After decades of sightings, investigations, and theories, and even that very famous hoaxed photo, the legend of the Loch Ness Monster continues to endure. Nessie’s possible existence still intrigues people around the world, including a team of scientists who recently conducted a study that they believe suggests the Loch Ness Monster “might” in fact be real.
Following a major scientific study of Loch Ness, the researchers revealed that DNA samples taken from the lake's many water-dwelling creatures, at three different depths, could not conclusively conclude that the elusive monster is purely mythical, citing that some of the data is “surprising.”
Although this news does not confirm that a living, breathing plesiosaur is currently swimming the waters of the loch, the scientists do maintain that their findings point to one of the “main theories” about Nessie being correct; but which theory they are actually referring will not be revealed until the full study is published next month! In the meantime, read the article below to learn a little more about the recent project.
A major scientific study of Loch Ness has sensationally discovered Nessie 'might' - be real.
Experts traveled the length of the famous loch on research vessel Deepscan taking water samples from three different depths.
The scientists collected DNA left by all creatures from their skin, scales, feathers, fur, feces.
The DNA samples were then sent to labs in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, and France to be analyzed for the final findings.
Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago, New Zealand and his team who carried out the project have now concluded their research.
The prof - an expert in genomics, ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology - now says the results were 'surprising'.
He says they tested the data against most of the main theories about the Loch Ness monster.
Prof. Gemmell says while the full details will be released at a later stage one of the theories 'might' be correct.
Two main theories about the monster are it is a long-necked plesiosaur that somehow survived the period when dinosaurs became extinct, or it is a sturgeon or giant catfish.
Prof Gemmell said he hoped to announce the full findings of the study in Scotland next month - but would not confirm which hypothesis might be right.
He said: "Is there anything deeply mysterious? Hmm. It depends what you believe. Is there anything startling? There are a few things that are a bit surprising.
"What we'll have achieved is what we set out to do, which is document the biodiversity of Loch Ness in June 2018 in some level of detail.
"We've tested each one of the main monster hypotheses and three of them we can probably say aren't right and one of them might be."
It was hoped the study's findings would be published earlier this year, but a series of failed attempts to film a television documentary delayed the process.
Negotiations with a series of production companies ended without a deal.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Loch Ness every year to try and catch a glimpse of the mythical monster.
Nessie is worth millions of pounds to the Scottish economy - and tourist bosses previously said they are "eagerly anticipating" the results.
Announcing the study last year, Professor Gemmell said: "Scotland is dear to my heart because my mother and her family are Scottish, I’m delighted to be here to undertake our environmental DNA investigation of Loch Ness.
"It’s a place of extraordinary natural beauty.
"We’re delighted with the amount of interest the project has generated in the science and, monster or not, we are going to understand Loch Ness, and the life in it, in a new way."
In a moment of synchronicity, the news of the Loch Ness Monster study was released around the same time as news of the discovery of an enormous fossilized elasmosaur (of the plesiosaur family), on the continent of Antarctica. Are sea monsters making a resurgence? Or will the new Nessie study reveal the monster to be something less than monstrous? Discuss your thoughts in the comments!