Scientists plan DNA hunt for Loch Ness monster

Loch Ness Monster search: DNA tests in lake

Loch Ness Monster search: DNA tests in lake

"I'm going into this thinking it's unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis", Professor Gemmell said.

"While the prospect of looking for evidence of the Loch Ness monster is the hook to this project, there is an extraordinary amount of new knowledge that we will gain from the work about organisms that inhabit Loch Ness, the U.K.'s largest freshwater body", Gemmell said.

All of the samples will then be sent off to laboratories in Denmark, France, New Zealand, the United States and Australia - the sources of the samples will be masked, so the lab techs won't know which samples come from which loch.

Prof Gemmell, from the University of Otago in Dunedin, said: "I don't believe in the idea of a monster, but I'm open to the idea that there are things yet to be discovered and not fully understood".

Gemmell's team will be gathering little bits of DNA shed into the water from the fur, skin, scales, poop and urine of animals.

By taking water samples from Loch Ness, the researchers will be able to establish what kind of organisms are living in the area.

It transpired, however, that Shine and his team had discovered an abandoned prop from the 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

The stories seem as tall as the lake is deep. For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland's Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths.

The 1934 image, known as "the surgeon's photograph", which appears to show a creature with an elongated neck and head looming out of the water, is probably the most famous picture of the monster.

It was exposed as a hoax in 1994 by Christian Spurling, who said his stepfather, Marmaduke Wetherell, had arranged the stunt with the photographer Col Robert Wilson.

Successive scientific examinations, including a 10-year study by the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau in the 1960s and 70s - have produced no evidence that the legendary beast exists.

Countless unsuccessful attempts to track down the monster have been made, notably in 2003 when the BBC funded a search that used 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking to sweep the full length of the loch.

One of the more far-fetched theories is that Nessie is a long-necked plesiosaur that somehow survived the period when dinosaurs became extinct.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.