Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Anniversary - Loch Ness Monster

Today, May 2, 2011 marks the 78th anniversary of what is considered the world's formal introduction to the Loch Ness Monster. On May 2, 1933, an Inverness newspaper ran an article called "A Strange Spectacle on Loch Ness" that described how Mrs. Mackay encountered the creature on the Scottish lake. This was not the first sighting of the Loch Ness creature, but it was in that year that it was dubbed a monster and the report was widely circulated.

Over the last 78 years, "Nessie" has become probably the most well-known  lake monster in the world. Since 1933, its fame has endured and grown in part because of continual if sporadic sightings, scientific expeditions to find it, and in large part because of marketing: the Loch Ness Monster has become a money-making icon and tourist attraction for the towns surrounding the deep, cold lake.

Although Nessie is not taken seriously by skeptics and many mainstream scientists, there is some evidence that a large, unknown creature really does live in Loch Ness. There have been numerous sightings by reliable witnesses, photographs (both above and below the water's surface), film and video footage, and interesting sonar readings. Unfortunately, none of the evidence has been conclusive, and the definitive proof of its existence has been frustratingly elusive.


Loch Ness is located in Northern Scotland, running southwest to northeast. Size: It is 23 miles long and about 1 mile wide; it is 786 feet at its deepest point; it is the deepest and one of the largest bodies of fresh water in Britain. The loch is home to Atlantic salmon, charr, eels, minnows, large pike, sticklebacks, sturgeon, trout and various other fish. Seals and otters also live in Loch Ness, but are rarely seen.

Description of the Monster:

Shape: long neck; horse-like head; humped back (one or two humps).
Color: dark or elephant gray.
Weight: estimated 2,500 pounds.
Length: 15 to 40 feet.

The Loch Ness Monster may have been sighted as early as the 6th century, but Nessie as we know it today is largely a product of the 20th century.

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