Scientists have revealed the Loch Ness Monster could actually be a real creature in the form of a ’giant eel’ after a major DNA investigation of the Scottish lake.
After centuries of various people claiming they’d spotted the mysterious Nessie, researchers could now have found a biological explanation after taking hundreds of samples from the Highland Loch.
Professor Neil Gemmell led a team which established a detailed list if all the creatures living in the waters by identifying tiny genetic remnants left in the water.
This is possible because all life living in the waters leave tiny fragments of DNA through their skin, scales, feathers, fur, faeces and urine, which in turn can identify them.
Professor Gemmell spoke at a conference today (Thursday 5) where he explained they came across one type of DNA over and over in the 226-metre deep lake.
We found large amounts of eel DNA in the Loch Ness, every single site we went to had eels.
The sheer volume was a bit of a surprise.
Is it possible there’s a giant eel? Maybe. We don’t know if the DNA is gigantic or just many small eels.
They normally grow to four to six metres in length, and people say they’re observing something much larger than that.
From 250 water samples, the scientists gained 500 million DNA sequences, which they examined to determine the creatures leaving beneath the water.
Gemmell, who hails from the University of Otago in New Zealand, added:
There are eels, and there is a plausible way eels could grow bigger than normal.
It’s plausible that there might be one or two that grow to extreme size – maybe 50 per cent or more, maybe bigger than that ‘Our data doesn’t reveal their size, but the sheer quantity of the material says that we can’t discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness.
Therefore, we can’t discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel.
According to Gemmell, the video filmed by Gordon Holmes in 2007, which shows a four metre torpedo-like shape seemingly swimming on the loch’s surface would appear to support the idea Nessie could in fact be a giant eel.
Divers have claimed that they’ve seen eels that are as thick as their legs in the loch, whether they’re exaggerating or not – I don’t know – but there is a possibility that there are very large eels present in the loch.
Whether they are as big as around 4m as some of these sightings suggest – well, as a geneticist I think about mutations and natural variation a lot, and while an eel that big would be well outside the normal range, it seems not impossible that something could grow to such unusual size.
More than 1,000 sightings of the Loch Ness Monster have been reported since the Inverness Courier wrote about the mystical creature in 1933.
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