The Loch Ness lake has been repeatedly surveyed in the hope of finding the monster that has been talked about for hundreds of years. In vain. But by analyzing DNA contained in its water, researchers hope to lift the veil of the mystery.
A long-necked plesiosaur, miraculous survivor of the dinosaur era. A sturgeon or a giant catfish. Or just simple floating logs. Explanations to the observations reported for hundreds of years of a monster living in the Loch Ness lake (Scotland) are not lacking. But for now, none has been scientifically confirmed the existence of the strange being.
Last week, a researcher from the University of Otago (New Zealand) offered a method still untapped to finally find the monster… or not. “When a creature moves in the water, it leaves behind tiny bits of DNA. They can come from skin, feathers, scales or even urine,” says Neil Gemmell.
For example, in June 2018, his team will set out to collect some 300 water samples from different parts of the lake and at different depths. The DNAs contained in these samples will then be extracted and sequenced and compared to a database of known species. In case of failing to find there traces of a real monster, scientists will at least have the opportunity to take inventory of the species living in the lake.
The results of the study should be available by the end of this year 2018. And whatever they reveal, many believe the debate will be far from over. For Neil Gemmell himself, who does not believe in the existence of real monster in the lake, is aware that this will probably not discourage the most fervent defenders of Nessie. “I would at least have won the admiration of my children,” concludes the researcher.