Mar
15
2006

The Loch Ness...elephant?

Nessie: The most famous photo of the Loch Ness monster, from 1933.
Nessie: The most famous photo of the Loch Ness monster, from 1933.


Swimming elephant: An elephant swimming.

Dr. Neil Clark, Scotland's top dinosaur expert, has come to the conclusion that the famous Loch Ness monster was really a circus elephant.

Dr. Clark noted that the famous photo of Nessie looks very much like an elephant swimming, with its head and body mostly submurged and its trunk sticking up out of the water. He also found that sightings of the "monster" had been very rare until 1933 -- when a circus came to the area. It's possible that the circus master allowed his elephants to swim in the Loch, and then got the idea for a publicity stunt. We do know that one such impresario, Bertram Mills, offered a reward for anyone who could capture Nessie for his circus -- and that sightings of the "monster" immediately surged.

Bertram died in 1938, and Nessie sightings dropped sharply thereafter. However, the elephant theory does not explain away other, incontrovertible evidence.

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (19 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If you look at the picture of Nessie and imagine an elephant body and head, it fits perfectly!!! By the way, they never said elephants live underwater, they said they were swimming like all animals do. The owner of the circus probably just wanted to make more money so he made up a phony story. Why else would the sightings increase when the circus was around? Did Nessie just want to see the clowns? I don't think so?

posted on Sun, 05/14/2006 - 5:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

nessie aint tru !!

posted on Sun, 05/14/2006 - 6:12am
molly's picture
molly says:

i think its real.it truly is. im doing a speech on it at school and and its going to be hard convincing my classmates!!!

posted on Sun, 05/14/2006 - 4:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why cant you except that its just a creature were unsure of , why do people have to make it something strange its not an elepahnt , you just want attention , stop spreading rumors we can all make up things like nessie is an elephant( theres no resemblinse)thanks
!!

posted on Sat, 05/06/2006 - 4:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WHAT EVER!!

The Loch ness Monster still DOES exist, ????????!!!

posted on Fri, 04/21/2006 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I THINK ITS A BEAST FROM THE DINOSAUR AGE

posted on Sat, 04/15/2006 - 3:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thats phony! its pretty cool though!

posted on Sun, 04/09/2006 - 11:06am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think the lock ness elaphant is real. Do you?

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 7:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what would an elephant be doing in Scotland?

posted on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 6:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think Nessie the Loch Ness Monster is indeed real and those who disagree, well they can just sit there and be quiet. I think that if she is real, the press, dumb scientists, and stupid people should leave her alone. THE PICTURE on the main page was a fraud so you should really change that!!!

posted on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 11:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ya i don't agree i don't think an elephant can live under water

posted on Sun, 04/02/2006 - 10:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

They're mistaking it for a whale.\r\n\r\nM.T.L.

posted on Sat, 04/01/2006 - 3:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I doubt its a lock ness...elephant! Why wouldn't you just call it a loch ness monster, like they do in all the cartoons? You guys are all crazy!!!

posted on Mon, 03/27/2006 - 2:36pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Oooo. Check out the live web cam where you can watch for Nessie!

posted on Wed, 03/15/2006 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

LOL!!! i like it!

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 2:41pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The elephants didn't live underwater. They were simply going for a brief swim. They all left in the late 1930s, when the circus left. "Nessie" sightings rose sharply when the circus was around, and fell sharply when the circus--and the elephants--left town.

posted on Sun, 04/02/2006 - 7:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

NO WAY NESSIE IS REAL \r\n\r\nCJ WROTE DIS

posted on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 7:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Nessie might or might not be real, but I think that Nessie is just a myth. But Nessie ain't an elephant. Eleanor wrote dis

posted on Sun, 05/14/2006 - 4:29pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

It was a circus elephant.

posted on Thu, 04/06/2006 - 10:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Pleez elephants DON'T live under water!!, and still what will an elephant be doin underwater "swimming"

posted on Fri, 04/07/2006 - 2:35pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

They weren't living underwater; they were simply swimming. Elephants are actually pretty good swimmers in the wild.

posted on Sat, 04/08/2006 - 6:51pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The elephants were part of a circus visting Scotland.

posted on Sat, 04/08/2006 - 6:52pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Well, that's not terribly scientific! ;-)

In science, we don't settle arguments by telling each other to shut up. Rather, we gather evidence and see which explanation covers them the best. The theory that a breeding population of prehistoric monsters survived the Ice Age in a cold Scottish lake, and yet are almost never seen and leave no tangible evidence, is... a bit of a stretch. The theory that a few people mistook swimming circus elephants, and the circus impressario circulated the rumor to boost his business, seems a lot more plausible.

posted on Sat, 04/08/2006 - 6:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

There is no such thing as the lock ness elaphant but there is a such thing as the lock ness MONSTER!

posted on Mon, 04/10/2006 - 10:22am
Nick Prevo's picture
Nick Prevo says:

Rock on brother

posted on Wed, 06/07/2006 - 1:38pm
David's picture
David says:

The Loch Ness monster is not real. If people a reading this and think that I am stupid, well, YOU'RE stupid! If the loch ness monster was real, it would of been annoyed and killed the people looking for it. The sightings are just people that believe in the loch ness monster and want other people to believe in the loch ness monster. That's why they even made a movie! I too used to believe in the Loch Ness monster too. Until that day I was surfing the internet on the Loch Ness monster. Then on the web site it said that this guy discovered that the most famous Loch ness "monster" photo, was actually a toy submerine! Think I'm crazy? Why is the thing in the photo so small?! I was really really shocked.

