Stories tagged Loch Ness Monster

Jul
10
2008

Would you still love Nessie if it looked like this?: Don't lie to me. I know when you're lying to me.
Would you still love Nessie if it looked like this?: Don't lie to me. I know when you're lying to me.Courtesy cramsay23
Our sly creature pal, the Loch Ness Monster, is back flaunting his hot stuff on tape.

A couple of Huddersfield holidaymakers (“holidaymakers” being British for “dangerous social deviants”) claim to have captured the image of Nessie on their vaca video (“vaca” is American for “debauchery near water.” I think it’s also Spanish for “cow.”)

Fearing institutional commitment (think “Oliver Twist” without the songs—so, like, Oliver Twist the book), the British challengers of the unknown kept mum about their discovery for several weeks, until an important decision was made while drinking: let the world know.

The video was apparently assisted in its journey to the public eye by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a well know scientific institution. Coincidentally, SPE was in the neighborhood (of Scotland) intending to stage a projection of Nessie for the release of its new DVD Waterhorse: The Legend of Horsewater.

One wonders to what extent Sony went to kick up some exciting videos.

Anyway, I hope this is encouraging news for everyone. Pack your video cameras and harpoon guns, because I hear Scotland is beautiful this time of year.

Oh, right. Here’s the video.

May
07
2008

Pepie comes out on days like this: Anything to get away from that clam, you know?
Pepie comes out on days like this: Anything to get away from that clam, you know?Courtesy _kristin_
Or die trying, kiddos.

No, seriously, don’t die trying. We need you, Buzzketeers. I need you!

But get a load of this: There’s a fifty thousand dollar reward out for undisputable evidence of “Pepie,” Lake Pepin’s very own aquatic monster. Think of all the stuff you could do with fifty thousand dollars! Like, you could give twenty five thousand to me, JGordon, and then spend the rest on penny candy! If penny candy existed anymore. Or, you could give twenty five thousand to me, and spend the rest on a twenty thousand dollar car and a five thousand dollar suit. Or, you could give twenty five thousand dollars to me, and then invest the rest in a low-risk mutual fund, and pay for your kids to go to college!

Those are about all the ideas I’ve got.

Anyway, find a spot on the cryptocouch, and prepare yourself for the legend of “Pepie.” Supposedly Lake Pepin locals have been reporting sightings of a large, mysterious aquatic creature for over a hundred years—ever since 1871. An early artist’s impression of the creature depicts it with a “hypnotic red eye, and a demon-like head,” with more recent sightings generally describing your classic series of humps and head sea serpent thing. Boaters claim to have been received the attention of the beast as well, telling stories of loud knocks on the hull, followed by “violent back and forth swings of the boat.”

According to Larry Nielson, Lake Pepin’s tourism bureau spokesman, the Dakota people who once lived on the shores of Lake Pepin refused to paddle across the lake in fragile birch bark canoes, preferring more solid dugouts as protection from the creature.

Lake Pepin, lying between Minnesota and Wisconsin, is both fed and drained by the Mississippi River, and just happens to be nearly identical in size to Scotland’s Loch Ness (~22 miles long by 2 miles wide), leading some to wonder if the creatures might be related, sort of like how I might be related to any other person who lives in a tiny room heaped with dirty laundry. Considering how Lake Pepin is less than a tenth of the depth of the loch (63 feet compared to 750 feet), it could be that Pepie is Nessie’s (relatively) hydrophobic cousin.

To claim your (our) fifty grand, you’ll need a biological sample, or a clear photograph of the creature with a Lake Pepin landmark in the frame for verification. It has been stressed, however, that Pepie must not be harmed by your evidence gathering, or else the deal’s off.

You can submit evidence, stories, or comments to the Find Pepie website at [email protected]. Or you can send them to me, here at Science Buzz—just think of me as your monster hunting agent.

A couple of side notes:

You’ll recall a certain Buzz story in which we learned of another reward for monster evidence, a reward which boosted both sightings and interest in the area. At least Lake Pepin is a little closer.

Also, Lake Pepin is actually said to have a two creatures, the second being…wait for it…a giant clam. Eh… Supposedly “Clara the Clam” is the mother of all Lake Pepin’s freshwater mussels. Not the most, um, exciting creature, but it could be that she wants revenge for all the clam children she lost to the mother of pearl industry. That’s the direction I’d take it, anyway; I think Clara was invented before people realized that marketing should be, you know, interesting.

Nov
04
2007

A Basking Shark: Just... basking?  (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
A Basking Shark: Just... basking? (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
I gots monsters on the brain!

The Loch Ness Monster (or possibly elephant) has been a pretty hot topic around Science Buzz lately, so this article caught my eye.

A Scottish geneticist is reported to have been researching the "Orkney Beast” (also known as the Stronsay Beast), and will be comparing it to the Loch Ness Monster in a talk she will be giving at the Highlands Science Festival this week.

The Orkney Beast was this huge, bizarre carcass that washed up on the shore of Stronsay, in the Orkney Islands, in 1808. It was pretty rotten at the time, but everybody seemed to agree that it was some sort of sea serpent (it was 55 feet long, with a 15 foot “neck,” and measured 10 feet around). However, a couple of anatomists later decided that it was probably a shark, specifically a large basking shark. The locals were pretty disappointed with this, but who can argue with an anatomist?The Orkney/Stronsay Beast: A drawing of the carcass, made in 1808.  (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The Orkney/Stronsay Beast: A drawing of the carcass, made in 1808. (image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Even if it was a shark, the Orkney Beast remains an interesting find. The largest basking shark (which is a filter feeder, and the second largest shark after the whale shark) ever recorded was 40 feet, significantly smaller than the beast’s 55 feet.

The skull and “paw” of the creature were sent to London in the 19th century, but were destroyed in World War II. Some remains still exist at Edinburgh’s Royal Museum, however, and the geneticist was given the chance to study them. The article didn’t say what the researcher made of them.

I don’t know that the geneticist is claiming that Nessie or the Orkney Beast are genuine monsters (what a strange phrase), but she points out that the drawings and descriptions made of the carcass at Orkney are strikingly similar to descriptions in “eyewitness accounts” of Nessie. It’s an interesting coincidence, although I suppose people often see what they want to see, even when looking at giant, rotting fish.

Also, this is kind of interesting. Apparently there’s no shortage of Scottish loch monsters.

Update, 7/7/14: JGordon here, 7 years later. 7 years! And to think that my own mother suggested that I'd be comatose, in jail, or comatose and in jail by now. I sure showed her, because I am none of those things! Anyhow, I've updated/edited this post to remove the name of the researcher supposedly associated with the genetic study. Apparently media reporting on this story (me?A) were a little overenthusiastic when it came to describing the scientist's involvement with the tests (which, it turns out, were to be done by a lab in the USA, and didn't happen in any case.) So if you came here looking for info on this scientist, you're barking up the wrong tree; his or her research and education is probably not summed up very well by a cryptozoological story from seven years ago.
JGordon out. See you in 2021.