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Humans have been creating and believing in mythological creatures for centuries. Few have created the controversy and scientific research as "Nessie," the Loch Ness monster. Theories abound on what it can be, though no credible evidence has been found to indicate that the monster exists at all.
The photographs that have surfaced over the years as evidence of the creature's existence have all been debunked as hoaxes. Footprints claimed to have been made by the creature turned out the have been made with a hippopotamus foot umbrella stand. Scientific teams that have searched the loch inch by inch have turned up nothing concrete enough to prove the existence of the creature.
The first purported photograph of Nessie surfaced in December 1933 at the end of a year that held a flood of stories in the press of people claiming to have seen the monster. Authors who have investigated the folklore have found stories referencing the creatures going back as far as the 6th century.
The monster is not alone. There are also tales of Morag, the monster of Loch Morar. Stories of this creature date back to 1887 and more than 34 sightings have been reported.
Whatever Nessie is or is not, one thing seems certain -- we want to believe.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger