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For decades, the legend of Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster have grown, at times to ridiculous proportions. But there’s been almost no conclusive scientific determination as to what exactly could be lurking in the Scottish waters that have drawn the fascination of millions over the years.
“Researchers from New Zealand have tried to catalogue all living species in the loch by extracting DNA from water samples.
“Following analysis, the scientists have ruled out the presence of large animals said to be behind reports of a monster.
“No evidence of a prehistoric marine reptile called a plesiosaur or a large fish such as a sturgeon were found.
Catfish and suggestions that a wandering Greenland shark were behind the sightings were also discounted.”
The Long-Necked Monster
Many have reported seeing the long-necked creature, and yet no one has been able to confirm the existence of a so-called “monster” lurking in the depths of the loch. But the DNA samples recently gathered suggest Nessie may actually be little more than a giant eel, SciNews notes:
“Professor Neil Gemmell and his colleagues from the Loch Ness Centre, the Loch Ness Project, the University of Otago, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Highlands and Islands, the University of Hull, and the University of Bangor collected 250 samples of water from various spots in Loch Ness.
“The remaining theory that the team cannot refute based on the eDNA data obtained is that what people are seeing is a very large eel.
“’There is a very significant amount of eel DNA,’ Professor Gemmell said.”
A Giant Eel? Really? Well…kinda
However, Professor Gemmell is quick to note that his team cannot prove conclusively that the Loch Ness Monster is a giant eel:
“Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness, with eel DNA found at pretty much every location sampled — there are a lot of them. So — are they giant eels?”
“Well, our data doesn’t reveal their size, but the sheer quantity of the material says that we can’t discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness. Therefore we can’t discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel.”
“Further investigation is needed to confirm or refute the theory, so based on our data, giant eels remain a plausible idea.”
Professor Gemmell also noted that in 1933 some researchers suggested the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel, and that’s included in his and his team’s report:
“In 1933, researchers had also proposed that a giant eel might in fact be the explanation for some of the sightings made then. That idea then waned as notions of extinct reptiles became more prominent.
“Other evidence such as the video shot by Gordon Holmes in 2007 which shows a 4-m torpedo-like shape seemingly swimming on the Loch’s surface support the hypothesis of a giant eel, large fish, or perhaps a marine mammal.
“We also found substantial levels of DNA from humans and a variety of species directly associated with us such as dogs, sheep and cattle.”
So while it may not be nearly as exciting to consider that Nessie may just be a giant eel, at least such a theory does help dispel some of the more ridiculous hypotheses that have grown up around Loch Ness. Those include:
- Mountainous reflections on the water
- Seismic activity
- Swimming elephants
- Surfacing trees
Maybe it’s best if we never know. Some things are better left as mysteries.
For more on the latest theory about the Loch Ness Monster, watch this video:
Featured Image: Fantasy Sea Monster sculpture via Pixabay