Scotland Begins Hunt For Loch Ness Monster: Largest in 50 Years
Using drones with thermal scanners, infrared-equipped boats, and underwater hydrophones, researchers converge on Scotland’s Loch Ness for an unprecedented hunt.
Scotland is reviving its hunt for the famed Loch Ness Monster, with the most significant search operation in five decades taking place in the Scottish Highlands. A convergence of researchers and enthusiasts from across the globe has gathered, armed with modern technology like drones equipped with thermal scanners, boats with infrared cameras, and underwater hydrophones.
The Loch Ness, a freshwater lake stretching 23 miles and reaching depths of 788 feet, has long been a source of mystery. Historical records of a creature in its depths date back to AD 565, when an Irish monk's biography mentioned a beast that attacked a swimmer. The 20th century intensified the lore, especially after a supposed photograph of the monster, known as the "Surgeon’s Photograph," surfaced in 1934. Though later revealed as a hoax, the image skyrocketed the creature's fame, making Nessie a staple in global folklore.
Various explorations in the past have tried to ascertain the monster's existence. An extensive search in 1972 yielded no results. In 1987, a sonar sweep of the lake suggested an "unidentified object of unusual size and strength". A 2018 DNA survey dispelled rumors of prehistoric creatures but did indicate a large presence of eels.
The Loch Ness Centre in Inverness, in collaboration with Loch Ness Exploration, spearheads this new two-day search event. Enthusiastically dubbed "The Quest," it has attracted a massive influx of participants. So overwhelming was the response that the center had to halt online registrations. This hunt isn't just nostalgia; it’s also a significant tourism boost. Over a million visitors are drawn to the region annually, lured by the monster’s legend and contributing significantly to the Scottish economy.
The tools in this year's search are unprecedented. Drones will capture thermal anomalies both above and below the water. Hydrophones will listen for unfamiliar sounds in the loch's depths, though nobody's certain about Nessie's sonic profile. Sightings are documented meticulously, from subtle water movements to weather patterns.
Interest in Nessie isn't just a fleeting curiosity. For many, like Mark Thewlis, who manages a Nessieland souvenir shop, the monster is an obsession. Some speculate that Nessie might not be a conventional creature but perhaps something supernatural.
As the hunt continues, locals cheekily suggest that one's chances of spotting the Loch Ness Monster might improve with a glass or two of Scotland’s famous whisky. Whether Nessie is real or a product of collective imagination and folklore, the world watches in anticipation.