Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Hey y’all! Summer is in full swing, and it seems like everyone is dreaming of being at the water. But would you be on the water if there was a chance of encountering a water beast? I mean honestly, most people wouldn’t watch the movie Jaws while floating in a swimming pool let alone jump in an ocean near a shark. However, humans seem drawn to bodies of water despite the dangers that may lurk just below the surface.
I can honestly say that given the chance, I would 100% jump on a boat in Loch Ness, Scotland! I can already imagine others ready to pack their bags at this moment. Road trip anyone?
Nessie was first encountered in August 564. Saint Columba who was visiting Scotland met a group of distraught men at the waters edge. They told him that a water beast had attacked their friend while fishing and despite their efforts, he was dragged to the watery depths. Legend has it that Nessie soon attack Saint Columba and his men, but the good Saint compelled the beast not to attack.
In early folkloric tradition, this area of Scotland was the legend of kelpies. Kelpies were shapeshifting waster monsters. They either appeared as a beautiful horse or a beautiful woman. Horses typically appeared to children, who once aboard the horse’s back, a child would find himself hopelessly stuck while the horse galloped into its lair in the water. Beautiful women lured men to their watery deaths as they hopelessly followed the “woman” into the water where she would transform into a beast and carry him away.
Folklore aside, there have been numerous attempts to assign a tangible explanation to the existence of Nessie. A plesiosaurus fossil, first discovered in 1821, became one explanation. A Jurassic era water dwelling dinosaur that had survived by hiding in the depths of Loch Ness has become one of the more popular explanations. However, in 2018 as team of scientists performed marine DNA testing in the Loch. The results did not reveal anything out of the ordinary. What it did reveal was an abundance of eel DNA.
Could an incredibly large eel have been the beast that dragged away a grown man in 564? According to a 1933 newspaper article in the Inverness Courier, a witness described the beast as a whale-like fish. Further, this was the first time that the word monster had been used to describe Nessie. Later that same year, a man and his wife claimed that the monster had crossed the road in front of their car. I’m not an expert, but I don’t think an eel can jump on land and propel itself across the road. I think this is a phenomena that requires further scientific exploration.
Whatever the outcome, true believers will stand fast and continue to keep an eye for the illusive monster. Throughout the years Nessie and others like her have become beloved mascots of the lakes in which they reside. They have garnered celebrity status with fans eagerly hoping for a glimpse of their favorite cryptid.
If you'd like to read more about legendary lake monsters check out the article History of Legendary Lake Monsters. Sign up to join in the conversation!