The Loch Ness Monster, also called Nessie, is an aquatic animal of unknown gender, shape, and type which is believed to live in Loch Ness, a fresh water lake in Scotland. It is most often described as large, long-limbed, and with a number of black humps protruding from its body. The monster is said to resemble a small, dog-like monster, though other reports from the 1930s have described it as a large “beast” or “whale-like fish”, that made waves big enough to have been made by a large steam boat.
Loch Ness is a large body of water in the Great Glen in the Scottish highlands. Deeper than the North Sea, Loch Ness is very long and narrow and never freezes, even though Scotland can be very cold in winter. It is the largest lake in the UK by volume, though not by surface area. The Great Glen is a rift valley 60 miles long that splits Scotland in two. It contains three famous lochs; Lochy, Oich and Ness. The most famous of these is Loch Ness because of the monster said to ‘lurk’ in its deep waters.
There have been numerous alleged sightings of the monster, affectionately known as ‘Nessie’ but Nessie has never been proved to exist, although there have been many attempts to find it, including with submarines equipped with sonar. These found a huge underwater cavern off Castle Urquhart, where the water is nearly 1,000 feet deep. This castle is where most sightings of Nessie have taken place
The Loch Ness monster has a lesser known cousin, called Morag, said to inhabit Loch Morar which is in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland, about 70 miles away from Loch Ness. Loch Morar is the deepest freshwater body in the British Isles and is over 1,000 feet deep in places. There are conflicting accounts of Morag’s appearance, from a mermaid type to a black ball moving slowly like a waterlogged boat. Morag does not attract as many monster hunters as Nessie because she is said to appear only when a death is about to happen and her appearance is seen as an omen of that death, especially a drowning.
Scotland has a great deal of myth and mystery about it and the monsters are part of this.
Searching for mythical monsters is an interesting part of a holiday, perhaps especially with children, though most of the dedicated hunters have been adults. Some weddings have had their photographs taken at Castle Urquhart, where most sightings have been made, with the Bride and Groom hoping that the Loch Ness Monster would appear in the background.