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The Loch Ness Giant Salamander

loch ness salamander

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#16    Arbitran

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:49 PM

As I mentioned on another thread, the Grey photo most closely resembles a grey seal, Halichoerus grypus, in my opinion. They're endemic to the North Atlantic, and have been documented as appearing occasionally in Loch Ness. Given it isn't indigenous to the loch, it's not hard to believe that the locals could very well misidentify a 3m-long, grey, flippered animal as a monster of some sort. The Grey photo looks to me like a grey seal playing in the water; having spent some time studying grey seals, I can say that if I took a still photo of one playing on the surface of the water, it would look very much like the Grey photo.

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#17    Harlequin Dreamer

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:53 AM

If you look closely at the back of the object in the photo you can see bigfoot westling an alien.  :yes:


#18    Urisk

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:20 PM

View PostArbitran, on 09 September 2012 - 11:49 PM, said:

As I mentioned on another thread, the Grey photo most closely resembles a grey seal, Halichoerus grypus, in my opinion. They're endemic to the North Atlantic, and have been documented as appearing occasionally in Loch Ness. Given it isn't indigenous to the loch, it's not hard to believe that the locals could very well misidentify a 3m-long, grey, flippered animal as a monster of some sort. The Grey photo looks to me like a grey seal playing in the water; having spent some time studying grey seals, I can say that if I took a still photo of one playing on the surface of the water, it would look very much like the Grey photo.

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Grey seal? Hmm, good call. Quite a trek for one, through all those locks, which would probably merit a bit of disbelief at actually seeing one there! Thing is it doesn't have to actually be at Loch Ness. A seal hauled out with the tide coming in around it would be enough. To be honest the picture is really awful as it is, which makes me wonder more and more that if there is a Loch Ness Monster, it must have some sort of baffling device on it that affects machinery with complex parts and chemicals. That picture has always bothered me; Some really badly taken picture of an out-of-focus blob in water that conveniently misses out all background thus rendering any notion of scale moot, and we're meant to take it as proof of something living in Loch Ness?

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#19    Insanity

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:02 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 09 September 2012 - 06:34 AM, said:

Generally speaking, large, cold-blooded animal, like giant salamanders would have a really hard time surviving in the cold (maximum 5-7° C) waters of Loch Ness.

Actually many amphibians fair quite well in cold water, better then most reptiles.  Hellbenders prefer water around 68F (20C) but will still eat around 45F (7C).

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have." - H.P. Lovecraft, "From Beyond" Published 1934

#20    CRIPTIC CHAMELEON

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:50 PM

View Posthatecraft, on 08 September 2012 - 06:17 AM, said:

There is already an explanation for this creature:  It doesn't exist.
And if they didn't exist in some form or the other we would not have a forum to discuss the fact.  So hence they must exist as you wouldn't be here. :gun:


#21    Macroramphosis

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:34 AM

The Cryptic Chameleon on the Giant Salamander thread -  I like it. Where's the damn "like" button ?

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#22    Clobhair-cean

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:48 AM

View PostInsanity, on 27 September 2012 - 08:02 PM, said:

Actually many amphibians fair quite well in cold water, better then most reptiles.  Hellbenders prefer water around 68F (20C) but will still eat around 45F (7C).

"Will still eat" isn't quite the same as "fare quite well". That's the low end of their ability to survive. And we're talking about a lake that's 7C at its warmest.

Edited by Clobhair-cean, 28 September 2012 - 07:49 AM.


#23    Eldorado

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:57 PM

Take it from me folks, if there was a giant creatrure in that Loch it was caught and eaten three hours after first contact.  Broth-pot.  That's what we do here.  Always have, always will.

And then we drink and tell each other tales.


#24    Insanity

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 28 September 2012 - 07:48 AM, said:

"Will still eat" isn't quite the same as "fare quite well". That's the low end of their ability to survive. And we're talking about a lake that's 7C at its warmest.

While the average temperature is around 42F (6C), during the summer water temperatures can reach near 57F (14C), and can reach higher.
At a depth of 75m, the temperature remains fairly consistent near 42F (6C) year round.

Even in the summer, it be a chilly swim, but not too bad.

Lake Superior here in the States, keeps a colder temperature in the depths, 200m, year round 39F (4C) and the surface reaches about the same max in the summer.

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have." - H.P. Lovecraft, "From Beyond" Published 1934

#25    Thegreatsilence

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:06 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 28 September 2012 - 07:48 AM, said:

"Will still eat" isn't quite the same as "fare quite well". That's the low end of their ability to survive. And we're talking about a lake that's 7C at its warmest.

Siberian newt (Salamandrella keyserlingii) can move at 1 C, so there is a precedent at least.


#26    Overdueleaf

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:25 PM

The picture in question is so amorphous.. it could be anything and any explanation would fit just as well as another... just pick which explanation you like best and stick with it... as for me.. i say it is a really bad picture that could be just about anything i would want it to be...be it ordinary/explainable/normal or extraordinary/unexplainable/paranormal.

