— Photos, Facts, & Thoughts On The Approaching Extinction Of Many Marine Species
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 amanatee 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.