Over at his blog, Nessie authority Roland Watson has a fascinating story that is focused on the theory that the Loch Ness Monsters may be giant salamanders. It should be noted that the salamander angle is not a new one, but the account that Roland shares with us is. It begins as follows: “I received a message from another Nessie fan, Paolo Boccuccia, about a story he heard back in 1983. This was Paolo’s second visit to the loch in four years and he wanted to ask various local people who were older whether they had seen the monster. One lady, who Paolo thinks was a Mrs. McKenzie claimed to have had a land sighting back in the summer of 1922 near Borlum Bay. Paolo from here refers to the notes he made at the time rather than remembering the conversation thirty seven years later. She stumbled upon this creature which was no more than six feet long and had the general appearance of a salamander but not quite the same. It was very dark in colour and she noticed it had two extended ‘nostrils‘ on a head which she described as like that of a snail. Paolo said this reminded him of the famous Greta Finlay sighting of 1952, though the neck did not seem quite as long.”
Roland added: “Having watched the creature for a good five minutes, she drew nearer to it and the inertness of the creature made her think it was either dead or asleep. Since she was now so near to it she reached out and touched its tail. She told Paolo it was like touching a snail. Like a flash the animal fled back into the water and she saw two distinct front paddle-like limbs.” Many of you know that I lean towards the paranormal aspect of the Nessie mystery. That said, though, if the creatures are not paranormal in nature then, for me, the salamander scenario is a highly likely one. Remember that the creature seen back in 1922 was only around six-feet in length. This strongly suggests it was a young specimen. The reason: we have reports of Nessies much bigger in length, so it makes sense this one would have been relatively young.
With the above said, let’s now have a deeper look at the salamander-Nessie situation. To do so, we need to focus on the huge, incredible amount of work done in this specific field by Steve Plambeck (check out his blog: “The Loch Ness Giant Salamander“). The salamander theory actually dates back to the earliest years of Nessie lore, but, certainly, no-one has dug quite so deep into this theory than Steve. Salamanders are amphibians that are noted for their long tails, blunt heads, and short limbs and which – in the case of the Chinese giant salamander – can reach lengths of six feet. But, is it possible that some salamanders could grow much larger, even to the extent of fifteen to twenty-feet and live in the deep and dark waters of Loch Ness? Maybe. Steve also says the Nessies are likely to be creatures that derive their oxygen from the water. Add to that the distinct lack of large numbers of reports and what we have, Steve believes, is some form of creature that spends the bulk of its time on the bed of the loch. Or, at least, very near to it. Only on occasion, Steve suggests, do the animals venture to the higher levels, something that would account for the occasional sightings and images caught on sonar. He also suggests that when the monsters do take to the higher levels of Loch Ness, they do so along its sides – which are the main areas where Loch Ness’s fish populations dwell. In other words, the monsters surface chiefly when they are feeding. Steve notes: “Such behavior is only consistent with a fish, or aquatic amphibian, which can extract all of its needed oxygen directly from the water.”
Whatever the answer to the Loch Ness Monster riddle is, there’s no doubt that encountering a 20-foot-long salamander in Loch Ness (or on the land surrounding the loch) would be totally amazing!