The supposed carcass of the Loch Ness Monster has been found on the shores of the infamous Scottish loch, according to some recent reports. Found in this case refers of course to the recent appearance of a rather interesting new hoax — the photos are quite fetching aren’t they?
While animals that fit the description of the famous Loch Ness Monster most certainly have existed at various points in time, in various parts of the world — and while I’m not of the mind that all “sightings” are hoaxes per se — the chances of finding a physical animal living in Loch Ness that fits the description are pretty much nil.
So, what are we left with? A hoax of some sort — though the motives behind hoaxes often vary quite a bit. In this case, I’d say that those behind it have had quite a bit of fun. I wonder what the exact motive was?
The origin of the photos in question seem to have been a Facebook post (on June 29) by the “Help2Rehome Scotland” page. The caption accompanying the images being: “A dog walker out on the shores of Loch Ness has just stumbled across this. Has Nessy been found? Or someone playing a fascinating prank?”
So a PR stunt seems like the most likely motive then one would assume. The police tape is a nice touch on that count I’d say.
On a more serious note, give it one to two hundred years and a great many of the Loch Ness Monster’s corollaries in the real world — large whales, manatees, orcas, saltwater crocodiles, etc — may well be nothing but stories by that point. And strange seeming ones at that.
To prove the point, the Stellar’s Seacow, for instance, would quite readily fit the description of the Loch Ness Monster, and it lived until fairly recently — before being hunted to extinction over the span of just a few decades by whalers. Despite how recently the species survived, if most of those living now were to see it, the animal would seem quite strange. A sort of enormous, 30-foot long, long-necked version of a manatee or dugong.
Stories and cultural memories often outlast the things and animals that they reference though — as was and has been the case with real-life unicorns. I wonder what sorts of stories the peoples living 5,000 or so years from now might tell about the enormous animals that once roamed the (by then relatively desert-like) oceans?
It bears reminding here that until the late-Roman period lions were actually found all throughout Southern Europe — and they had been present in Northern and Eastern Europe until not that long before then as well. Despite their extinction there (due to habitat loss and over-hunting) nearly 2000 years ago now, they have remained in use constantly as a symbol.
I suppose that that says something important about people, a fixation on the symbols used far more so than on the actual hard-to-truly-know realities.
More information on animals fast approaching the point of being nothing but stories can be found in Brink Of Extinction — Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle, Siberian Tiger, Mountain Gorilla, North Pacific Right Whale, & Philippine Eagle and Near Extinct Animals — Mediterranean Monk Seal, Axolotl Mexican Salamander, Tiger Spider, Southern Bluefin Tuna, & Alabama Cavefish.