The legend of Nessie

By | Category: Travel destinations

Scotland’s most famous resident is not your typical celebrity. For one thing, she hates to be photographed. For another, she may, or may not, live in the murky waters of Loch Ness. And although she is often called Nessie, ‘she’ may not be a she at all! Nobody really knows much about the Loch Ness Monster. Even today, some people still believe there is an unsolved mystery lurking in the murk

Diehard dinosaurs?
One popular belief is that Nessie is a plesiosaur. The theory goes that a family of these underwater uglies got locked in the loch when it formed 10,000 years ago. It’s a good story – except that plesiosaurs died out 65 million years earlier!

Deep and dark
Loch Ness contains more water than any other Scottish lake. In fact, it contains more water than all the lakes in England and Wales put together. Once upon a time, it was thought to harbour a kelpie. These mythical ‘water horses’ look like ordinary horses, except dripping wet and covered with water weeds!

‘I brake for monsters’
The first modern sighting of Nessie was in 1933. A couple claimed to have seen a large creature with a long neck crossing the road in front of their car. It seems that road safety isn’t one of Nessie’s strong points!

What’s in a name?
Naturalist Sir Peter Scott gave Nessie the scientific name Nessiteras rhombopteryx. It was pointed out that the letters could be rearranged to say ‘monster hoax by Sir Peter S’.

Famous fake
Several unexplained sonar readings of large objects have been made in Loch Ness.This 1934 photograph is an iconic image of Nessie. It is also a fake! Nessie was made using a lump of clay and a toy submarine.

Monster hunter
In 1969 monster hunter Dan Taylor went down in a submarine looking for Nessie. Unfortunately, he came up empty-handed. Even worse, the sub’s hatch leaked so badly that Taylor had to use an umbrella to stay dry.


Extract taken from Lonely Planet’s  new book, Not for Parents: Great Britain (£9.99). The Not for Parents series is designed for children aged 8-12 and takes a fun and informative look at  iconic destinations in Great Britain, China, Australia and the USA, from a kid’s eye view. Exciting details about each destination’s history, wildlife, sport and culture are revealed through quirky stories, surprising facts, gruesome tales and crazy trivia. The books’ content is also accompanied by colourful and humorous cartoons, photos and illustrations.

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