In conclusion, I don't believe in the legendary urban myth of the Loch Ness "Monster"

posted on Fri, 06/09/2006 - 10:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I totally agree with you

posted on Sat, 06/10/2006 - 2:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If I were you, i'd quit and do something else. There's no way that the loch ness monster is real after about 500 years of life! Or is there.....?

posted on Fri, 06/09/2006 - 10:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Alright smart guy, if nessie is indeed real, it is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy old! About 1000 years.

posted on Fri, 06/09/2006 - 10:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Actually, she must be at least about 1500 years old (which is 5 centuries beyond the 1000 years of age you referred to in your comment). The earliest report of her can be found in the Diary of Saint Columbo, dated AD 565.

posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 10:47pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Another good reason to classify Nessie as a fraud or hoax -- no animal has ever lived anywhere close to that long.

posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 4:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i dont think its real but if u do its ur opinion

posted on Wed, 01/31/2007 - 5:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

good job!

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 10:47am
Toakongu834's picture
Toakongu834 says:

I think that the loch ness is just a hoax.

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 12:01pm
Elephant man's picture
Elephant man says:

What would an elephant be doing in Scottland??? I wonder?? Well probably because the Circus was in town. Elephants have been known to be excellent swimmers, there have been recordings of elephants swimming 100's of miles in water, they just float!!! The old picture looks exactly like a trunk sticking up, why would some dinasour beast hide under water 24-7 all year round and out of nowhere say hey" I'm gonna stick my head up to look around because im not a fish, i need to breathe you know!!!!!

posted on Wed, 04/04/2007 - 1:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Nessie is true

posted on Wed, 04/04/2007 - 3:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

IF it WAS an Elephant then why still today are people still reporting sightings. IF it was then why are there no reports of elephants coming out of the lake. and when an elephants free if it didn't want to be in the lake it would get out and would most likily cross in front of a passing car while it was going to get food. It was no elephant.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 7:47am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Once the idea of a monster is planted in people's heads, it can stick around for a long time. Nevertheless, there are far fewer reports today than during the time the circus was in town.

There are a few reports of "monsters" on land, usually after dark, when an elephant would be difficult to recognize.

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 2:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the last picture i saw of nessie revealed she was carrying a suitcase therefore no trunk means no elephant

posted on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 6:23pm
Stephanie Haas's picture
Stephanie Haas says:

I really like that paragraph!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 04/11/2008 - 9:51am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

No way, the Loch is newer than the KT Boundary Extinction Event. That occurred in 65,000,000 BC. Loch Ness is only a few tens of thousands of years old. She might be an extraterrestrial, but certainly not a dinosaur.

posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 10:42pm
Dr. James Broderick Phd.'s picture
Dr. James Broderick Phd. says:

I published my thesis on the loch ness monster and its effect on society as a whole. I've concluded that Nessie does exist and is spawning in the loch to create offspring as we speak.

posted on Fri, 03/17/2006 - 9:50pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Where did you receive your PhD. from? I am curious about your thesis and the evidence you have for you beliefs in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.

I do not think there has been sufficient evidence to suggest the existence of this creature, but sure do think it says some interesting stuff about our society.

It sorta bums me out that we spend so much time debating the existence of mythical creatures like bigfoot, nessie, and others while simply fascinating cryptozoology stories based in evidence are not given as much attention. Why isn't there as much fanfare and excitement (and protection efforts) about the real discoveries of creatures like the hairy "lobster", the debate about the ivory-billed woodpecker, or the coelacanth?

posted on Sat, 03/18/2006 - 3:17pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

For hundreds of years, people have told stories of surviving dinosaurs and other presumably extinct Mesozoic reptiles. (Nessie is an example.) We have no scientific proof that any such creatures exist, but the possibility continues to capture people's imaginations.

Another well-known character is Mokele-Mbembe, of the jungles of central Africa. In 1913, a German expedition in Congo met a group of indigenous people who told them of a creature they called Mokele-Mbembe. They described an animal about the size of an elephant wiht a long, flexible neck and a tail like an alligator's. They also said the animal would attack and kill humans who got too close, but it wouldn't eat them because it was a strict vegetarian. Similar descriptions--which suggest a small sauropod dinosaur--have been given time and again over the years. Expeditions in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1990, and 1992 claimed sightings and close calls, but provided no hard evidence of Mokele-Mbembe.

There are various reasons, despite all this, why Mokele-Mbembe's existence is virtually impossible.

  • A breeding population of hundreds of individuals is necessary to sustain any species. But the accounts of sightings don't suggest many animals. And they'd be hard to hide: a large number of huge sauropods would surely have a noticeable impact on the environment, even in remote tropical forests.
  • Seventy million years is a long time for a population of animals to last, especially with new rivals in the food chain and a limited gene pool.

