Scotland is a gorgeous country rife with culture, history and great people. One of its most enduring traits is that of its folklore; these tales have stood the test of time by being passed down from generation to generation. While the country is home to many a magnificent story, one has captured the minds of citizens and world travelers alike: the Loch Ness Monster. How exactly did this story come to be? Is there any truth to it? Let’s find out.
The Loch Ness Monster, often referred to as “Nessie,” allegedly resides within Loch Ness, which contains the largest volume of freshwater in all of Great Britain. A common misconception surrounding Nessie is that rumours regarding the creature began sometime in the early 1930s, when a couple claimed to have seen a large animal swimming within the loch. In fact, the first written record of Nessie predates that by several-thousand years. The earliest record of any mention of Nessie was in 565 A.D., when Saint Columba is purported to have used the word of God to confront and defeat a large monster within the loch. Since this claim, there have been at least a dozen other mentions of Nessie well before the “original” sighting in the 1930s.
After the 1930s sighting, the world simply couldn’t whet its Loch Ness Monster appetite. Several British newspapers and sent reporters to the loch to see if they could catch any glimpse of the creature; hunters got in on the frenzy and attempted to capture Nessie, and one circus even offered a large reward for Nessie’s capture. Hundreds of tourists flocked to the loch to see Nessie and, eventually, after no new sightings, the fervor died down a bit.
Then, in 1934, one of the most famous photographs of all time was taken. The Loch Ness Monster was finally captured on film. The new photo, which showed some sort of creature with a stringy, long neck breaking the surface of the water, renewed interest in the creature, leading to dozens of specialists claiming that Nessie was no more than a prehistoric dinosaur who’d survived all these years. Unfortunately, the photo was proven to be a hoax.
Whatever the truth of Nessie, there are many in Scotland and throughout the world, that still believe in Nessie. That’s the beauty of Scottish folklore: it will always endure and never fade away. People will continue to hunt for the Loch Ness Monster for generations to come.