Loch Ness Monster, “Nessie”



Scientific Name

  • Sir Peter Scott gave the Loch Ness Monster the scientific name of Nessiteras rhombopteryx after an expedition to find Nessie led by Robert Rines took a picture of its flipper.


  • Loch Ness Lake, Scottish Highlands – 24 miles long, 1.5 mile long, average of 450 feet deep, up to 788 feet deep
  • Many underwater currents.


  • Told by locals near Loch Ness farther back than even the first dated sighting probably to keep children out of the dangerous waters in Loch Ness
  • The monster would come out of the water as a horse and gallop quickly right into the water with any rider it picked up and then devour him or her in the water.


  • Many sightings of the monster have been reported since 565 A.D.
  • First dated sighting – 565 A.D. A man named Saint Columba rescued a swimmer in Loch Ness from a monster about to eat him and then tamed it.
  • In 1933, a road was built near Loch Ness and number of sightings spiked.
  • April 14, 1933 – Mackeys claim to have seen an “enormous animal … rolling and plunging” in the lake and told Alex Campbell who was in charge of salmon fishing in the lake. He also claims to have seen the monster many times after learning of the Mackey sighting.
  • Also in 1933, a couple named Mrs. and Mr. George Spicer said they saw a “prehistoric” monster, not in the water but out of the water. It was crossing the road and then disappeared into the water.

Photographs of Nessie

  • Many have managed to take photos of Nessie. Some have been hoaxes; more have been perceived to be other natural occurrences, such as water currents.
  • The first was taken of the “tail” by Hugh Gray, but it is perceived to be of a log instead.
  • A year after Gray’s photograph, the most famous picture of Nessie was taken by Colonel Robert Wilson. In this photograph, the head of the Loch Ness monster is raised out of the water by its long neck that is connected to a humped body. But, in 1993, Christian Spurling confessed that the photo was a fake. He had helped Wilson make the fake monster.

Finding Nessie

  • The first expedition to use sonar and an underwater camera with a strong light to find the Loch Ness Monster was in 1972 led by Robert Rines. The sonar did detect something big moving in the water while, in August, the camera took a picture of what seemed to be a diamond paddle or flipper that many believe was faked.
  • In 1987, Operation Deepscan took place. More than 20 boats used sonar to scan the lake together, leaving no gaps between as they went across the lake. Nothing unusual was found.

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Loch Ness 1
Loch Ness 2
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