Ever since Europeans started traveling to distant lands hundreds of years ago, indigenous people have told stories of monsters, myths, and riches--often in defense of their cultures. Perhaps the legend of Mokele-Mbembe is one such story.

Interestingly, at least one Mokele-Mbembe researcher is convinced that witnesses have mistaken wild elephants crossing rivers with their trunks in their air, for the mystery creatures. Those elephants sure get around!

posted on Mon, 03/20/2006 - 11:24am
bryan kennedy's picture

Ha, check out this funny t-shirt that really explains the origins of the Loch Ness Monster.

'Cause the giant squid is real (and might be a canibal).

posted on Tue, 06/20/2006 - 7:58am
Goby's picture
Goby says:

Don't any of you know that Nessie is real? And why the heck would an elephant be in the water?

posted on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 1:19pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Quite a few research expeditions have set out to prove Nessie's existance, and none has suceeded. I don't think that Nessie is real, although there's something about the idea that captures everyone's imagination. Like Fox Mulder, of "The X-Files," "I want to believe."

As for the elephant theory...Elephants are actually excellent swimmers, and they have been observed swimming or walking along river bottoms and using their trunks as snorkels. Given that there was a circus in town at the peak of the Nessie sightings, and the circus featured elephants, I think the elephant theory is fairly credible.

posted on Wed, 09/20/2006 - 2:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Loch Ness update

A Scottish scientist has determined that plesiosaurs – the long-necked marine reptiles often cited as possible explanations for the Loch Ness monster -- couldn’t raise their necks out of the water. There's no way they could pose as seen in the pictures. The elephant theory is looking better and better.

posted on Fri, 11/10/2006 - 6:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

well if it was an elephant u think the person that took the picture would have followed it to shore

posted on Fri, 11/10/2006 - 7:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I kind-of do believe it and half don't!
Nessie's just a myth!

posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 2:26am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

That's the point.
Gene's saying that a lot of Nessie sightings happened the summer the circus was in town. Maybe the elephants swimming spurred the myth?

posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 11:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

loch ness monster yes. loch ness elephant yea right. watch skoby doo and u c its fake but get in the real world its real. skotish people may drink some wisky and see it and say its bigger than it really was.

posted on Sun, 12/17/2006 - 10:05pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've recently read a novel (made-up story) about a woman who happens to be at Loch Ness and her theory (I said it was made-up) is that there's a time-traveling portal under the waters of Loch Ness that brings ancient dinosaurs to our time and back again. How's that for a theory?

posted on Wed, 01/03/2007 - 2:48pm
s11's picture
s11 says:

The picture of the elephant looks soooooooooooooo much like the picture of(lochness)

posted on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Please tell me no one believes in nessie this creature everyone speaks about they have run soo many tests trying to figure out if the pictures are real and guess what they have proven that it is possible to make them up. Also if you still think it is possible that there is monster called nessie plaese tell me how come not one sonar or regular picture are clear. its just a story so people would go to the lake looking for it and bring big business to all the small time stores that are there.

posted on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 10:00pm
moleymaximas's picture
moleymaximas says:

the lochness monster was my dad in a catterpilla costume

posted on Tue, 03/06/2007 - 7:52am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The loch Ness monster is so not an elephant. Nessie dosen't even look like an elephant.

posted on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 3:12pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Nessie doesn't exist; therefore, it can look like anything you want! ;-)

posted on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 5:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you are so wrong

posted on Sat, 11/17/2007 - 8:05am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The evidence is on my side...or, rather, the lack of evidence is on the opposing side. ;-)

posted on Mon, 11/19/2007 - 7:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the loch ness monster is real!!!

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 1:52pm
Naruto's picture
Naruto says:

That is SO not Nessie. There is NO Nessie. Anyone could tell it is an elephant. DUH!

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 10:43am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

there is no loch ness monster! how could there be? where would it come from?

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 12:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Nessie is a giant sea cow that lives in a lake and shouoldnt be bothered.

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 2:08pm
scott's picture
scott says:

SALT!
THE LOCH NESS IS FULL OF SALT! not
i think its not an elephant.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:42pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

It's hard to tell, in writing, when people are joking.

So, just for clarification, I want to remind everyone that Loch Ness is a freshwater lake.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 4:59pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Yet another reason why Nessie couldn't be a Plesiosaur (extinct marine reptile) or Basilosaur (early whale) -- they were salt-water creatures.

posted on Thu, 03/29/2007 - 5:34pm
Savana Marie Christianson's picture
Savana Marie Christianson says:

Nessie isn't true!!!!!

posted on Thu, 04/12/2007 - 5:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think the loch ness monster is a elephant but its pretty interesting.

posted on Wed, 05/02/2007 - 7:14pm
paul's picture
paul says:

one must be neutral about the loch ness monster we dont know whats in the loch until we have evidence - probably the best evidence to date has been from bob rines he filmed what appeared to look like a flipper or fin using cameras attached to a boat in 1972 and also 1975 of a head, neck, and body of a creature. he even witnessed the creature at urquhart castle deepest part of the loch in 1972 which began his obsession of the creature. even took his photos to parliament to protect the monster under conservation legislation but was snubbed by scientists and the lot, etc.

my theory is its between 25 to 30 feet in length, black, very long -its either of three things 1. mammal 2. large seal or fish 3. extinct plesiosaur its certainly not an elephant the water and enviroment is wrong for an elephant and the mystery would have been solve yrs ago if it was an elephant.

posted on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 7:32pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

To a certain extent you are correct -- absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because no one has found Nessie doesn't mean she's not there.

