Thursday, June 10, 2010
Loch Ness: Monster or Myth
The Loch Ness Monster first gained notoriety in May 1933 when Alex Campbell who was a law enforcement officer patrolling Loch Ness and part-time journalist wrote a report in the Inverness Courier about the creature. Then in August of the same year, the Courier published a report by George Spicer from London about how he and his wife had seen the creature while boating around the lake. This set off a chain of events as more reports on the monster poured in. A photograph of the beast was taken in 1934 known as the “Surgeon’s Photograph” by a Dr. Wilson who claimed to have seen it. Over the next few decades mainly the 1960s and 1970s, investigations involving sonar, video cameras, underwater cameras, among other things took place to find the creature. In fact many documentaries have been done on the Loch Ness Monster including Discovery Loch Ness and Searching for the Loch Ness Monster by BBC.
Many explanations have been proposed as it being other animals or objects that were misidentified. The most common and widely believed explanation is that it is a Plesiosaur that has been extinct since the age of Dinosaurs. However, a few problems arise when discussing the theory including the fact that they were cold blooded animals and Loch Ness is too cold for the animal. On the other hand if it were somehow warm blooded, the Loch doesn’t contain the amount of food needed to sustain the animal’s metabolism that comes with being warm blooded. A plesiosaur also does not have the ability to lift and balance its massive head so far out of the water like it is shown in the picture. Also the loch is only about ten thousand years old and with was frozen over before that. The last obvious fact would be that if creatures like the Plesiosaurs were living in the Loch Ness waters, they would be seen frequently as they are large and need to come to the surface to breathe. This is an obvious example of Pseudoscience being it is a large scale delusion that is known and recognized as it is spread around the world through stories and photographs.