You like Solved mysteries, amirite?
A major study into the existence of the Loch Ness Monster has revealed that the mythical creature is most likely to be a giant eel.
After decades of speculation about whether Nessie is myth or reality a team of scientists did an indepth analysis of the DNA in the 226 metre deep lake – and found no evidence whatsoever for a giant, scaly reptile or other monstrous being.
But they did find copius amounts of genetic material from eels, leading them to speculate that, at a best guess, the creature in Loch Ness is in fact a big one of those.
“We found large amounts of eel DNA in the Loch Ness. Every single site we went to had eels. The sheer volume was a bit of a surprise,” lead researcher Neil Gemmell, of the University of Otago in New Zealand to an expectant crowd at the Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit this morning.
From fur to faeces
An eel typically grows to between four and six metres in length but Loch Ness sightings suggest a slightly longer creature, he said.
“Is it possible there’s a giant eel? Maybe. We don’t know if the DNA is gigantic or just many small eels. It’s plausible that there might be one or two that grow to extreme size – maybe 50 per cent or more, maybe bigger than that,” said Dr Gemmell.
In the study, the researchers collected water samples from three different depths of the Loch, and analysed fur, feathers, skin, scales and even faeces. Creatures in the water leave tiny fragments of DNA in these body parts, which can be used to identify them.
That DNA was extracted from 250 water samples which were then sequenced and analysed against existing databases back in Dunedin.
The Loch Ness monster is Britain’s greatest unsolved mystery, with countless attempts to find the mythical beast falling flat.
There have been over a thousand reported sightings of something in Loch Ness which have driven this notion of a monster being in the water.
It found every species of fish they expected, as well as amphibians. They looked for giant catfish, shark and sturgeon DNA as possible explanations for the Loch Ness monster, but didn’t find them.
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