However, we must also look at what is plausible and what is possible. First of all, there can't be just one "Nessie." There would have to be a breeding population of at least a couple dozen individuals. If they are mammals or reptiles, each one would have to come to the surface to breathe many times a day -- there would be reported sightings all the time. If they are 25 - 30 feet long, each one would need to eat a lot of fish -- more than the lake can support.

The most likely explanation seems to be that the circus elephants were mistaken for sea monsters, which started the whole craze. The elephants are, of course, long gone, but the legend lives on, influencing people to interpret large fish as "Nessie" sightings.

posted on Wed, 05/30/2007 - 2:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I just saw the "new evidence" footage released a couple days ago and thought I'd throw my two cents in.

The researcher that commented in this new footage contends that the area should be preserved for future study and for future generations. This got me to think about what would be accomplished in doing such a thing. There's untapped economic potential to the Loch that is off limits and would continue to be off -limits if the Nessie believer camp have their way. This leads me to suspect that the monster hoax, perhaps stemming from the original swimming elephant, was used as an excuse to curb that economic development to a degree to perhaps favor local politics and their desires. Afterall, what better way to shape such an outcome than by not only using an "endangered species", but also one that remains elusive and unexplainable that has won the hearts and minds of the locals? Makes you think...

Oh well.. And I could care less what the people of a small region in Scotland are duped into believing. It'll be the accomplishment of some brave/bright debunker to reveal someday so... not my problem!

posted on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 10:10pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The footage you mention can be found here. The image is murky and indistinct, and could be an eel or even a log.

posted on Mon, 06/04/2007 - 8:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

there is no concrete evidence of lochness existing. if there was evidence that is exist, where are the bones of the lochness?

posted on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 11:26pm
Superman's picture
Superman says:

Nessie is real, I dont care what anyone says, but I can see how an elephant swimming would look like nessie but that doesnt explain the creature corpse they found under water at the loch the resembled what nessie looks like from speculaters.

posted on Fri, 06/01/2007 - 7:56am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ITS AN ELEPHANT CAN'T YOU SEE?!?!?!
hold on is it is an elephant how come it has been living underwater for alls these years? where does it come up for air? wat does it feed on?
I WANT ANSWERS!

posted on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 1:02am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The elephants were only there from 1933 - 1938. But that was long enough to establish the legend of Nessie.

posted on Mon, 06/04/2007 - 11:49am
owen's picture
owen says:

O.K IT IS NOT AN ELEPHANT! they have found something moving at all most the bottom of the loch IT IS NOT AN ELEPHANT

posted on Wed, 06/27/2007 - 6:31pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Do you have a citation for that?

posted on Wed, 06/27/2007 - 9:29pm
owen's picture
owen says:

and.... it has been seen out of water and it was not an elephant haaaa.

posted on Wed, 06/27/2007 - 6:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think the Loch Ness monster is a beastie from outer space.

posted on Wed, 06/27/2007 - 9:11pm
bailey's picture
bailey says:

it seems resonable . but its not true. Just compare the elephant to the loch ness monster. the elephant trunk is smaller than the head of of the loch ness monster.

posted on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 1:18pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

When an elephant swims, all that sticks above the surface is the trunk, looking much like the supposed "neck" of Nessie. Perhaps a little bit of the elephants head may also break the surface, and be seen as NEssie's back."

posted on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 3:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ok., the picture of the loch ness monster at the top IS NOT REAL!!!!!!!!! the photographer confessed before he died that it was a fake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so how could a fake monster look like an elephant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 01/12/2008 - 5:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

As Liza explains on this page:

Gene was hardly offering Spurling's photograph as evidence of Nessie's existence. He was merely posting about one theorist's explanation of the many Nessie sightings (which peaked in 1938).

A fake monster could easily look like an elephant -- if the person creating the fake made it to resemble an elephant.

posted on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 12:18am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

But what if, like, you made a fake elephant, and it looked like, a, uh, an elephant, but it was really... Wouldn't that mean that there was, like, a real...

