This weekend, Loch Ness will once again become a hub for monster hunters, with organizers claiming this Nessie search to be the largest in over half a century. The Loch Ness Centre in Scotland had put out a call earlier this month for “budding monster hunters” to participate in a “giant surface watch” of Loch Ness on August 26 and 27. Over 200 people have registered to attend the search in person, with over a hundred more planning to join virtually. This event is touted as the most extensive of its kind since the Loch Ness Investigation Bureau last studied the loch in 1972. However, scientific consensus suggests that the chances of discovering a monstrous creature lurking beneath the waters are exceedingly slim.
A scientific DNA survey of Loch Ness conducted in 2019 found no evidence of “monster DNA” supporting the legendary creature’s existence. Instead, the study detected a significant amount of eel DNA, raising the possibility that large eels might be responsible for the sightings. Furthermore, the loch’s low nutrient levels make it an improbable habitat for a massive, unknown predator akin to an ancient reptile.
The legend of the Loch Ness Monster stretches back centuries, but it gained international fame after a prominent sighting in 1933 by Aldie MacKay, then-manager of the Drumnadrochit Hotel (now the Loch Ness Centre site). Despite the absence of concrete evidence, Nessie’s legend endures, drawing visitors from around the world to the picturesque Loch Ness. As part of this weekend’s search, the Loch Ness Centre will host various activities, including “Premium Deepscan Cruises” during which paying customers can use hydrophones to listen for sounds in the loch’s depths. The center also plans to employ surveying equipment not previously used in the loch, including thermal drones with infrared cameras to detect heat in the water. Surface watch volunteers will be tasked with watching for unusual movements or disturbances in the water. Although in-person volunteering slots are fully booked, remote participants can still join the search by accessing a live stream of the loch.
Paul Nixon, the Loch Ness Centre’s general manager, expressed excitement about the upcoming weekend, emphasizing that it provides a unique opportunity to explore the loch in unprecedented ways.