What has a long neck, a potentially-mythological identity, and has baffled scientists for years? The Loch Ness Monster! This gargantuan creature is one of Scotland’s many treasured mysteries. The modern tale of the massive beast originated back in 1933 and has been amusing and baffling the public ever since.

The myth of the Loch Ness Monster

Scotland is a hub of some of the most bizarre and fun folklore tales in history— including the Loch Ness Monster. Reports of the massive aquatic creature have been part of Scotland’s culture since 1,500 years ago. However, the modern tale which we know and love didn’t always occupy history. Instead, it began with a Scottish couple whose beast-spotting struck the world. While out for a stroll, a local duo in Scotland was certain that they saw the Loch Ness Monster in the flesh. They were sure that they saw the long-necked, multi-humped creature “rolling and plunging” by in the Scottish waters of Loch Ness. Before long, their report of the beast hit the newspapers. What began as a legend quickly grew into a worldwide hunt for the Loch Ness Monster.

Becoming beloved across the continent

Word of the couple’s sighting reached all the way to London. There, the Courier labeled the creature a “monster”, giving the beast its spooky name. The Loch Ness Monster—known fondly as ‘Nessie’ to Scotland citizens—quickly grew into a marvel across Europe. Many people embarked on a journey to Scotland to try to find, hunt, and capture the creature. Before long, the entire continent began to bring the legend of the Loch Ness Monster to life. One London man, George Spicer, swore that the Loch Ness Monster walked across the road in front of his car. Others reported anonymous sightings of a “sea serpent” or “dragon” to their local newspapers. The Secretary of State in Scotland even wanted police to fend off attacks on Nessie. However, it was when scientists, universities, and other professionals began to dig into the legend did the tale of Loch Ness become even more bizarre.

Hunting down Nessie

While many citizens were curious about the Loch Ness Monster, some people were intent on discovering the truth behind the beast. A man named Hugh Gray produced the first photograph of Nessie in December of 1933, which was published in the Daily Express. It turned out to be a hoax. However, those who were die-hard fans of Nessie didn’t lose hope. In the 1960s, British universities searched for the monster and discovered substantial objects moving beneath the water. More missions to photograph Nessie were performed. In 1975, they managed to snap a pic of a massive flipper in Loch Ness. Many missions to hunt Nessie since the 1980s have resulted in zilch. However, whether the Loch Ness Monster is merely a phenomenon of mass-hysteria or not is still up for debate.