Loch Ness Monster Essay, Research Paper
Images of Nature
Nearly 1000 feet deep and 24 miles long, Scotland’s Loch Ness is believed by many to be home to the unidentified aquatic creature affectionately dubbed “Nessie.”
Since the larger public first became aware of the monster in 1933, the Loch Ness beastie has become an international media star, her most recent appearance on a commemorative stamp recently issued by the Maldive Islands. Nessie has attained the status of a classic phenomenon and her popularity endures. No other monster is as tied in with a country’s image as Nessie is with Scotland. Nessie has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, dozens of books, and has starred or co-starred in several feature films and innumerable documentaries, including an upcoming major studio release. She is arguably the best known cryptozoological creature in the world.
Nessie is certainly one of the most-sighted monsters in the world. At the age of 63, Nessie has lost none of her charisma. She often appears in advertisements (usually selling beer and spirits), is the object of sonar searches of the Loch, and/or is exploited by public relations people cashing in on her ability to attract the international mass media. And there are new sightings of the old girl every year.
If Nessie is proven to exist, British bookmaker William Hill faces a payout of over ?1 million (over US$1.5). Nessie might be worth over a million to those who gamble on her existence, but to Scotland the monster has been worth millions a year as its premiere tourist attraction. Nessie has certainly come a long way since her birth in the 1930s.
There are many negatives in the search for lake monsters. Despite many credible eyewitness sightings, no live monsters have been caught after innumerable attempts in their respective lakes. No carcasses have ever been found that might be anything other than recognizable animals. It is a fact that giant nets, submarines, underwater cameras, sonar, and loch-side crews of observers have all failed to come up with the solid evidence that will prove to the world that there is a Loch Ness Monster.
On the other hand, the great number of eyewitness sightings–which show no signs of abating–make it hard to easily dismiss Nessie, who remains the Queen of all lake monsters.
Most of the Nessie witnesses describe something with two humps, a tail, and a snakelike head. A V-shaped wash was also often mentioned, and such details as a “gaping red mouth” and horns or antennae on the top of the creature’s head were sometimes noted. Nessie’s movements have been studied, and the films and photos analyzed to determine what Nessie might be, if she exists.
There are numerous theories as to Nessie’s identity, including a snake-like primitive whale known as a zeuglodon, a type of long-necked aquatic seal, giant eels, walruses, floating mats of plants, giant molluscs, otters, a “paraphysical” entity, mirages, and diving birds, but many lake monster researchers seem to favor the plesiosaur theory. Most scientists believe that these marine reptiles have been extinct for 60-70 million years, but others think it possible that after the last Ice Age the Loch may have been connected to the sea, and some of these dinosaurs may have been stranded. Others, like David Hall, feel that lake monsters could not possibly be plesiosaurs since plesiosaurs were cold-blooded reptiles that would have preferred warm oceanic currents to cold Scottish Lochs.
And we cannot afford to ignore the fact that sometimes Nessie is a hoax. Only one thing is certain about Nessie: that there are as many theories about her identity as there are theorists.