WHAT COULD NESSIE BE?
This eDNA study will be the first to qualify if there is an unexpected creature in Loch Ness. Here are the suspects of what Nessie might be…
A long-extinct group of aquatic reptiles – the plesiosaurs – have frequently been mentioned in connection with Loch Ness, mostly because Nessie is often said to have a long neck, much like a plesiosaur. But the fossil record gives no indication that plesiosaurs have survived any more recently than 66 million years ago.
A GIANT EEL?
Several monster experts have proposed that Nessie might be an eel that has grown to a size about 10 times bigger than the norm for its species, perhaps because it has been living there for decades or centuries. There are no good indications, however, that eels really can keep growing in this way.
Sturgeons are slow-moving, bottomfeeding fish that have a row of armour plates along the spine, a pointed nose and a sucker-like mouth. They can be up to seven metres long, and are known to move in and out of lakes and rivers according to the season. Sturgeons could explain some Nessie reports.
SOME FLOATING VEGETATION?
Biologist Dr Denys Tucker argued that rotting masses of vegetation might burst to the loch’s surface and then be propelled along at speed by the gases of decomposition. Sightings of such events, he argued, might explain monster reports. However, scarcely any monster reports describe objects that match his idea.
WEIRD SEISMIC ACTIVITY?
Loch Ness is located within a geological fault known as the Great Glen, and certain sections of it are still seismically active. Perhaps minor earth tremors are responsible for weird shapes in the water and releases of bubbles that witnesses have interpreted as sightings of monsters.