New search for Nessie the Loch Ness Monster gets underway
A team of international scientists have launched a new pioneering survey of Scotland’s most famous stretch of water in a bid to finally solve the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster.
The mission to identify what lives in the freshwater loch, the biggest in the UK, is being led by the Super Natural History team.
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The project involves taking lots of samples of the water in search of DNA traces as every living creature that moves through the loch leaves behind tiny fragments of their identity through flakes of skin, scales, feathers, fur, faeces and urine.
Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand is leading the team which includes Adrian Shine from the Loch Ness Project who has conducted previous research on the loch. Similar investigations are being carried out at nearby Lochs Morar, Oich and Garry.
The team will spend the next two weeks travelling the length of the loch on the Loch Ness Project’s research vessel, Deepscan, taking water samples from three different depths. These will then be sent to laboratories in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and France to be analysed. Final findings of the search are expected to be released in early 2019.
In 2016 a 30-foot long Loch Ness Monster model as found on the loch bed during a state-of-the art sonar search by Kongsberg Maritime and supported by The Loch Ness Project and VisitScotland.
The finding was a prop from the 1970 film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, directed by Billy Wilder and starring Robert Stephens and Christopher Lee and it is believed the model sank after its buoyant humps were removed.
Loch Ness is famous throughout the world, not only for the monster which is said to inhabit its waters, but as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Previous attempts to find the monster have so far failed although other discoveries have been made, such as a crashed Wellington bomber from the Second World War, a 100-year-old Zulu class sailing fishing vessel and parts of John Cobb’s speed record attempt craft Crusader which crashed at over 200mph in 1952
“The mystery and the intrigue of the Loch Ness Monster attracts visitors from all over the world to the stunning area every year. It is exciting to welcome Professor Gemmell and his team to the loch and we will be eagerly anticipating their findings,” said Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leaderships Director.
“While the research could provide an insight into one of the world’s most famous enigmas, it will certainly offer a closer look at all of the different creatures living in the loch.”