The Case Against the Loch Ness Monster

People love a good legend, especially when it comes to legends about mythical monsters and sea creatures. Perhaps the most famous creature is the Loch Ness Monster, a water-dwelling dinosaur-like animal which is purported to inhabit Loch Ness is Scotland.

Geological evidence has proven that Loch Ness was carved out of the surrounding hillsides by a glacier which covered the area about 10,000 years ago. The body of water known as Loch Ness lies directly atop the Great Glen Fault, which formed the path of travel for the glacier which scoured the hills in order to create the lake. If "Nessie" was indeed a relative of the now-extinct Plesiosaur, it would be impossible for this creature to inhabit Loch Ness: dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years and Loch Ness is only 10,000 years old.

There is further evidence which proves that Nessie could not have been a Plesiosaur. Scientists believe that Plesiosaurs inhabited warm tropical waters, but the water temperature of Loch Ness is about 42 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2006, the University of Cambridge concluded that the neck of the Plesiosaur was not strong enough to allow the creature to stick its neck out of the water. Since most eyewitness accounts of Nessie include the description of a head and neck protruding from water, this creature could not have been a Plesiosaur.

If Nessie was indeed a creature comparable in size to a dinosaur, it would require a food supply larger than what Loch Ness could provide. Considering the geographical age of Loch Ness, Nessie would be well over 10,000 years old by now unless the mythical monster was able to reproduce. This reproduction would mean that several Loch Ness Monsters would be present in the lake, each one requiring an enormous amount of food.

Considering the fact that the hunt for the Loch Ness Monster has been going on since 1934, when Edward Mountain funded the first formal expedition for the famous monster, it is extremely unlikely that this creature exists. Several well-funded expeditions, most of which utilized sonar technology, have failed to turn up indisputable evidence of Nessie's existence. While some of these sonar readings have found unidentified living creatures living in Loch Ness, nothing of extraordinary size was detected. There are several known large species of fish which live in Loch Ness, such as the pike and the sea trout. Other fish species, such as the sturgeon and the blue catfish, have been known to grow to monstrous sizes. In all likelihood, the Loch Ness Monster is probably nothing more than a large fish.

Written by JOTB contributor Marlin Bressi

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