Wait, what are we talking about?

posted on Sat, 02/02/2008 - 2:57pm
lucas & owen's picture
lucas & owen says:

THE LOCH IS REAL I HAVE SEEN IT ON THE LIVE WEB CAM

posted on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 2:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Oh, yeah, the Loch is real. The monster, however, isn't.

posted on Wed, 07/18/2007 - 9:49am
owen's picture
owen says:

O.K THATS IT IT IS NOT AN ELEPHANT. IF IT WAS AN ELEPHANT IT WOUL BE SEEN MORE

posted on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:32pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The elephants left in 1938. The legend lives on.

posted on Fri, 07/20/2007 - 9:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Its obvious the monster is a plesiosaurs. All of the known photographs and drawings of the it look much like a plesiosaurs. Plus a comet supposedly killed all the dinosaurs by blocking out the sun with all the dust it stirred up which killed the plants, which killed the vegetarians, which killed the carnivores. But plesiosaurses are aquatic and it has been scientifically proven that there is aquatic life that can live without light. These organisms feed a small number of fish which feed another small number of fish and it eventually made its way up the food chain to the plesiosaurs. This generation reproduced before they died, just like the next generation, and the next, ext.
This resulted in many sightings of the monster which all look different in a small detail. Though I do believe that the circus master used the myth as a way to get more customers.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 2:00pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Though we are still left with the question of how a breeding colony of cold-blooded reptiles could survive, unchanged, for millions of years in a cold lake (one that did not even exist until after Scotland had been buried by glaciers for thousands of years), without leaving any tangible evidence. IT boggles the mind.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 6:37pm
JGordon (too lazy to log in)'s picture
JGordon (too lazy to log in) says:

I can't remember if this goes for plesiosaurs too, but some paleontologists think that the aquatic reptiles of the mesozoic (ichthyosaurs, pliosaurs, etc) were in fact warm blooded, and would have been physiologically more similar to aquatic mammals than to cold-blooded reptiles or fish.
That's really niether here nor there, just something your comment brought to mind. It doesn't lend itself to the Loch Ness plesiosaur theory, though - as I understand it (though I'm not sure) there aren't a whole lot of fish available in the loch, at least not enough for a population of large warm-blooded animals.
I thought this was kind of interesting too: in Wikipedia's article on plesiosaurs, it is pointed out that it would have been impossible for a plesiosaur to raise its head into that upright, swan-like pose shown in some of the more famous photographs of the monster. Its neck wasn't built to bend up like that, and (even if it were) it would have resulted in the creature losing its balance and tipping forward anyhow.

No, I'm sticking with my theory that the Loch Ness Monster is some type of dragon that has evolved to eat water, or possibly magic.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 7:52pm
JGordon (again)'s picture
JGordon (again) says:

Oh. You already pointed that out about the plesiosaur's neck. whoops.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 7:57pm
tucker's picture
tucker says:

sack all the bull abowt the elephant crap the loch ness is real not sum fat elephant if its an elephant u would see it more u probs would av see it cum right up to the surface n it would av poped its ed out n i dont think tha elephants can stay under water for tha long n if u think tha they can well then prove it then i might belive u . . . . NOT!!!! but cum on for real the loch ness is real and does exist n the only way tha ill change my mind is if sum 1 pulls an elephant outof scotland waters n shows me a live clip or if im there but probs only if im there.

posted on Sun, 10/14/2007 - 8:22pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

That's so cool.
"The only way I'll believe that Nessie is not a monster is if they pull an elephant out of the loch."
Gene, I don't want any of your logical fallacies here - I'm totally down with this logic, and I, too, want to be there when they pull that elephant out.

posted on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 12:29am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Back when I was a lad, they used to have this required course in school called Reading for Comprehension. A subtle art, it nonetheless has come in very useful. I am saddened to see that it is no longer taught.

Look, go back to the original linked article. No one is claiming that there are elephants in Loch Ness today. Rather, it notes the fact that a circus camped out in the area from 1933 to 1938. It notes that elephants do indeed swim. It notes that reports of Nessie sightings were very rare before 1933, and after 1938. The author concludes that elephants swimming in Loch Ness in the 1930s were mistaken for sea monsters, and started a rumor which lives to this day.

I will believe Nessie is real the moment some kind of physical evidence is produced. A bone. A shed tooth. A carcass. Some scat. Come on -- you've supposedly got a breeding population of a couple dozen giant animals, living in a confined space for tens of thousands of years, and all you can produce are a few fuzzy photographs and a bunch of highly unreliable eye-witness accounts?

All things considered, it is strikingly more likely that elephants live in the Loch today, than that plesiosaurs or basilosaurs lived there ever.

posted on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 8:37am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Nope. See, in the way I do things, I have one person do the reading for me, and another do the comprehending for me (in this case my brother and "tucker" respectively).
It is now my life goal to personally go to Scotland and to capture that elephant, dead or alive.

posted on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 11:28am
candie's picture
candie says:

There is proof i have seen pictures of an carcass cassing that had decaying skin and bones that were well decayd but were all conected by the thin skin holding it all together. I believe it was taken to a museum and carfully inspected and cleaned, where they brushed the bones up a bit and now have them up for display. Im not sure where but if you ever run into the same pictures i did ull believe there was a nessie... the problem is she died a long time ago it was only the cold water that kept the bones and skin in the condition they were in! Soooo The magic is still alive but im sorry to say that NESSIE IS NOT!

posted on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 5:46am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

If you have a link to the photos or the name of the museum, I'd love to look in to it.

posted on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 12:58pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

NESSIE IS REAL!!!

Oh my gosh, I suddenly realize -- I've been looking at this backwards! Consider the facts:

1) There were very few sightings of Nessie before 1933.

