Thursday, April 7, 2011

My research so far

The Loch Ness monster, better known as Nessie or in Scottish Gaelic Niseag, resides in the Lake or Loch Ness near Iverness, Scotland. As Loch Ness is a huge lake located near Urquhart Castle, Nessie is frequently “seen” in Urquhart Bay. Nessie is one of the more prominent cryptids out there and has been reportedly seen since the time period of A.D. Nessie is a huge lake monster that the people of Scotland swear exists and is part of local legend. The creature is said to be part of a line of plesiosaurs that never went extinct (Wikipedia). Although this is the most common depiction, there are many different accounts of what Nessie actually looks like. She is somewhere between 20 to 60 feet in length, with a long neck, a small head, horn for breathing, and diamond shaped fins. During the 1930s Nessie became a worldwide phenomena, although many documents suggest that Nessie had been seen way before this time. According to Legend of Nessie’s ancestors where out in the loch in 565 A.D. It was during this time that St. Columba was crossing the lake and reported to have seen a lake monster (Legend of The last reported sighting of Nessie was in 1960 by Tim Dinsdale as he filmed Nessie with his camera. More people tried to spot Nessie in 1976 and 1982 but no sightings were made. Nessie’s devoted followers still continue to believe that she is out there and are always looking for more proof.

I started off my research by looking at articles from databases like JSTOR and EBSCO host and I was hoping to find many articles since Nessie is such a popular cryptid. I did find tons of articles, though not all of them were about Nessie and never really described any new info relating to the monster. Most of the articles that I found were from scientific magazines, like Society For Science and The Public. In the four articles that I found for this magazine most of the articles were short and centered on if Nessie was an actual in the loch or if it was some hoax. The first article titled The Case for the Loch Ness Monster by the Science News written in 1976 was an article in favor of Nessie, especially after the first true group of “hunters” took under water pictures of a “large submerged object moving under the boat” (247). These hunters consisted of amateurs that many of the scientific community discredited. They took these pictures with a submerged camera that had a synchronized strobe light. This camera recorded the first ever picture of the monster of Loch Ness (Case of Loch Ness Monster, 247). This group, as stated, was severely discredited because they were amateurs but that does not discount what they found with their cameras. This article seems to be credible because it comes from a scientific magazine and does an acceptable job of posing both sides of the argument for Nessie. The article lets the reader decide if they want to believe Nessie is real or not rather than making the decision for them.

Another article that I found from the same journal is Is Nessie merely a bad case of the Shakes? This article seems to try to explain what Nessie could be rather than a lake monster. Loch Ness lies on a fault, Great Glen, and has three to four moderate earthquakes each century. According to Luigi Piccardi, a structural geologist, these earthquakes and seismic activity can explain the Nessie phenomena. Piccardi states, “that some of the more vivid sightings include observations of low humps breaking the surface. This could be explained by waves resulting from a focusing of seismic energy rumbling beneath and through the loch’s waters” (Is Nessie merely a bad case of the shakes, 5). Although this article was fairly short and did not give a lot of information regarding how these earthquakes could offer an alternate explain of the Loch Ness monster. I believe that this source is credible because, again, it is in a scientific magazine but it does not seem to offer a lot of explanation about the how and why this alternate explanation would be used instead of the monster Nessie.

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