United Kingdom – The Loch Ness Monster

A mysterious monster lurks beneath the rippling surface of Loch Ness …

Silently roaming the murky depths, reports claim that a cryptic creature swiftly splits the water, revealing its recognisable neck and humps, before vanishing as quickly as it emerges.

It’s a familiar tale for lots of visitors to Loch Ness, with the mysteries and myths surrounding Scotland’s most famous legend stretching back hundreds of years.

In fact, the earliest account of a monster actually appears in the Life of St Columba by Adomnán, a record of St Columba’s visit to the Highlands in the 6th century. Adomnán describes a man being mauled by a “water beast” and dragged underwater.

Modern-day sightings of Nessie began in 1933 with Aldie Mackay, manageress of the Drumnadrochit Hotel, who reported seeing “an enormous creature with the body of a whale rolling in the water”.

Many of the sightings suggest that Nessie is a plesiosaur-like creature with a long neck and flippers, and thanks to a calculation comparing P.A. Macnab’s 1955 photograph and the Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle, it’s estimated that her largest hump is around 50 feet (15.24m) long – that’s longer than the Jacobite Princess vessel!

To date, there have been over 1,000 Loch Ness Monster sightings, ranging from the controversial “Surgeon’s Photograph” in 1934 to George Edwards’ “most convincing Nessie photograph ever”. Whilst some have turned out to be hoaxes, others have been genuine reports, with no conclusive explanation for their occurrence.

So what is the truth? At Loch Ness, we’re continuing the search…