The story of Loch Ness and the monster that lives in it
Much has been speculated about the legend of Loch Ness, which claims that a large and mysterious creature lives in it, but what has actually been found?
Loch Ness has been placed for centuries as one of the most mysterious places in the world, mainly because of the supposed monster that lives in it, whose legend has caused more mysteries to join it. From the ‘world’s most wicked man’, to tourists in search of the very beginning of cryptozoology, they haunt Loch Ness.
Loch Ness is located in the Scottish Highlands, 37 kilometers southwest of Inverness, and is part of a large interconnected network of water bodies that also includes the River Ojche, the Caledonian Canal and Loch Doherfort. The main characteristic of these bodies of water is that they are particularly dark due to the presence of large amounts of peat in the nearby sediments.
It is for this reason that Loch Ness has left much to the imagination about the creatures that inhabit it. For centuries there has been a legend that says that a colossal-sized sea monster inhabits it, which they have called Nessi and is the reason why the lake has gained great popularity among locals and tourists from all over the world.
What does the legend of Loch Ness say?
The first hints of the Loch Ness legend appear in an ancient text from the 7th century called Vita Columbae (Life of Saint Columba). It is said that in the year 565, Saint Columba, the leader of the Gaelic missionary monks, saved a man who had supposedly been attacked by an unknown animal in the lake.
This is the first historical record of a strange animal inhabiting the waters of a Scottish loch. However, no further details of what happened to Saint Columba’s triumph were given, and instead many scholars have questioned the credibility of this story, as other accounts of him border on the absurd. In it, Saint Columba is described as having superhuman strength, and there is even a story that the monk can kill a wild man with the power of his mere voice.
Other stories have been linked to the lake since ancient times, one of which tells of creatures known as kelpies. The early inhabitants of the area believed that the lochs and other ponds of Scotland were inhabited by shape-shifting water sprites. But descriptions of the monster don’t quite align with the Loch Ness monster, as they are often described as horse-like or even human.
The most famous photograph of Nessie
The legend of the lake has remained unresolved, coexisting with beliefs about other strange creatures in the area, but nothing else is officially recorded. That changed in 1868 when legends resurfaced that the lake was inhabited by a large fish.
It was not until 1933 that the modern legend was reinstated. This year, the local Inverness Courier newspaper published an article mentioning a huge whale-like creature that caused the waters of Loch Ness to churn. Supposedly the editor at the time, Evan Barron, suggested that the narrative include the term ‘monster’ to refer to the sighting and thus the modern legend of Loch Ness was born.
Then, in April 1934, a photograph allegedly taken by surgeon R.K. Wilson of the gigantic long-necked creature that jutted out of the lake. The photo went around the world reconfirming the legend of the monster they called Nessie. However, decades later, in 1994, the son-in-law of actor and silent film director Marmaduke Wetherell told the Daily Mail that he had taken the photo, faked the scene and used Wilson’s name just to make things believable.
Cryptozoology and occultism
Many people have expressed their fascination with the mysteries surrounding Ness, despite the fact that the most famous photo of the Loch Ness monster has been proven to be a fake. In fact, the lake has become known as the quintessential site for finding the cornerstones of cryptozoology. It is a pseudoscience that seeks to prove the existence of mythical and fantastic creatures such as Nessie or Jeti, and to verify that some animals declared extinct continue to inhabit the planet, such as the megalodon.
But despite the efforts of searchers, no evidence has so far been found to suggest the possibility of these creatures, including the Loch Ness monster. Beyond that, cryptozoology isn’t the only one looking towards this part of Scotland, the occult and all things occult are doing the same.The famous occultist Aleister Crowley, known as the ‘world’s most wicked man’, was also fascinated by the legend of Ness and took possession of a large mansion (Boleskine House) next to the lake where he practiced his Thelemite magic.
What has been found so far in Loch Ness?
Unsurprisingly, there have been many anecdotal reports of sightings in this large murky freshwater lake, however, until now there has been no conclusive evidence of the presence of any kind of unusual creature.
Investigations have been carried out analyzing the presence of different DNAs and so far only genes from dogs, sheep, cows, deer, rabbits, birds and of course humans have been found. But the DNA that got the most attention from scientists came from a species likely to be confused with the monster, the eel.
Eels inhabit Scottish rivers that flow from the Sargasso Sea region of the Bahamas. They then travel nearly 5,000 kilometers to the UK and the rivers and lochs of Scotland. So if one were to draw factual conclusions, one could assume that the sightings actually involved eels.