The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

“Proof” of the Loch Ness Monster? Hardly…

Posted by mattusmaximus on August 29, 2009

Oh please… another news story about the Loch Ness Monster. How many times do we have to be subjected to the inane mutterings of cryptozoologists claiming to see “proof” of these mythical creatures in the most grainy of photographs?

Apparently, at least one more time…

loch ness monster

This amazing image on Google Earth could be the elusive proof that the Loch Ness Monster exists.

Sun reader Jason Cooke spotted “Nessie” while browsing the Web site’s satellite photos.

The shape seen on the surface of the 22-mile Scottish loch is 65ft long and appears to have an oval body, a tail and four legs or flippers.

Some experts believe Nessie may be a Plesiosaur, an extinct marine reptile with a shape like the Google image.

“This is really intriguing. It needs further study,” said researcher Adrian Shine, of the Loch Ness Project.

Sightings have been claimed for centuries.

To see the object, enter co-ordinates Latitude 57°12’52.13″N, Longitude 4°34’14.16″W in Google Earth.

You’ve got to be kidding me…

I can think of plenty of things this could be rather than the Loch Ness Monster, which – if you believe the pseudoscientific nuts – is likely some kind of aquatic dinosaur.  For one thing, it could be a boat: the general shape is like that of a boat, and the “tendrils” could very well be the wake left behind as a boat moves through the water.  Occam’s Razor would slash very heavily in this direction, especially knowing the fact that a tour boat named the Ness Express regularly travels the lake with gullible tourists looking for “Nessie”!

Here’s a picture of the Ness Express


Based upon that picture, it looks as if the Ness Express is about 30-35 feet long, which is pretty far off the estimates for the size of the mythical Loch Ness Monster given if you believe the damn thing is a dinosaur!

But that’s not the only problem with this loony claim.  If we look at the photo from Google Earth again, and do an analysis of the size of the feature in the photo, we find…


… the object is about 10.5 meters (34.4 feet) in length!  Which, amazingly, corresponds to the estimate obtained from the first photograph of the Ness Express, and is no where close to the estimate of 65 feet in the article. [Thanks to Marduk at the JREF Forum for the above analysis]

So, what’s the most plausible explanation for this “great discovery” made by the crypto-nuts?  A boat… on a lake… color me unimpressed.  This is just another classic example of pareidolia – the folks who believe in the Loch Ness Monster scour the Internet & Google Earth for anything that they could possibly interpret to be Nessie, and they tout it as the latest “proof”.  When in reality all they’ve got are the same old crappy, grainy pictures that they always present.

Which begs a question: why is it that whenever these people bring forth such “proof”, it’s always in the form of such poor photographs?  Why can they not, after all these years and advances in imaging technology, seem to come up with a decent high-resolution photo?

Good question.

11 Responses to ““Proof” of the Loch Ness Monster? Hardly…”

  1. anaglyph said

    And for a clincher (as if one was needed) here’s a view of the wake of the Ness Express taken from the boat:

    Oddly similar too the aerial shot of the ‘monster’, wouldn’t you say?

  2. Natdrip said

    I think that there is enough evidence to conclude that there is an actual pleisosaur(s) living in the lake Lochness. Case Closed.

  3. Avon Fox said

    There you go. Nice and hi-rezzy:
    Admittedly it could be anything but it’s large, displacing a lot of water and is hi-res. : )

  4. Avon Fox said

    It is of course… a fake. Giant surprise. : )

  5. Diane said

    it looks like a squid..if it is real.

  6. becky hewitt said

    Are you seriously expecting any kind of truth or science in an article in The Sun? 😀

  7. allen993 said

    I Really Don’t Believe Any Myths About Loch Ness Monster Because It Never Existed For Hundred Of Years And I Don’t Think That The Myth Is Real!

  8. […] | Read Sources […]

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