The Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness monster, also called “Nessie”, is a creature that is supposed to live in Loch Ness, the largest a lake in northern Scotland. Since Roman times the legend of a mysterious sea creature has been alive through numerous sightings of the animal.
When the Romans came to Scotland in the first century the Picts were the main inhabitants. They were fascinated by animals and spoke of a strange beast swimming in one of the lakes in the Scottish highlands. The first references go back to the sixth century when a man was supposedly saved from the swimming beast of Loch Ness.
Over the centuries the legend of the Loch Ness monster has never gone away. In the 1930s a new road was built along the shore of Loch Ness. In 1933 , a couple who was driving along this road reported an enormous animal splashing on the surface of the lake. In the following months newspapers sent reporters and photographers to the lake to make observations. Even footprints of an enormous animal were found.
In the following decades most scientists declared the sightings a fake and claimed that it was impossible for a dinosaur-like creature to have survived for millions of years. However, most of the people who went to Loch Ness were serious and honest and, for sure, were not interested in producing a scam.
Many books were written about the monster of Loch Ness. Several photographs made it to the front pages of the newspapers. The most famous photograph came from a British surgeon in 1934 . Robert Wilson, a London doctor, took a photo of a creature with a long neck that stood out of the water. In 1975 the Sunday Telegraph proved that this photo was fake.
Surgeon's photo of the Loch Ness Monster
As time went on investigation became more serious. Scientists from all over the world started coming to Loch Ness to investigate the phenomenon. The BBC and four universities led expeditions to the Scottish lake to find out more about the monster. They were equipped with scientific instruments and machines that could be used in the deep water of the lake. Although the expeditions came up with no real results they did find out that something was moving in the lake , which they could not explain.
In 1975 an American-based expedition used underwater photography and special sonar to examine the Loch Ness. The underwater camera was able to take images of a moving object that had flippers. Based on these photos some scientists concluded that the 20-foot long creature was possibly an ancient reptile that became extinct with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.
In the last three decades more sonar observations were made with even more advanced equipment. And still, they produced objects that could not be identified. Whether fact or fiction, Loch Ness has become a tourist attraction in northern Scotland, and even if there is no monster, the legend lives on.
- advanced = very complicated
- although = while
- American-based = coming from America
- ancient = old
- attraction = place where you go to see something special
- beast = a large and mostly dangerous animal
- century = a hundred years
- claim = to say that something is true
- conclude = to come to a result
- couple = a man and woman
- creature = something living
- decade = ten years
- declare = to say that something is true
- enormous = very big
- equip = to have with you
- examine = look at closely
- expedition = carefully organized trip to find out about something in a dangerous or unusual place
- extinct = die out
- fiction = something that is not true or made up
- flipper = flat part of the body of a sea animal
- footprint = a mark in the ground made by a shoe or a foot
- honest = to always tell the truth and not lie
- identify = to recognize something and name it
- image = picture
- inhabitant =a person who lives in a place
- investigate = to look at closely
- main = most important
- make it = here: to be good enough to be printed
- mysterious = strange, unusual
- numerous = many
- observation = examination, to watch something
- phenomenon = something that you cannot explain
- reference = the first time something is mentioned
- reptile = type of animal whose body temperature changes with the temperature around it; it usually lays eggs to have babies; snakes and lizards are reptiles
- scam = a clever but dishonest way to become famous or get money
- scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a laboratory
- serious = not making jokes
- several = many
- shore = coastline of the lake
- sighting = a time when something is seen
- sonar = a machine that uses sound waves to find out where objects are under water
- splash = here: to move up and down in the water
- supposed = other people think that something is true
- surgeon = doctor who does operations in a hospital
- survive = to live on , especially after a dangerous situation