2) A circus was in Scotland near Loch Ness from 1933 to 1938.

3) The circus had elephants that swam in the Loch.

4) Sightings of Nessie suddenly skyrocketed during that period.

5) The circus went bankrupt under mysterious circumstances in 1938, and folded up its tents.

6) Sightings of Nessie dropped to almost nil afterwards.

Isn't it obvious what happened? Nessie eats elephants! They are its native food from the Paleolithic! All those centuries, Nessie was starved, and had to rummage for fish at the bottom of the Loch. Then, when the circus came to town, she suddenly had access to her favorite meal -- tender, delicious elephant. As she swam near the shore, hunting the elusive amphibious pachyderm, she was sighted again and again. Unfortunately, she ate the circus out of house and home. The circus went away, the supply of elephants dried up, and Nessie returned to the bottom of the Loch, never to be seen again.

Want more proof? Consider this: America used to teem with mammoths and mastodons. Where did they all go? Some people think the early Indians hunted them to extinction. But I know the real answer! Look at the fossil record -- America once teemed with plesiosaurs and other ancient marine reptiles! They ate all the mammoths! Once their food was gone, they too disappeared.

Want more proof? Where do you find elephants today? Africa. And what continent suspiciously has no Loch Ness monster? You're right -- Africa! Elephants can survive there only because their nemesis is kept out, mostly by stringently enforced immigration standards, but also the air fare from Scotland is just killer.

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:10pm
loch ness's picture
loch ness says:

congadulations. you are the first to understand what i am

NESSIE

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:36pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

There. Was that so hard?

What's more, I think that you have the beginnings of a thesis here. Run with it.

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 11:24pm
Alisha's picture
Alisha says:

It's fake .

posted on Tue, 11/06/2007 - 4:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

its so NOT fake

posted on Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thats so fake !??!

posted on Sat, 11/10/2007 - 6:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The Loch Ness monster is a dinosaur...
check out drdino.com for more info

posted on Sat, 11/17/2007 - 5:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It's almost certainly an Elephant swimming... If I was in the 30s, saw an Elephant swimming in the Loch and it looked like Nessie - i'd sell it and retire.... but, saying that, Nessie continues to make Scotland a hell of a lot of money - so, yeah it's a dinosaur

posted on Wed, 11/21/2007 - 6:19am
Teller101's picture
Teller101 says:

OMG i told my friend that the loch ness monster wasn't real, and she kept saying that it wa real and i showed a lot of facts to prove i was right and she was wrong and i will always try and find a way to show her that loch ness monster isn't real and i won't stop here.

posted on Sat, 12/08/2007 - 3:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The Loch ness Monster is real!

posted on Tue, 01/29/2008 - 11:16pm
Ben's picture
Ben says:

The Loch ness Monster is real :-)

posted on Thu, 01/31/2008 - 10:41am
LOOOLOOO's picture
LOOOLOOO says:

I THINK NESSIE IS A DEMON TRYING TO BREAK AWAY FROM HIS MEAN SELFISH FAMILY AND BE A GOOD DEMON THATS WHY WE DONT SEE HIM ALL THE TIME BECAUSE HES SOMETIMES IN THE GATES OF HELL AND YOU CANT FIND SOMEONE IN THE GATES OF HELL SO I THINK HES HIDING IN THE GATES OF HELL FROM US CAUSE OUR DISPRAPORTIONED BODIES SCARE HIM BUT HIS STEP FATHER BEATS HIM THEREFORE HE HIDES IN THE GATES OF HELL TO STAY AWAY FROM HIS STEPFATHER AND US...THE GATES OF HELL IS INBETWEEN OUR WORLD AND HIS FAMILYS PLACE THATS WHY HE STAYS IN THE GATES OF HELL WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 1:44am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

As logical as any other theory of Nessie's existence.

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 6:27pm
dude's picture
dude says:

dude says LOOOLOOO is right so does the other dude right here.
The picture at the top is real, does an elefant stick it's trunk out of the water and point it down and if it did the tusks would have to stick out of the water too. And Nessie might just like clowns. (but there not funny, those clowns, there EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O) says dude.

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 12:06pm
other dude's picture
other dude says:

I think that dude is right, duh what els could it be? Horton?

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 5:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The nessie is real, how could the picture be fake, they didn't have any big tecnology that could do anything to pictures. Did they?