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#27    Insanity

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 12:03 AM

A few challenges with Nessie being a grey seal, or any aquatic mammal, is they do need to surface regularly to breath, and as many commenters know or suggest, this would likely give Nessie away fairly easy.

Second, historically, the sightings occur most often during the summer months of July and August, which is what you may expect with an ectothermic creature like a salamander.  Seals could be active in the loch virtually any time of the year, and as grey seals live on the coast of Scotland and England, and I believe they do not migrate, the reason for them to appear in the loch would have to be seasonal to match the sightings.  If not, the sightings would likely occur more evenly throughout the year.  Perhaps this is due to movement of the fish population, but given the surrounding sea probably has much more sealife to feed on then the loch, the reason to enter it would have to be something other then food.  Losing their way is a possibility, but seems unlikely to account all the sightings to lost seals.

A giant salamander is scientifically plausible, the Chinese Giant Salamander can reach 6.6ft (2m) in length and weigh 145lbs (65kg).  The analysis of the Grey Photo suggests a specimen four times in length, which is not that unbelievably impossible, as that family of salamanders is almost exclusively aquatic, a large size and weight is not a hinderance.  Also the family of salamanders can respire through their skin, called cutaneous gas exchange, so long as the water is sufficiently oxygenated.  This means they can remain submerged as long as they can draw oxygen through their skin.  Loch Ness, below its thermocline (~100 ft, or 33m), the water is highly oxygenated.  Most often they still possess gills and lungs, and can gulp air to get extra oxygen when needed, either their activity as suggested in the analysis, or lower oxygen in the water.  Colder water contains more dissolved gases then warmer, oxygen included.  Loch Ness does contain plenty fish, clams, crayfish, and insects, all of which are eaten by these salamanders.  Additionally all these food sources peak during the July and August months.

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have." - H.P. Lovecraft, "From Beyond" Published 1934

#28    U. N.Owen

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:52 AM

^ A very constructive post insanity! Let's please have more like this!

I would say that the Giant Salamander Hypothesis is due for a full on revival -it was one of the first theories forwarded when the Loch Ness phenomena was initially publicised in the thirties.However, it quickly became eclipsed by the more glamorous, but shaky, notion that `Nessie` is some kind of pleisosaur: the popularity of this idea was probably helped much by the runaway success of the first King Kong film which was doing the rounds then.

It is interesting to see that much of the subsequent Nessie debinking has been centred around demonstrating that this idea of a large relict dinosaur in the Loch is implausible: viz Nessie can't be a dinosaur, ergo Nessie doesn't exist!

The Giant Salamander Hypothesis has the advantage of being exotic enough to account for the high -strangeness of some of the alleged sightings (including the oft forgotten land sightings!), but biologically plausible enough to be taken seriously. It also fits what people are actually describing. Even the encounters with long necked Nessies could be  explained as being glimpses of the tail, not the head, of the thing.

Also, the idea that all people are seeing is just grey seals doesn't really cut the mustard for me. A lot of the sightings are from local residents familiar with the Loch who you would presumably know a seal if they saw one. In fact, this is the age of `Animal Planet` et al on TV - so we have all seen swimming seals at some point.It would make more sense to say that everyone is lying or suffering from bouts of insanity, as some braver sceptics would have it.

As regards the Hugh Gray photo: I am afraid that,  ever since it was suggested to me by a sceptic, all I can see is the head of a labrador swimming towards me.Nevertheless, I am willing to accept that this may just be a case of pareiola. (Pareiola - how do you spell it? - can work both for and against the paranormal! When I look at the `face on Mars` all that I can see is, yep, a face... although I think it quite likely that the whole thing is an implanted suggestion and that there is nothing there but a natural rock formation.)

The suggestion that the photo shows two critters somehow swimming back-to-back seems over-elaborate to me. If there are two images then I think that this could be accounted for by double exposure. in the thirties, I imagine that cameras where much clunkier and slower devices than they have been since. If the thing was thrashing about, which is how the witness described it, then the same object might have appeared twice on the same picture, double-exposed.

However, I don't think the Gray photo on its own can ever tell us anything now. It might be one of the very few decent images of the Loch ness phenomena ever taken - but short of having been there while the photographer took it we'll never now know. This has no bearing on the giant Salamnder hypothesis, though, which has legs regardless of any dubious `photographic evidence`.


#29    Insanity

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:17 PM

I recall reading a book many years, which was mostly an analysis of the sightings to date; where the sighting was, when it was, weather conditions if noted, the description of the sighting.  The two likely candidates proposed then were a giant eel or a giant salamander.

There is one sighting, from a diver who was diving to location a sunken vessel I believe, and he quickly surfaced in fright and described a 'beastie' like a frog sitting on a ridge or cliff along side the loch.

This would potentially match the hunting style of a large ectothermic salamander, sit and wait for food to come in range.  Plenty examples of that among the animal kingdom, and some predators like this will sit motionless for days until prey comes in range.

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have." - H.P. Lovecraft, "From Beyond" Published 1934

#30    Harlequin Dreamer

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

Call me a romantic but I still like the pleisosaur theory. :yes:

Edited by Harlequin Dreamer, 02 October 2012 - 10:34 PM.





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