Loch Ness Monster: Missing since 1933

A photo of the alleged Loch Ness Monster. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
A photo of the alleged Loch Ness Monster. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1934, what went on to become known as the most famous photo of the purported Loch Ness Monster was published in The Daily Mail.

Here are some things you may not have known about the Loch Ness Monster and other legendary beasts.

The study of creatures whose existence has not been proven is called cryptozoology and is widely described as a pseudoscience. The Loch Ness Monster is probably the best known example, but others include the Yeti, Sasquatch and Chupacabra.

The first contemporary report of the Loch Ness Monster was in 1933 when George Spicer and his wife saw something cross the road in front of their car. They said the creature was 25 feet long and about four feet around. They said they saw it from 20 yards away. More sightings were reported in 1933, the same year as the first alleged photograph of the creature. Hugh Gray said he saw a large creature splashing in the lake. One of his photographs showed a blurry object, which he claimed was the monster affectionately nicknamed Nessie. However, some have claimed that it might have been Gray’s Labrador retriever.

In 1934, The Daily Mail published the “Surgeon’s Photograph” which showed the supposed head and neck of the monster sticking out of the lake. Several decades later, most experts would conclude that it was a hoax perpetrated against The Daily Mail. The sightings are generally attributed to hoaxes or misidentifications of common objects like driftwood.

Similar supposed lake monsters or sea serpents include Champ, which is said to live in Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont, and Ogopogo, which allegedly lives in British Columbia’s Lake Okanagan.

The Yeti, or Abominable Snowman is said to live in the Himalayan region. It appears to have been a part of Himalayan folklore for centuries, although researchers have not been able to find any conclusive proof of its existence. Interest in the creature increased as westerners gained access to the area in the 1950s. Many mountaineers, including Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay have claimed to have seen footprints left by the creature, but have later downplayed those experiences.

Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, is said to live in the forests of the Pacific Northwestern United States. Legends of Bigfoot stretch back centuries in Native American and First Nations lore. The generally accepted explanation for the sightings is the misidentification of the common black bear.

The Chupacabra, meanwhile is a more recent legend. The first reports were made in 1995 when eight sheep were found dead, and allegedly drained of blood. From there the story exploded and thousands of killings were reported. Experts say most of the animal killings were likely the result of attacks by coyotes and other canines.

Our question, what does Chupacabra translate as in English?

Today is San Jacinto Day in Texas marking the end of the Texas Revolution. In Mexico, it’s Heroic Defense of Veracruz Day marking the beginning of the American invasion of Veracruz in 1914.

It’s National High Five Day, Keep Off the Grass Day, and National Ask an Atheist Day.

It’s the birthday of writer Charlotte Bronte, who was born in 1816; naturalist John Muir, born in 1838; Queen Elizabeth II, who is 90 today, and actor Tony Danza, who is 65.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1990, the top song in the U.S. was “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor.

The No. 1 movie was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” while the “The Bourne Ultimatum” by Robert Ludlum topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.


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