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 5:30pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Oh yes! People have been faking photos ever since shortly after the camera was invented. A famous case from 1917 involved two young girls who made paper cut-outs of fairies and posed with them. A number of people believed the photos were real, including Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes books.

posted on Tue, 03/04/2008 - 6:41pm
asdsdagsdfas's picture
asdsdagsdfas says:

WHY WOULD ThEY STILL HAVE SIGHTINGS UP TO NOW iF THE CIRCUS LEFT LOCH NESS
AND THE IF THE ELEPHANT WAS REALLY SWIMMING IN THE LOCH IT WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE SURFACE

AND ONE MORE THING THE THING THAT GENE SAID THAT NESSIE EATS ELEPHANTS MAYBE IT TRIED TO STICK ITS HEAD OUT TO LOOK FOR ELEPHANTS TO EAT^^

JUST SWIM IN THE LOCH AND LOOK FOR NESSIE

HAPPY HUNTING!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 8:10pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

It is my understanding that "sightings" became much rarer once the circus left. By that time, the myth was well-known, and ever since people have interpreted strange ripples, or a branch in the water at sunset, as the "monster." But such "sightings" are rare.

posted on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 1:54pm
LEE's picture
LEE says:

The picture looks much like the elephants trunk. Although I do think that the loch ness monster is probably real, even if it's 'supposed' to be a myth or whatever. Weren't there like unexplained deaths or drownings there? How would you explain those? That they all just drowned? Or that it's a joke that it was made believe? I think that it's possible that there is a such thing as the loch ness monster.

posted on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 4:50pm
Dein Gesicht's picture
Dein Gesicht says:

Nope. You're all wrong. Nessie is definitely an invisible and genetically modified zoo elephant. If she were from the circus, she would have clown shoes and a beach ball and she would be juggling 9 penguins.

posted on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 5:21pm
Soccerboy's picture
Soccerboy says:

I think it could be an elephant, it does look a lot like an elephant trunk
If we could get visual evidence that actually shows the loc monster clearly
then I would be more satisfied with my decision!

posted on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 6:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have to admit that I do believe in the Loch Ness Monster. I know that it is not a monster though, so why do people do that, calling her/him a monster?!My brother and I have been doing research on the subject.The legend of the Loch Ness is not true, that it has magic and stuff, but I do believe that there is an undiscoverd marine animal that is there. It does resemble a dinosaur, MAYBE one or two lived through whatever killed the rest, populated, and then died. That may or may not be true. Many videos I have seen are resembled in some way. The videos all show the same shape in the water, they all swam fast and left the same water rings. One thing that really came at me was that the videos were all filmed in different parts of the world, which proves that there is more than one of the creature. If anyone ever catches it I hope they don't expose it to the public. The poor animal should just be left alone if someone catches it, so I think. Some people think that this creature is not going to be exposed until the rapture. In Revalations (In the Bible) it talks about a beast at the bottom of the ocean, chained down. It states that during the rapture it will be released. Back to it though, people are taking the creature the wrong way when they think about it.
Anyway, wish us luck on our research!

Jami Holmes

posted on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 7:05pm
(Techno)'s picture
(Techno) says:

from all my reach oncthe loch nests think that the monster is fake because it looks aclot like a elephant just out for a swimbut what do I no i'm justv6years old

posted on Sat, 04/26/2008 - 2:14pm
Victor's picture
Victor says:

siencetificlty speaking It must be a elephant for there are no such things as Monsters. I 1st belived in these critters but then I saw it was no monster!!

posted on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 9:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think nessie is real. i mean what would a ELEPHANT be doing out in the MIDDLE of loch ness lake? anyway people cant belive what they wont to. dont make them believe that nessie is or isnt real. so dont be going off telling people what to believe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 05/03/2008 - 10:49pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

You can believe anything you want, but science deals in observable facts. And everything we know to be true about the history and ecology of Loch Ness argues against it holding a breeding population of prehistoric creatures.

The elephants were brought to the Loch by a circus in the 1930s.

posted on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 12:51pm
steven i'm back's picture
steven i'm back says:

gene I dis agree It may not be likely becuase of science but that is by todays standards i mean think about it, pluto used to be a planet now its not. Or the earth is flat

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 9:46am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Pluto didn't change. All that changed was the category we put it in.

The Earth was never flat.

But you are in essence correct--science keeps learning new things. And maybe--just maybe--it will discover some way that a breeding population of large air-breathing animals can live in a body of water that doesn't have enough food to support them, and without them coming to the surface to breathe.

Maybe. But the odds seem long against it.

posted on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 5:22pm
Brom's picture
Brom says:

Bah! You humans are pathetic. How can you believe in that legendary beast existes?
However, many people do not believe in the almighty race of dragons. That is ultimately foolish. How can you doubt the existence of dragons? Foolishness!
You humans are more foolish then I thought.
*snort* Discussing how that beast could have the head and tail of an elephant...
It is a myth, humans, nothing more.
Heed the words of a dragon rider.
May your swords stay sharp despite your foolishness,
Brom

posted on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 5:27pm
Sweet Z's picture
Sweet Z says:

I think Loch Ness monster is a elephant so that might be elephant

posted on Sun, 03/08/2009 - 3:09pm
steven's picture
steven says:

good to hear from you again gene. What i ment was they thought it was flat. And for your information how do you know she is not real? Have you explored every depth at once?

posted on Wed, 03/11/2009 - 4:19pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

No, I have not. Nor have I jumped off every cliff in the world. But, knowing what science tells us about gravity, the acceleration of falling bodies, and the effect hard rocks at the base of the cliff have on falling bodies, I can make a pretty good prediction as to what would happen if I were to try it.

