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Unexplained Phenomena Articles

Monster Spotlight: Loch Ness Monster

Monster Spotlight: Loch Ness Monster

A prehistoric reptile, a supernatural phenomenon, or simply a case of misidentification? We may never know precisely what the Loch Ness monster is; however, it is no stretch to say that this elusive creature is a mainstay in our popular lore. It wasn't until the 1930's when the Loch Ness monster catapulted into infamy, but legends of the mysterious waterborne monster are far, far older. Read on to find out some surprising details about the enticing myth and legend of the Loch Ness monster—the mystery saddled in the depths of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Theories

Legends endure long periods and technology. The myth of the Loch Ness monster caught the public's imagination like wildfire by the 1930s when photography was more advanced and widespread. Before Nessie was caught on camera, a man named George Spicer was the first witness to come forward with a detailed description of the monster he claimed to have seen on land. One detail that stuck was the beast's long neck, and a prominent journalist suggested it was an ancient marine reptile, the plesiosaur. Now that the public image of the creature was created, the amount of photo evidence and witness reports poured in to support this theory. The general conception that the Loch Ness monster was a prehistoric reptile became the dominant and lasting speculation about its identity.

Loch Ness Monster and King Kong

What do the Loch Ness monster and King Kong have in common? Well, a lot, actually. In 2013, a new and respected Nessie theory emerged in academic and scientific circles. The theory poses that when the classic fantasy film King Kong was released in 1933, Nessie fever was at an all-time high. It's believed that the King Kong movies may have influenced the public image and future sightings after the film's release.

Loch Ness's monster encounters pre-dated King Kong; however, after the film went mainstream, the frequency of sightings skyrocketed, and descriptions began to match the film's water-bound reptilian villain. Perhaps a case of mistaken identity?

But…Is Nessie a Reptile?

Against popular belief, most credible Loch Ness monster sightings don't feature long-neck descriptions! In over 251 extensive reports, out of a documented 1,452 encounters with the creature, only 20% feature descriptions of a long neck. Even more surprising, only 1% of these reports mention scales or other reptilian characteristics. These statistics lead many diehard Nessie enthusiasts to ask, "Is the Loch Ness monster a reptile?"

There are many more possibilities for the identity of the Loch Ness monster. Some suggest grotesque hybrid animals, visiting extraterrestrials, demonic creatures, and natural or manufactured debris.

No matter your theory, the legend and sightings of the monster are here to stay. We may never know exactly what this creature is, but we can be assured that something is nestled in the murky depths of the Scottish Highlands.

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