Oh boy! Scratch Scotland off my bucket list! Nessie is solved… kinda!
The good news: The Loch Ness Monster has been captured on sonar by an underwater robot operated by the British division of Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime. The bad news: “Nessie” is a prop from a Sherlock Holmes film that sank in the loch in 1969. The monstrous model was long thought lost until it was discovered this week by the Munin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as part of an underwater survey of the loch for The Loch Ness Project and VisitScotland.
There have been sporadic sightings of what is purported to be the Loch Ness Monster since the first recorded encounter by St Columba in 565 AD. After a supposed photograph was taken in 1933, public interest in some sort of large, dinosaur-like creature making its home in the Highlands skyrocketed, and in the decades since the loch has been subjected to sonar scans, submersible hunts, hydrophone surveys, and enough photographs taken above and below the surface to wallpaper the Grand Canyon.
However, despite all this effort, no conclusive evidence for the existence of Nessie, as it is nicknamed, has ever been found. And yet, surveys, such as the one that Kongsberg Maritime is conducting, continue to collect more data about the loch, its ecology, and whether it could support any sort of population of large, unknown aquatic or semi-aquatic life ranging for surviving plesiosaurs to giant eels.
This week’s discovery may not rock the zoological world, but it is the answer to a 46-year old cinematic mystery.
The remains of the Loch Ness monster model (sonar image pictured) resting on a crest on the bottom of the loch (Credit: Kongsberg Marine).
Great read by David Szondy over at Gizmag…