Does the Loch Ness Monster Exist? These Scientists Found Out

Loch Ness Monster: Scientists to reveal 'plausible' theory

NZ scientist's big reveal: Does Nessie exist?

The mystery around Scotland's fabled Loch Ness monster may have finally been solved - with scientists suggesting it could well eel.

Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness.

Professor Neil Gemmell, a geneticist from New Zealand's University of Otago, told reporters in London that an intensive analysis was carried out on traces of DNA in the Loch's icy waters.

A popular photo of the Loch Ness Monster taken in 1934 abides in the public conscious as the image of the "monster".

They found no evidence that the lake harbors a prehistoric reptile, and no DNA from sharks, catfish or sturgeons, some of the other animals put forth to explain the myth.

Catfish and suggestions that a wandering Greenland shark were behind the sightings were also discounted.

Speaking at a press conference early Thursday morning, New Zealand researcher Neil Gemmell gave his "plausible" explanation for what people may have seen in the past, but added that it is most certainly not a dinosaur.

"We can't find any evidence of a creature that's remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data", Gemmell said, according to the BBC.

The eDNA approach works by sampling the water from the loch and sequencing the DNA from the little bits of shed fur, skin and scales found there.

However, the research did not find evidence of Jurassic-age reptiles such as a plesiosaur, one theory of what was behind more than 1000 reported sightings dating back to the 6th century AD.

A tourist boat is seen on Loch Ness in Drumnadrochit Scotland Sept. 5 2019
A tourist boat is seen on Loch Ness in Drumnadrochit Scotland Sept. 5 2019

"We can collect that DNA and obtain a very accurate indication of what the species was that shed that material, and over time you can collect quite a large body of information from literally a liter of water", he said.

Gemmell said his team had analyzed the water samples for environmental DNA that creatures shed as they move through an environment.

They have now been studied and the research project has now said Nessie is in fact probably a massive EEL.

Gemmell said that as an "element of doubt" remains, "there'll still be plenty of people who want to believe" in the Loch Ness monster.

Mr Feltham, who made childhood visits to the Highlands and moved from Dorset nearly 30 years ago to look for Nessie, said he had seen seals in Loch Ness.

"I felt like for 25 years of my academic career, I'd only just realised how I could be smart about it".

Mr Campbell said tourism that had developed around the story of the monster would be unaffected by the new study.

However, wider interest in the monster was not sparked until 1933 after a road was built along the loch, making it far less isolated.

Tourists take a cruise aboard the "Nessie Hunter" boat on Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

The most recent attempt was three years ago when a high-tech marine drone found a monster - but not the one it was looking for. It inspires books, TV shows and films, and sustains a major tourism industry around its home.

Latest News