Aug 17, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

Climate Change May Finally Reveal Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and Other Cryptids

The search for the Loch Ness monster took an interesting twist recently with the discovery of a fossilized tooth in a Morocco desert that belonged to a small freshwater plesiosaur – a dinosaur often said to have survived in Loch Ness to become the monster. Some scientists linked the signs that this dinosaur lived in Ness-like freshwater and ate marine life that could also live in Loch Ness and concluded this was ‘proof’ (as many headlines attested to) of the existence of the creature. Morocco is a long way from Scotland and the Cretaceous era is a long way from modern times, but those who want to believe in the Loch Ness monster will cling to any wet straws they can find. Another example of this occurred this week when a Scottish environmental group warned (or perhaps predicted) that climate change may be warming and evaporating Loch Ness at a rate that could drive Nessie up from its cold depths to look for food and colder waters to hide in. Since climate change is a worldwide phenomenon, it begs the question – could it be affecting Bigfoot and other cryptids as well? Will climate change finally help proved the existence of mythical creatures? Would those discoveries be worth the cost?

Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?

“Nessie is our most important monster in Scotland, the legend of Nessie being international. By taking action now to combat climate change we can preserve Nessie’s natural habitat before she is roaming the banks of Loch Ness looking for food and somewhere cold to hunker down.”

Joan Lawrie is the Project Manager with the North Highlands and Islands Climate Hub – an organization promoting community led climate action in the North Highlands & Northern Isles of Scotland – and she tells the Daily Star she is particularly concerned about Loch Ness and any other lochs with lesser monsters in danger of losing them to climate. The average depth of Loch Ness is 433 feet, with a maximum of 745 feet, and its average temperature is a frigid 41 degrees F (5 C) with a range between 58 degrees F (14 C) and 36 degrees F (2.2 C). While a rise of a few degrees at those temperatures won’t make much difference to human swimmers, it could definitely affect a coldblooded giant aquatic reptile and the fish and reptiles it eats. However, the real danger to a giant creature in Loch Ness would be drought and its effect on the water level. Leaving Loch Ness is no solution – even though a freshwater plesiosaur could walk on land, the other lochs will be in the same climate-affected dire straits.

“In the Highlands, we have taken the value of water as a resource for granted, but every year since 2018 we have experienced periods of water scarcity. This has both an impact on water volume but also, importantly, on water quality as well. This in turn affects the plants and animals that live in our lochs as well as our ability to use water for our own needs.”

Ben Leyshon of Highland Adapts, another organization bringing communities, businesses, land managers and public sector together to facilitate a climate-ready Highland, agrees – while the Loch Ness monster may be mythical to many, it is extremely important to local businesses and its mythical demise, or even just poor health, due to climate change, could help inspire Scots to save the Nessie and save the world.

What could the effects of climate change be on other cryptids like Bigfoot?

“Climate change, it turns out, is going to be a mixed blessing for the sasquatch. The legendary American apeman will lose some of its existing habitat in the coastal and lowland regions of the northwestern United States, but gain a lot of new land in the Rocky Mountains and Canada.”

In a study published in the Journal of Biogeography, biologist Jeff Lozier of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues collected records of North American Bigfoot sightings, deduced where it may have lived in the past, combined this data with current North American environmental data, fed it into program called ecological niche modelling and forecast what effect climate change will have on Bigfoot’s preferred living areas now and in the future. The results shows a high concentration of Bigfoot sightings in the wooded and mountainous areas of California, Oregon and Washington, and predicted to no one’s surprise that an increase in temperatures there would push Sasquatch to move north and uphill.

Before you say, “But, but, but … cryptids aren’t real!”, Loren Coleman, Bigfoot investigator and founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, pointed out in an interview that “Cryptozoology is really based on science and the sciences.” He noted that visitors to the museum (this interview was back in the pre-COVID shutdown days) frequently asked him about real animals they have seen in areas where they don’t normally live (the Virginia opossum being seen in Maine is an example) and he points a finger at climate change and global warming, then reminds the questioners that the same thing is happening to cryptids, which are animals as well and are logically making the same decisions and following the same migration north as other creatures – and on their feet or bellies, not via teleportation.

In the same article published in The Outline, writer Andrew Paul identifies one cryptid that could benefit from climate change –the Chupacabra. Not the goat-sucking Puerto Rican Chupacabra but the Texas version that looks more like the mange-infected dog or coyote most of them are – these poor creatures have a better chance of surviving the disease in a warmer climate and could get their fur back or at least be seen by more people and possibly captured and treated.

What about Mothman?

While we’ve only talked about three cryptids here – the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot and the Chupacabra – the idea that climate change can and will have similar effects on other cryptids now makes more sense. A loss of habitat in Australia could drive any surviving Tasmanian tigers out into the open in search of food and shelter.  Other aquatic monsters like Lake Champlain’s Champ could be driven to shore by drought and water levels dropping. Perhaps even Mothman could go back to its evil ways and create havoc in order to punish humans for climate change – or at least call attention to it by doing something like causing a dam instead of a bridge to collapse.

If mythical creatures can force humans to make real efforts to save the environment, does that in a way make them real?

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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