Loch Ness is nearly 23 miles long and two miles wide, with depths of over 745 feet. And in those mysterious Scottish waters, many believe a monster lurks below.
The Loch Ness Monster.
Unfortunately, no hard evidence exists for such a creature. Oh, we’ve had blurry photographs and the occasional witness report of Ol’ Nessie swimming around as she does. There are even those who believe the monster may be a Naga. But all attempts at locating her or finding actual incontrovertible proof have failed.
Now, a team of scientists from New Zealand are embarking on a journey to Loch Ness on a quest to locate something more than just shaky camera footage: They want some
dino plesiosaur Nessie DNA.
They’ll (try to) find it by taking water samples, about 300 in total, as the New Zealand Herald reports. According to team leader Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago, they’ll “extract DNA from those” samples, and if all goes as planned, they may or may not find evidence that something undiscovered is inhabiting the Loch.
“We don’t know exactly what a plesiosaur DNA sequence looks like…but we can make a very good estimate of what the sequence should look like.”
The trouble is, now that we’re reporting on it, Nessie no doubt knows what the Kiwis are planning. She will be prepared. She will make arrangements. A cryptid as big as she is does not remain hidden for 1500 years without knowing how to handle the occasional scientific expedition. And this won’t be her first rodeo, anyway.
Regardless, even if they can’t find the Loch Ness Monster, the team is still very much excited to explore the Loch’s waters and document its habitation and history. They’ll compare it to others lochs, and search for any new (non-Nessie) species that might be present. Their work will begin in June.