One of the greatest aids in finding ancient artifacts, strange fossils, hidden secrets and other unknown mysterious items is the weather. Whether it’s snow or permafrost melting, sand or soil blown away by high winds, strong waves pushing more than water ashore or other phenomena, weather is probably more responsible for finding things than hard work or Google maps.
A recent example is the Storm Ciara (does every storm have to have a name these days?) — an extratropical cyclone which crossed the North Atlantic to hit the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and northern Europe with heavy rain and high winds. Caused by a super-intense jet stream blowing at speeds up to 200 mph at an altitude of 30,000 feet, it caused Atlantic waves to wash massive debris and a few hidden treasures ashore. One such item showed up in Aberdeen, Scotland, where a young boy came across a huge skeleton that resembled … this is an easy one – we’re talking Scotland here … the Loch Ness monster, or at least what some think it might look like under its skin. Is it?
“Nessie! Escaped to the sea but then came to a sticky end.”
The photograph appeared on the Facebook page of Fubar News – yes, we know what Fubar stands for, but this is a real media provider in Northern Scotland. (You can see the photo here.) Since it’s an unwritten law in the conventional media world that any unusual sea creature or its remains turning up anywhere in the world is automatically compared to or accused of being the Loch Ness monster, especially in Scotland, the comments quickly favored a wayward Nessie as the identity of the skeletal beast.
“Oh me it’s Nessie the Loch Ness monster.”
Or? The skeleton appears to be fairly intact, so it’s probably from a recently deceased creature rather than a dinosaur. Most suggestions leaned toward larger aquatic animals like an orca, whale (probably the most likely candidate), shark or seal – but looks are deceiving in the photo because the perspective doesn’t give a good idea of the boy’s size relative to the remains. Speaking of the boy, he doesn’t seem afraid of the skeleton, nor does he appear to be holding his breath to avoid the stench of rotting flesh, so it could have been at sea long enough to be picked or washed clean. Does that bring us any closer to determining the species?
“Yep it’s a very very rarely seen deep sea Haggis.”
Can’t these Facebook commenters be serious for even a moment? Besides, for the uninitiated, a haggis is a savory pudding made by stuffing a stomach casing with ground animal organs – scary, but not a giant sea creature. Since this is Aberdeen, not Inverness (although the Inverness Courier covered the story), this does not qualify as the second Loch Ness monster sighting of 2020, even though it looks more like a monster than the first one. As some commenters pointed out, it looks like the skeleton o something that moves from side-to-side rather than up-and-down, so it could be a giant oarfish or a giant eel – what last year’s DNA experiment said Nessie might be. So far, no experts appear to have have examined the photo and shared their opinion, leaving it open to speculation and ridicule – like so much on Facebook. And yes, it doesn’t help that the site’s name is Fubar. It is what it is.
What it is isn’t exactly clear. That may change soon – Storm Dennis is following close behind Ciara and could church up more mysteries … or sweep this one back out to sea.
Has anyone checked Google Maps?