WTF Fun Fact 12611 – The Ancient Origins Of the Loch Ness Monster

Perhaps the modern version of the Loch Ness Monster legend began on May 2, 1933, but that was long after the first sighting of a beast that lived in the Lochs of Ness had been “sighted.” In the early 20th century, a couple told the Inverness Courier about seeing “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” The journalist chose to use the word “monster,” and a new chapter in the legend was born.

Once the London newspapers heard about it, it would be a tabloid story for decades to come. Thousands of people would not only try to see the beast but collect rewards from circuses and the like to capture it.

We don’t believe in the Monster, but do you want to know another fun fact? The loch sits on an enormous ancient fault line. So feel free to rile up the believers by telling them the creature could have come from the center of the earth. They love that stuff!

Anyway, the oldest sighting we know about comes from historical accounts dating all the way back to August 22, 564. An Irish priest, who would later become known as St. Columba, reported seeing an animal in the water while visiting Loch Ness, Scotland. In fact, he not only saw it, but he also claimed it tried to eat one of his servants. Luckily, he was able to command it through some sort of priestly superpower to find a snack elsewhere.

Today, the Loch Ness Monster is one of many cryptids (animals whose existence has never been proven). While it’s neither a profitable profession nor an actual science, those interested in this phenomenon can become cryptozoologists!

According to National Geographic: “Besides the Loch Ness Monster, other lake cryptids include Champ (in Lake Champlain, the United States, and Canada); Issi (in Lake Ikeda, Japan); and the Lagarfljot Worm (in Lagarfljot Lake, Iceland). Other cryptids include chupacabras, blood-sucking creatures that threaten livestock throughout Latin America; bunyips, which lurk in Australia’s swamps; dingoneks, “jungle walruses” found in lakes and rivers in central Africa; and, of course, Bigfoot, who stalks old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest.”

Enthusiasm over the Loch Ness Monster has dampened in recent years partly because of the decline of the ridiculous tabloids that used to tout their existence in the check-out aisle of the grocery store. But we think it’s also probably because so many of the photos people submitted as proof of its existence have been proven fake. – WTF fun facts

Source: “Aug 22, 564 CE: Loch Ness Monster Sighted” — National Geographic

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