The largest hunt for the beast that bears his name in half a century will take place in Loch Ness on Saturday. Two hundred volunteers gather at a loch in the Scottish Highlands to catch a glimpse of Nessie, as she is known. “We hope to inspire a new generation of Nessie hunters.”
Using drones, thermal and infrared scanners, underwater cameras, and an underwater microphone, the mysterious reptiles are being discovered. According to Paul Nixon, director of the Loch Ness Centre, the scavenger hunt is the perfect tribute to the legend of the loch. “Through this research, we of course hope to spark a new generation of Nessie hunters,” Nixon said.
About 300 people follow the search via Live Photos. The expedition was organized by the Loch Ness Center and a volunteer research team called Loch Ness Exploration.
Another great task
The last major search for the animal was done in 1972. The Investigation Center responsible for this was the Loch Ness Investigation Center, which was set up in the 1960s to find evidence of Nessie’s existence. In 1977, the research team was disbanded again due to lack of results. A year later, 24 boats equipped with echo sounders searched for the monster again, but found only large wreckage.
Science considers it impossible for a giant reptile to live in a freshwater lake. Observations so far have been based solely on witness statements. The first mention dates back to 565, when an Irish monk claimed to have encountered the beast in the River Ness, which flows from Loch Ness. More recently, in 1933, the hotel manager also said she saw a “whale”.
Giant sea snake
Four years ago, scientists came up with a “plausible theory”. They discovered exceptionally large amounts of DNA from sea snakes in a Scottish loch. So it seems strongly that the Loch Ness Monster is just a large eel, although the researchers say the DNA could also come from several smaller eels. “The snakes are usually 15 to 20 feet long, which is much smaller than what people say they see in the lake,” lead researcher Neil Gemmell said at the time. “One or two eels can get very large — 50 percent or even larger.”
Whether the beast existed or not, the legend surrounding it certainly benefited the Scottish economy. The country annually receives millions of tourists hoping to see the beast. Many movies, TV shows, and books are also based on the mythical reptile.
The region, like many other holiday destinations, has suffered economically from the coronavirus travel restrictions. The research should help bring Loch Ness back to tourists from outside Europe, including the United States and Japan.
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