The Loch Ness Monster is alleged to be a creature inhabiting Loch Ness in Scotland. Popular interest and belief in the animal has fluctuated since it was brought to the world’s attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is largely anecdotal, with minimal and much disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to as Nessie since the 1950s.

One of the most iconic images of Nessie is known as the Surgeon’s Photograph, which many formerly considered to be good evidence of the monster. Its importance lies in the fact that it was the only photographic evidence of a head and neck, as all the other photographs are humps or disturbances. The image was revealed as a hoax in 1994.

In 1979 the image was claimed to be a picture of an elephant. Other sceptics in the 1980s argued the photo was that of an otter or a diving bird, but after the photographer’s confession most agree it was what he claimed: a toy submarine with a sculpted head attached. Essentially, it was a toy submarine with a head and neck made of plastic wood. One of the researchers who uncovered the hoax argues the Loch Ness Monster is real, and that the hoaxed Surgeon’s Photograph is not cause enough to dismiss eyewitness reports and other evidence.

On a recent expedition to find evidence of Nessie, U.S. research teams came across something quite unexpected, not a prehistoric creature of the deep but thousands of plastic covered golf balls. Mike O’Brien of SeaTrepid explains: “At first we thought they were mushrooms, there were so many. But when we lowered the camera, we were surprised to see that they were in fact, golf balls.” The smattering of balls were found roughly 300 yards from the beach and 100 yards from the shore where it is thought locals and visitors have been using the loch to practice their driving skills for quite some time.

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