Mostly True Facts About Scotland's Loch Ness Monster

By Rachael Funk

Far away in the Scottish Highlands lives an enigma. She lurks somewhere in the depths of a lake hundreds of feet deep, taunting men with her mystery. It is said the monster was first seen in 565 AD, when Saint Columba drove the beast back into the water for taking a fatal bite out of a nervous sailor. Not seen again until the 1930s (possibly because she was embarrassed about the whole “attacking people” thing), the Loch Ness Monster, hereafter also referred to as “Nessie,” has been spotted on and off since then.

Nessie’s existence is hotly debated, as decades of searching have all been inconclusive. Since she can not yet be reached for comment, here are some confirmed facts about the Loch Ness Monster mystery and some unconfirmed “facts” about Nessie herself. Nessie, if you’re reading this, could you give us a call? We’re big fans.

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  • Robert Kenneth Wilson’s famous photo of Nessie (known as The Surgeon's Photo, pictured above) was taken on April 21, 1934 and was not discovered to be a fake until December 7, 1975.

  • An 812-foot deep section of the loch has been dubbed, “Nessie’s Lair.”

  • Many believe that Nessie is a plesiosaurus, a type of dinosaur which is believed to have been common about 205 million years ago.

  • There are over 1,000 recorded sightings of the Loch Ness Monster.

Image posted by Instagram user @matt_k85
  • The first organized search for Nessie was in 1934. A staff of 20 men were paid £2 per day to be “monster watchers.”

  • Files from the Natural History Museum suggest Prince Philip was so interested in the Loch Ness Monster, he proposed the Royal Navy be enlisted to help him search for the elusive creature.

Image posted by Instagram user @wellingtonsun
  • Though much of the legislation has been repealed, if Nessie is captured, she might be protected by Scotland’s Protection of Animals Act, 1912.

  • Part of a 2005 triathlon included a swim through Loch Ness. Each participant was insured £1 million against bites from the monster.

Image posted by Instagram user @maisongray
  • In 1979, a pair of bottlenose dolphins were outfitted with vests holding lights and small cameras in order to help search for Nessie. The plan was called off after one of the dolphins died on a stopover at Hull Aquarium.

  • Nessie is so popular, she even has her own ladle


  • Nessie is a Myers-Briggs INFJ, a rare personality type characterized by being shy, private, abstract in their communication, and having great depth.

  • One of Nessie’s greatest regrets is her inability to pursue her passion for knitting. Besides the fact that wool and loch water don’t mix well, the sheep tend to panic when Nessie brings them home for a shearing.

Image posted by Instagram user @the_boatandbreakfast
  • Nessie is an ordained minister and can legally perform civil unions for her friends who opt for a loch-side ceremony.

  • She would never bring this up herself, but Nessie would prefer her moniker to be changed from the Loch Ness “Monster” to the less aggressive Loch Ness “Resident.”

  • Nessie’s favorite Olympic sport is rhythmic gymnastics - a joy she will sadly never be able to experience, as waving a ribbon may give away her location in Loch Ness.

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