Scientists think they've figure out what the Loch Ness Monster is

Scientists think they've figure out what the Loch Ness Monster is”

Prof Neil Gemmell, a geneticist from New Zealand's University of Otago, said: "People love a mystery".

The research concentrated on 250 samples of water taken all around Loch Ness and at different depths to build up a comprehensive picture of life in the Loch - from bacteria invisible to the naked eye to larger creatures.

The main driver of the project was to show how the science process worked.

In conjunction with this announcement, a documentary team from Travel Channel has been on the journey with Professor Gemmell and his team, with a two-hour special set to premiere in the United States on Travel Channel and in the UK on Discovery Channel on September 15.

After months of speculation surrounding a study into whether the Loch Ness monster was real, the researcher behind it has claimed it could be a giant eel and not a giant plesiosaur from a long-lost era. "This scientific expedition for answers to what could be lurking beneath those waters is extremely captivating viewing".

University of Otago Professor Neil Gemmell has revealed his findings at a press conference at Drumnadrochit, on the western shore of Loch Ness, Scotland, on Thursday evening.

Last year, Gemmell and a team of researchers went searching for DNA from the famous 226m-deep lake in Scotland.

Other theories suggest that Nessie may be a giant catfish, a giant sturgeon, an eel or even a Greenland shark, which can live for up to 500 years.

He said the Loch Ness myth provided the team with an opportunity to showcase the science of environmental DNA, or eDNA, to the world.

The monster was first "spotted" back in 565 - a biography of Irish monk Saint Columba mentions a giant "water beast" dragging a man to his death in the Loch.

Gemmell said they couldn't find any evidence of a creature "remotely related" to that, "so, sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up".

The eel theory, however, "remains plausible", thanks to the significant amount of eel DNA.

The legend of the Loch Ness Monster is most likely to have been sparked by sightings of giant eels, scientists say.

But he can't rule out the possibility of a giant eel.

Given that more than 400,000 people visit Loch Ness every year, Mr Campbell said seeing something was "pretty rare".

Experts have said one "plausible theory" has stood out among all others: that the legendary sightings of Nessie could be due to giant eels. That idea then waned as notions of extinct reptiles became more prominent.

"Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness".

"Whether they are as big as around 4m as some of these sightings suggest - well, as a geneticist I think about mutations and natural variation a lot, and while an eel that big would be well outside the normal range, it seems not impossible that something could grow to such unusual size".

This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people say is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.

"In fact, we would have got more publicity out of just saying we'd decided not to do anything at Loch Ness than all of the other work my team had done put together - it was insane", he told the Herald last month.

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