Why the Loch Ness Monster Probably Doesn’t Exist

January 27, 2016 | Joanne Kennell

Computer generated image of the mystical Loch Ness Monster
Photo credit: Photo Jeff/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Even so, a little mystery in life is never a bad thing.

Do you believe that the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, exists?  If you do, you are not alone.  There are a lot of people who believe the creature lurks in the depths of Scotland’s Loch Ness, and there have been several sightings of the beast to boot.

Many people will argue that there is no way Nessie could exist because we would have found her by now.  However, that is not necessarily true — humans have discovered less than 15 percent of the creatures that live on the planet, with most of the mystery lying in the lakes and oceans.

Speculation of the monster’s existence has once again been stirred up when a tour boat operator at Loch Ness and retired fisherman, Keith Stewart, claimed to have discovered the lake’s deepest trench — a possible hiding place for the elusive Nessie.  If Stewart’s reading is confirmed, the deepest point of the Loch would now be 889 feet, instead of 754 — a significant difference!

However, people have been searching for Nessie for over 70 years, without much luck, and possibly for one particular reason — she doesn’t exist.  Although I am completely open-minded and would actually prefer it that Nessie be real, here are a few reasons why she probably doesn’t exist.

Not One Convincing Sighting

There have been several monster sightings around Loch Ness.  For example, in 1852 villagers charged with pitchforks to battle a “sea serpent,” however it turned out to be a horse taking a bath.  In 1933, George Spicer said he saw the monster carrying a lamb in its mouth.  But with no proof, the report is considered highly unreliable.  Even more, besides hoaxes, no one has ever produced a real photograph of Nessie.

No Bones of Ancestors

Cryptozoologists have a theory that Nessie is actually a surviving plesiosaur — a marine reptile that swam in the water and is believed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago.  However, no plesiosaur bones have been found in Loch Ness. Dredging and sonar scans have both failed to locate any Nessie fossils.

Loch Ness Would Not Be Big Enough to Sustain Nessie

For Nessie to have survived for this long, there would have to be at least dozens, if not hundreds of them, to maintain a healthy breeding population.  Although the Loch Ness monster is not overly large (size ranging from a small car to a school bus), with so many living in the lake, you would expect them to be seen way more often.  Let’s be serious, they can’t all be hiding all at once, can they?

Also, the lake also does not hold enough fish to sustain a population of Nessies — they would starve.

Loch Ness is Too Cold

Nessie has most often been described as a reptile, however earlier reports describe her as seal-like.  Nevertheless, Loch Ness is not a suitable habitat for a reptile — the water is just too cold.

Now if Nessie were warm-blooded, like a seal, she would be a creature completely different from anything in the fossil record.  Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Loch Ness Used to Be Ice-Covered 

Loch Ness was covered in a ice a mile-thick until very recently, meaning Nessie would have had to arrive just 20,000 years ago.  She could have originally lived in the Atlantic Ocean and migrated to the Loch, however she would have had to swim through extremely cold and a somewhat shallow river to even make it to Loch Ness.

The myth, or not myth of the Loch Ness monster will more than likely continue to live on for a long time, especially if deep trenches keep being discovered.  No matter the case, it is a great icon and tourist attraction for the country of Scotland.  Plus, a little mystery in life is never a bad thing, otherwise life would just be really predictable and boring.

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