The Loch Ness Monster is an old and enduring myth of Scotland that has evolved into a world-wide phenomenon. The idea of such a monster has inspired books, TV shows and films, and it sustains a major tourism industry around its home.
The monster is thought to be a large, ancient type of animal that some people believe still lives in Loch Ness, which is a large lake in northern Scotland.
Combining information supplied by people who claimed to have observed the monster, it is thought to have flippers, one or more humps and a long thin neck. It appears to be very elusive, and prefers to stay away from people.
The story of the monster can be traced back to more than 1,500 years when an Irish missionary is reported to have encountered a beast in the River Ness. In the 1930s, a newspaper reported the first of many apparent modern sightings of what came to be called "Nessie.”
In 1934, a highly respected British surgeon claimed he took a photograph of the monster while driving along the northern shore of Loch Ness. Known as the “Surgeon's Photograph,” it was confirmed as a hoax 60 years later. The “monster” caught on film was apparently a toy submarine with a head fashioned from wood putty.
An individual who serves as the keeper of a register of Nessie sightings says he receives an average of 10 reports each year of something unexplained being spotted in the loch's waters.
Today, it is hard to believe that such a monster really exists. Since 1960, numerous attempts using sophisticated equipment have failed to provide any concrete evidence that the Loch Ness Monster actually exists.