Now, according to a university in Scotland, the existence of the mystical, underwater creature may be “plausible” after all.
After making a fascinating discovery, they state that the Scottish beast may not be just an urban legend. For centuries, people in the area have reported seeing the rumored monster in the famous Scottish loch.
For decades, many have denied the existence of Nessie, pointing to a lack of photos. However, few have been able to snap a picture of the creature as it rarely pokes its long neck and tiny head out of the water. The beast has been rumored to be similar to the now-extinct plesiosaur.
Recently, scientists at the University of Bath, the University of Portsmouth in the UK, and Université Hassan II in Morocco have found plesiosaur fossils in a 100-million-year-old river system that is now the Sahara Desert.
The fossils include bones and teeth from three-meter-long adults and an arm bone from a 1.5-meter-long baby.
University officials revealed that these creatures lived in freshwater, alongside frogs, crocodiles, turtles, fish, and the aquatic dinosaur Spinosaurus.
With this new information, scientists are theorizing that plesiosaurs evolved to swim in freshwater, possibly living out their lives in the underwater environment.
Now with the announcement public, the University of Bath stated that it makes the existence of the Loch Ness Monster “plausible.”
However, the university added a critical caveat. As they describe, the fossil record “suggests that after almost a hundred and fifty million years, the last plesiosaurs finally died out at the same time as the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.”
Scottish university reveals jaw-dropping study, says a Loch Ness Monster is ‘plausible’
Sadly, if you’re booking your flight for Scotland to see the Loch Ness monster, you may want to rethink your decision.
Dr. Nick Longrich, a corresponding author on the research, said: “It’s scrappy stuff, but isolated bones actually tell us a lot about ancient ecosystems and animals in them. They’re so much more common than skeletons, they give you more information to work with.”
He continued: “The bones and teeth were found scattered and in different localities, not as a skeleton. So each bone and each tooth is a different animal. We have over a dozen animals in this collection.”
He added: “We don’t really know why the plesiosaurs are in freshwater. “It’s a bit controversial, but who’s to say that because we paleontologists have always called them ‘marine reptiles’, they had to live in the sea? Lots of marine lineages invaded freshwater.”
Co-author Dave Martill, professor of palaeobiology at the University of Bath, added: “What amazes me is that the ancient Moroccan river contained so many carnivores all living alongside each other. “This was no place to go for a swim.”