Scotland has produced many famous people, from the poet Robert Burns to veteran actor David Tennant. However, one of Scotland’s most famous children has to be Nessie, the infamous Loch Ness Monster. And despite 2021 forcing most things to slow down, sightings of the beast are actually on the increase.
The Loch Ness Monster is a famous, serpent-like creature that inhabits Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The first report of the monster was in the 6th century AD, in Adomnán’s book Life of St. Columba. This book said that Saint Columba found some locals burying a man near the loch, and when Columba asked about the man, they were informed that he had been killed by a water beast that inhabited the loch. Since then, reports of the beast have occurred throughout history, with various people reporting that they saw the creature putting its head above the water.
The most famous sighting of the creature came in 1934 when a photo of the beast’s head and neck was taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson and printed by the Daily Mail. This image captured the public’s attention and led to many people coming to search for the monster. Alas, the photograph was revealed to be an elaborate hoax pulled off by Robert as a way to get revenge on his employer, the Daily Mail. However, despite this, the photo is still circulated as if it was real. With many refusing to believe it was a hoax.
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However, every year there are several reported sightings of the creature, and these sightings are tracked and recorded by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. 2020 had an official count of 13 sightings, but this year’s 14th sighting has just been confirmed, meaning that 2021 is a bumper year for Nessie lovers.
This sighting was reported by Weiming Jiang of Jiaozhou City, China, who spotted two black dots moving around in the water on the Loch Ness Webcam. According to the reports, these dots moved for about six minutes before vanishing back under the water. This webcam has become quite the resource for Nessie spotters as nine of this year’s sightings have come from it, while five have come from people physically at the loch.
This isn’t the only recent sighting, as last month Eoin O’Faodhagain released a 30-second video that shows a large black object floating in the water before sinking back into the depths. This video got a lot of attention from the cryptozoology community. Many noted cryptozoologists see it as one of the most notable sightings in recent memory. Several people have analyzed the video and argued that the video suggests Nessie is over 30ft long.
This bumper year is part of an interesting trend where Nessie sightings seem to be becoming more common. As, between 2000 and 2016, sightings were usually in the single digits, but since 2017 they have been in the mid to high teens every single year. Overall, there have been over 1,143 Loch Ness Monster sightings recorded, meaning that while the number changes year on year, the beast is constantly making appearances for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.
While the mystery of Loch Ness may never be put totally to rest, it represents a fun piece of Scottish folklore that both captures our imaginations and connects us to our history. And, while the evidence may be flimsy at times, it is hard to deny that the videos and the creature’s history make for a fascinating rabbit hole.