For numerous decades, people have reported witnessing a massive and strange creature in Scottish waters that is famously known as the “Loch Ness Monster”. In a very old report, a newspaper article written in the Inverness Courier on May 2, 1933 described how a local couple claimed to have witnessed “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface” of Loch Ness.
In more recent times, there were a total of 16 Nessie sightings last year in 2021 (10 webcam sightings and 6 views in person) – that number was two less than 2019 when there were 18 sightings of the elusive creature (the most since 1983).
The question remains regarding what these witnesses are seeing. In 2019, it was reported that DNA collected in more than 50 samples taken from the water at Loch Ness claimed that Nessie was probably just a giant eel.
Then about a year ago, a Nessie expert claimed that the creature was an ancient and undiscovered sea turtle that ended up trapped in the Loch Ness when the water receded during the end of the last Ice Age.
And of course, there have been numerous claims that the elusive creature is a dinosaur or a plesiosaur (ancient marine reptile with an exceptionally long neck). But according to an expert, there is no possibility that people are seeing a plesiosaur in the loch.
The fossils of a type of plesiosaur called an elasmosaurus have recently been analyzed and the results revealed that the creature could not have held its head in the same manner as the Loch Ness Monster appears to, specifically in the famous photograph from 1934 where the creature’s head is elevated out of the water.
Based on the recent study of the elasmosaurus bones, that creature was only able to lift its head below or at the same level as its body. Dr. Paul Scofield, who is a curator at Canterbury Museum in New Zealand, explained this in further detail, “The labyrinth of the ear works best when the tiny bones within are able to hang unaffected by gravity.” “For this reason, the position of the inner ear within the skull of an animal reveals a lot about how an animal habitually holds its head.” “We have examined the inner ear of elasmosaurs and determined that their resting position was with the head horizontal to the body or even well below the body.” “This implies that they probably did not frequently hold their heads up high.”
With that being said, the theory that the Loch Ness Monster is an elasmosaurus has pretty much been debunked. However, that still leaves the question as to what exactly is Nessie? The mystery continues...
And image of an elasmosaurus skeleton and a photo of the bones that the researchers conducted CT scans on can be viewed here.