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Searching for a Monster

A group of people gathered in Scotland to look for the legendary Loch Ness monster.

People aboard a boat called Nessie Hunter and a boat called Deep Scan Loch Ness on a body of water.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News

Volunteers armed with technology searched Loch Ness, hoping for signs of a monster called Nessie.

Legend has it that a monster lurks in a body of water in Scotland called Loch Ness. Could it be true? One weekend in August 2023, volunteers traveled to the loch, hoping for answers.

“We are looking for breaks in the surface and asking volunteers to record all manner of natural behavior on the loch,” Alan McKenna told the British Broadcasting Corporation. McKenna represents Loch Ness Exploration, an organization dedicated to searching for the monster. “Not every ripple or wave is a beastie. Some of those can be explained, but there are a handful that cannot.”

For two days, hundreds of monster hunters scanned the murky waters for any signs of the existence of “Nessie” (that’s the monster’s nickname). While people have been searching for the creature for generations, the chance of success is better than ever due to modern technology. The weekend’s volunteers brought along sonar equipment, which allows them to map the lake bed. They also brought thermal-imaging drones meant to detect heat (a sign of life), as well as hydrophones that can pick up sounds from deep under the water. And they had a deep faith that Nessie is real.

“I’m 90 percent convinced [the monster] exists,” Ken Gerhard, who researches creatures like Nessie, told NBC News. “I’ve never had a sighting or an observation, but if you immerse yourself in the evidence, you have over a thousand good sightings that are very consistent.”

A magnifying glass passes over Loch Ness. In one spot, the outline of a monster can be seen.

© Raman Maisei, Tomas Legat/, © Historia/; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Does Nessie exist, or is she a figment of our imagination?

Many sightings have since been disproved. Alistair Matheson, who pilots a boat that takes searchers around the loch, said the vessel’s sonar had recently detected the outline of a monster. But it turned out to be a model of Nessie that had been used in a movie and then left on the lake bed. 

Still, some people argue that the enormous size of Loch Ness and its dark water keep the possibility of Nessie alive. It would be very easy for a creature to hide, they say.

No one that weekend uncovered proof that the monster exists. But as long as there’s a Loch Ness, the legend will live on.

Did You Know?

Road signs show an outline of a hair creature and a message stating that Bigfoot has been seen in the area.

© Pixelpodllc/

In many parts of the world, there have been sightings of different versions of an enormous, humanlike land creature. The northwestern United States is said to be home to Bigfoot, while the Himalayas of Asia are the territory of the Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman.

Numerous photos exist—but no one has ever been able to verify that the pictures are real.

The Legend of the Loch Ness Monster

© Historia/

In 1934, a newspaper claimed that this photo showed the Loch Ness monster.

People have been reporting sightings of a monster in Loch Ness for hundreds of years. Ancient people called the Picts, who lived in Scotland starting in about 300 CE, made stone carvings of a creature with flippers. In 1933, a couple reported that they saw a giant beast that looked like a dragon cross the road in front of the loch and disappear into the water. After that, many more people claimed to have seen a monster, or at least signs that a monster exists.

In 1934, a British newspaper called the Daily Mail printed a photograph that it claimed showed the head and neck of the Loch Ness monster emerging from the water. Some people guessed that the photo, which was taken by an English doctor, was a plesiosaur—a marine reptile that has been extinct for 65.5 million years. Today, it’s widely believed that this photo was a hoax. Other photos that supposedly show the monster are also believed to be fake.

Does that mean there’s no monster in Loch Ness? Not necessarily. The search continues, and as technology improves, enthusiasts remain hopeful that Nessie will be revealed.

Real or Not?

A hairy creature reflected in binoculars being held to a person’s eyes.

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Footprints…photos…videos… There are numerous signs that something is going on in the northwestern United States. But is there a real creature called Bigfoot, or is this the work of clever pranksters? That’s still being debated. You can read more about this enduring mystery at Britannica!




: something that exists only in the imagination and is not possible in reality

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