Saturday, April 19, 2014

Loch Ness Monster Trending

The legendary water monster said to live in Scotland's Loch Ness is trending today on social media sites following the release of new evidence.  Two Apple Maps users spotted a strange sight under the surface of the water about six months ago and sent photos to the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club.  The group sat on the photo for a while, allowing several experts to view it.  Some say the picture just shows the wake of a boat, but experts have said that isn't the case as there is no hull or superstructure visible.  Other explanations such as a floating log or the wake from playing seals have been ruled out due to its large size.  

The low-resolution satellite image was only able to be viewed on certain iPads and iPhones.  Doubters have went so far as to accuse Apple employees of purposely inserting the image at the location as a joke.  The photo's release ended an 18 month drought of Nessie sightings.  Some believers are wondering if the creature has died.  An annual prize of $1000 awarded for the best photograph of Nessie went unclaimed last year, as only three pics were submitted.  One tuned out to be a duck, one was the wake of a boat, and the other wasn't even taken at Loch Ness.  The prize has been doubled for this year.

The legend of Nessie goes back to the 6th century when Saint Columbia was said to have came across a man who had been attacked by the beast in the River Ness.  He banished the monster to the lake, where over 1000 sightings have since been recorded. 

Modern sightings were sparked in 1933 when George Spicer and his wife were driving near Loch Ness and reported a creature with a huge body and long neck crossed the road in front of them, heading toward the loch.  Weeks later a similar creature was spotted by a motorcyclist, who described it as a plesiosaur.

That same year the Daily Mail hired big game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell to find evidence of the monster.  He came up with some footprints, but the Museum of Natural History decided they had came from dried hippopotamus feet, which had became fashionable to use as the base of umbrella stands.  The newspaper fired Wetherell after he failed to find anything of value.

On April 21, 1934 the Daily Mail published the most famous pic ever taken that claimed to show Nessie.  It became known as the "Surgeon's Photograph" because it was submitted by Robert Wilson, a doctor.  However, in 1994 Wetherall's stepson came forward claiming that he helped carry out the hoax that resulted in the photo, using a toy submarine.  Wetherall convinced Wilson to submit the photo because of his untarnished reputation. 

The Surgeon's Photograph

In years since, submarines, high-tech sonar devices, and all manner of methods have been employed to search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster.  Many strange anomalies have been found, but nothing definitive.  That isn't all that surprising, as Loch Ness is over 700 feet deep and the second largest body of water in Scotland, but largest by volume.  It's murky waters are believed to allow Nessie to go unseen, except for the occasional photo op. 

I would love to see evidence that could lead to answers about the Loch Ness Monster more than anyone, but I think they're reaching with this one.  I don't see anything that looks like the traditional depictions.  Had I spotted this, I would have went for Monster Catfish.  Comparing it to photos of other boat wakes, like the one below, solidified my belief.  I'm sure those who benefit from tourism in the area are pleased that fresh interest in the lake monster has the internet buzzing.  Perhaps more concrete evidence will come from this renewed interest. I wish these Apple Map users would put their energy into searching for Malaysia Flight 370.

Example of boat wake, North Carolina

Keep Lookin!!

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