Home > Myths > The Loch Ness Monster

The Loch Ness Monster

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 4 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Nessie Loch Ness Loch Ness Monster Loch

In 1934 a grainy black and white photograph gave the world the first apparent proof that the age old legend of a monstrous creature inhabiting Scotland’s Loch Ness was indeed real. The swan-like neck the head reminiscent of a water dinosaur, the hump suggesting a long, powerful body; how could it not be the fabled Loch Ness Monster?

The Loch Ness Monster Myth

Among the legendary creatures of the world there are a few that stand out and are considered well known regardless of where in the world the tale is told. One of the most endearing—and enduring—is the myth of Nessie, the affectionate nickname of what is better known as the Loch Ness Monster. Said to inhabit Great Britain’s largest freshwater lake, Scotland’s Loch Ness, Nessie has been the subject of a great deal of speculation and scrutiny over the years. While it may seem a fairly modern myth, some references to an unusual creature have been made in writings as early the 7th Century. Sightings are reported by locals, scientists, tourists, and monster hunters, all of whom hope to be the one to provide conclusive proof that the famous Loch Ness Monster is as real as the loch itself.

The Origin of the Loch Ness Monster Myth

That first mention of a monster in the loch came by 7th century writer Adamnan, who was recounting the adventures of Saint Columbia in the year 565. While critics point out that the “Life of St. Columbia” depicts the holy man as something of a monster slayer and use that to discount the reference to the loch monster, it does remain as some proof that the legends of Nessie began long before the “evidence” began to surface.

The Sightings Begin

While tales of water monsters are not unique to Scotland—which in fact has reports of other loch monsters such as “Morag” from Loch Morar—it seemed that Loch Ness had more than its fair share of reported sightings. Naturally many are simple hoaxes, people having a bit of fun and coming along with a popular fantasy. Others are more serious on the part of the reporters, people who claim to have seen either bits and pieces of the monster (a head and neck rising swan-like from the loch, seen at a great distance) or something more fantastic (a couple claiming a creature described much like a dinosaur crossing the road in front of their car before disappearing into the loch). Evidence of the photographic kind began to appear as the technology to support it came along, the most famous of which is the “Surgeon’s Photograph”, taken by Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson.

This photo, taken in 1934, is often shown cropped down to isolate the image of a head, neck and hump of a back in the water. The effect makes the creature imaged seem much larger than it actually is. Wilson, who never claimed it to be a photo of Nessie but rather “something” he saw in the loch, remained stoic in the face of accusations that it was a fake. Analysis of the ripples in the photo resulted in experts claiming that the “creature” was very small indeed. In the end Wilson admitted, decades later, that it was indeed a fake, so to speak. The “creature” in the photograph was a toy submarine with a crafted head and neck attached.

Final Thoughts

Theories have been floated to support sightings in Loch Ness from gassy submerged logs to boat wakes to an actual dinosaur surviving the march of time. In the end, it hardly matters if no evidence to prove the Loch Ness Monster is real ever surfaces, because the legend of Nessie is real enough.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Mom3
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    Came on my front porch to a black cat lying in a broken chair not afraid of me or my kids at all ....is this bad
    19 November 2019
  • God
    Re: The Number 13
    I died being the 13th guest at a supper and now I hope no one will think 13 is a good number and love to you all and I am so sorry for your loss lily.
    13 November 2019
  • mdg85
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    6 years ago, I was visiting my mon & grandma at my mom's house. While there, a bird flew into my mom's back…
    3 November 2019
  • Jlove
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    After work and picking up my daughter frm school we get home to a lil grey bird in the house just flying…
    1 November 2019
  • Patron saint of fool
    Re: Saluting Magpies
    The Parastrategist and a General theory of strategy The first parallel of corporate strategy is customer focus and is designed for…
    30 September 2019
  • Tootie
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    I had a black cat on my porch all last night sitting there was does that mean
    22 September 2019
  • Dolce
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    Two small birds flew inside my house this morning through roof openings, and flew out again when my son…
    31 August 2019
  • CatLady
    Re: Stonehenge
    As a little girl,I always loved the 'Standing Stones' They were so magic seeming, and every year when me and my family drove down to Cornwall on holiday,…
    7 August 2019
  • Capt'
    Re: Use a Match to Remove a Tick
    I haven't tried it yet, but I read that the removal with match method has nothing to do with burning the tick off. Instead, the…
    15 July 2019
  • Sandy
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    I have these doves, the grey ones, flying into my bedroom almost every morning and cooing. When I run them…
    2 July 2019