerful soft-footed animal about 20 feet [6 metres] long.” Those claims were dismissed by the Natural History Museums’s zoological experts as being made by something with a hippo foot attached to the end; possibly an umbrella stand.
In 1934, the infamous “surgeon’s photograph” of the Loch Ness Monster circulated as proof of her existence, showing what appeared to be a long neck emerging from the water. That photo by a British surgeon, Colonel Robert Wilson, was revealed as a hoax around 1994, showing the monster pictured to be a children’s toy with a head shaped by clay or putty.
It was also widely accepted by believers of cryptids that the Loch Ness Monster was a plesiosaur, a long-necked marine dinosaur that pretty much embodies the popular description of the creature. In 2019, New Zealand scientists and researchers took water samples from Loch Ness and tested it for DNA profiles of aquatic creatures in order to find out what does live in the lake. The answer? Eels.
In fact, they surmised that there are no large creatures in the body of water that could be considered giant, dinosaur-level monsters. Sturgeons and catfish were even ruled out by that study. However, this is 2020 and Steve Challice has released a photo taken while on holiday in Scotland in 2019 that some believe to be the Loch Ness Monster.
I'm sorry but this is a damn good photo. I will defend The Loch Ness Monster 's existence 'till I die! pic.twitter.com/UHO5xYdn0U— Î̶̛̛̛̛̈̉͗̒̅̎́͊̒͛̋́̈́̋̄̈́̒̋̃͋͂͌͐̾̂̀̎͂̃̽̓͂̐͐͗̔̉̈́̏̄̕͘͝ (@3TV1se) June 24, 2020
Challice told The Daily Mail that he thought the estimated eight-foot-long creature was a sturgeon or catfish —which the New Zealand study concluded did not live in the waters— but says the picture isn’t Photoshopped either. So how did this fish get into the Loch? It is eventually connected to the North Sea after a series of interconnected waterways, but that seems a long way for the creature to get lost.
So is 2020 the year we find out that Loch Ness Monster and aliens are real? I bet we’ll see Bigfoot next as nature makes its way back into cities while we’re all being selfish pricks spreading a disease. It isn’t going to be to prove us right or anything. The cryptids are deciding which cities they’re going to take over when we all die. I hope Mothman finds my house suitable for his needs!
Header Image Source: Columbia Pictures