By the same token, science tells us that plesiosaurs, basilosaurs, or other prehistoric creatures suspected of living in Loch Ness would need to:

a) survive for millions of years beyond their extinction in the fossil record, waiting for glaciers to form the Loch;

b) adapt from living in warm salt water to frigid fresh water;

c) find enough to eat in a Loch that has very few fish;

d) have a large enough family that they could continue to breed for tens of thousands of years, without becoming dangerously inbred;

e) surface to breathe dozens of times a day.

None of these things have been observed. All of our biological knowledge tells us that A through D are all virtually impossible. Any one of these items would shift the burden of proof onto you. All four of them together places Nessie beyond any serious discussion.

posted on Fri, 03/13/2009 - 7:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i dont know abbout you guys but i think ness is real

posted on Sun, 03/15/2009 - 10:09pm
steven's picture
steven says:

so you dont want people to believe in nessie, but who say it;s a dinosuar what if it adapted and evolved into a fish.

posted on Mon, 03/23/2009 - 8:28am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Evolution doesn't work that way -- species don't evolve "back" into an ancestor.

(BTW, here's a fantastic site on why Nessie can't be a plesiosaur.)

However, this does raise an interesting possibility: perhaps Nessie isn't a prehistoric mammal or reptile, but simply an unusually large modern fish -- say an eel or sturgeon or something. This eliminates several of the objections. You don't need a breeding population--it could just be a single individual. (In many species of fish, individuals continue to grow with age. It would only take on great-granddaddy fish to spawn a "Nessie" rumor.) You don't need to explain how the creature survived extinction if it's a modern species, or how it got into the Loch. Fish obviously don't need to break the surface to breathe, and thus could much more easily hide. The lack of physical evidence is explained by the fact that the rest of the species is just normal-sized fish. There's still the issue of the Loch not having much food for a large creature to eat. But, still, a single large fish would stand a much better chance of survival there than a breeding population of sea monsters.

So, while the evidence is still pretty scanty, the "single large fish" theory is far more plausible than the flat-out impossible "large prehistoric reptile or mammal" theory.

posted on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 3:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

For those of you guilty of this, please stop calling Nessie "it" rather than "she." The monster is a female, not a hermaphrodite.

posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 11:02pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Alas, it appears that Nessie may be dead. At least that's what a leading Nessie enthusiast thinks. Gary Campbell, president of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club (and there's a title I'd love to have), notes that there have been very few sightings in recent years, and only one in all of 2009. Absence of evidence apparently is evidence of absence after all.

What I love about this is the assumption that the lack of sightings isn't taken as proof that Nessie doesn't exist. No, the lack of evidence is interpreted as meaning it does exist; it's just dead. How convenient. All we need now is a corpse. I'm not holding my breathe. (Though Nessie may be.)

posted on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 8:51pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

On a personal note, I was recently (re)reading Alarms and Diversions by one of my all-time favorite writers, James Thurber, and found myself alarmed and more than a little bit saddened to find this talented and intelligent man taking Nessie seriously in the article "'There's Something Out There!'" His "proof"? A local doctor says he saw the monster, and we all know doctors never lie. Alas, I don't think Thurber was kidding. Sigh.

posted on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 9:06pm
Alfonso's picture
Alfonso says:

Maybe Nessie isn't real...
I don't know but Nessie could be just another large animal waiting to be discovered.. Anyway, I hope one day we'll all know what "Nessie" is.

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:31am
bella451001's picture

looking at the picture of the nessie i am sure it snt an elephant ...may be that my knowledge in this regard is limited but i cant imagine that when an elaphant drowns and as his body goes down ....so can he stick out his trunk so straight up in the air n it s not neccessary that it s a dinasour of salty water ........well i think it can be an octopus kinda animal like this is what it seems to be.....
y are you going towards monsters it can be an a gaint fish living deep in the water n it s nt discovered. yet....

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 2:29am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

When an elephant swims, it does stick its trunk up above the water.
Elephants swimming at the Chester Zoo, 2004.
Elephants swimming at the Chester Zoo, 2004.Courtesy Paul Green

posted on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 8:40pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

In a letter written in the 30s from a local police officer to the Under Secretary of State, Scotland Office, the existence of the Loch Ness Monster was claimed to be "beyond doubt"

Proof!

Wait, that's not proof...

It does fit with the elephant theory, though: if there occasionally were elephants in the loch at the time, the existence of monsters in the loch really would be beyond a doubt. (I consider elephants to be monsters.)

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

THE LOCH NESS MONSTER IS FAKE IT WAS AN ELEPHANT!!!!!!!

posted on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 10:51am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is so fake i mean really.... the loch ness monster isn't some swimming elephant.i mean really who would think that.... no one would be so amazed with this creature if all it was, was a swimming elephant...

posted on Sun, 05/08/2011 - 9:42pm
Milayna's picture
Milayna says:

the loch ness monster is also proven to be a fairly large newt

posted on Tue, 02/21/2012 - 10:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Your guys need to put the pieces together the picture looks just like an elephant trunk so please dont go saying theirs no proof.

posted on Thu, 06/05/2014 - 1:40pm
madison's picture
madison says:

I believe the Loch ness monster exists. U guys just need 2 dig deeper in the world of it.

posted on Sat, 06/07/2014 - 10:36am

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