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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Is the Loch Ness Monster an ancient sea turtle ?

By T.K. Randall
January 19, 2021 · Comment icon 43 comments

Is there a monster in Loch Ness ? Image Credit: PD dsidwell
One researcher has come up with a new theory to explain sightings of the legendary Scottish loch monster.
Over the years there have been countless theories put forward in an attempt to explain the possible existence of a large, unknown aquatic beast in Scotland's most voluminous loch.

These range from an extinct prehistoric reptile such as a plesiosaur to a species of giant eel, however to date there has never been a conclusive answer to what lurks in the loch's murky depths.

Now Henry Bauer - a retired professor of chemistry and science studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - has come forward with another explanation.

Nessie, he argues, is a species of ancient sea turtle descended from a population that had become trapped in the loch when the water receded at the end of the last ice age.

The 89-year-old's research has since been published in a respected scientific journal.
"The most popular idea is that the Loch Ness Monster has a relationship to extinct plesiosaurs," he said. "But this is difficult to square with the rarity of surface sightings, let alone occasional sightings on land."

"On the other hand, everything described for the Loch Ness Monster squares with is known many living and extinct species of turtles. They're air-breathing but spend very long periods in deep water."

"They venture onto land, are very fast in water, have the ability to be active in very cold water and have relatively long necks."

Given how infrequent sea turtle sightings are in the Scottish Highlands however, just how likely is it that a population of giant ones could have been surviving in Loch Ness without being discovered ?

Unless a specimen can be caught, we may never know for sure.

Source: Daily Record | Comments (43)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #34 Posted by Matt221 3 years ago
It may not be a Turtle either
Comment icon #35 Posted by Essan 3 years ago
It's more likely that I am a giant pink mantis  (with sort of purply furry spots on my legs) than any of the Loch Ness "monsters" have ever been a sea turtle   
Comment icon #36 Posted by Essan 3 years ago
Not exactly renowned for swimming for miles up shallow, rocky, fast flowing rivers to spend their lives in a deep freshwater loch where there is absolutely nothing for them to eat, though   
Comment icon #37 Posted by Matt221 3 years ago
the saga of the loch ness log/tree goes on
Comment icon #38 Posted by Carnoferox 3 years ago
Definitely not! 
Comment icon #39 Posted by SD455GTO 3 years ago
I'm referring to the fact that the coelacanth was found many millions of years after it was thought to be dead not that the basilosaurus did not breathe air of course it did it's a whale, don't be obtuse.
Comment icon #40 Posted by Essan 3 years ago
The seawater coelacanth wasnt found in a mountain freshwater lake that only a few thousand years ago was the base of a large glacier   
Comment icon #41 Posted by Hyperionxvii 3 years ago
It's turtles all they way down.
Comment icon #42 Posted by Carnoferox 3 years ago
These are two completely incomparable examples. Basilosaurus could've grown to be 60 feet or longer, would've had to return to the surface for air frequently, and is known from shallower waters. In contrast, coelacanths are much smaller (about 6 feet long max), do not breathe air, and mostly remain in deeper waters. It would be a lot harder for a Basilosaurus to evade detection than a coelacanth. Yet we have ample physical evidence for the coelacanth's continued existence and none for Basilosaurus.
Comment icon #43 Posted by Nobu 3 years ago
I don’t see it. I mean a corpse is a corpse is a corpse and a bone is a bone ... well you get it.   Its not really that large of a lake. I think tourism has driven the “research”.    that’s just my opinion though. If giant eels were discovered there I would not be surprised at all.

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