Legend of Loch Ness Monster will be Tested with DNA Samples

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy but it does concern DNA, something of interest to many genealogists.

For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland’s Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lurks in the depths. University of Otago (New Zealand) professor Neil Gemmell says he’s no believer in Nessie, but he wants to take people on an adventure and communicate some science along the way.

Gemmell said that when creatures move about in water, they leave behind tiny fragments of DNA. It comes from their skin, feathers, scales and urine. He said his team will take 300 samples of water from different points around the lake and at different depths. They will filter the organic material and extract the DNA, he said, sequencing it by using technology originally created for the human genome project. He said the DNA results will then be compared against a database of known species. He said they should have answers by the end of the year.

Details may be found in an Associated Press article at: http://bit.ly/2GIB9KA.

6 Comments

Oh my. Good luck with that.

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It seems that similar legends surround many other large deep lakes: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champ_(folklore)

Nevertheless, Loch Ness is stunning, with or without Nessie, and sports the ruins of a genuine fortress dating back to medieval times — Urquhart Castle: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/urquhart-castle/

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All a myth. It takes 32 pairs to continue a species. With that many animals, you should be up to your armpits in bones or dead carcasses. Not to mention their food supply.

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    Ahh — but we’re talking about one of the Celtic lands of ancient mists, myths and legends — spirits and shape-shifters, seal people and kelpies and fairies — where every stately home and castle has its resident ghosts and the walls between reality and imagination are so thin that it’s possible to pass through them without noticing. Nessie is immortal. She will never be debunked.

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Okay, now who’s going to look for evidence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch? Fun times!

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    Not sure about Bigfoot/Sasquatch, but on the Animal Planet (Mon.5/28 8pm PST) “Dr. Mark Evans, a veterinarian and explorer, is on a mission to sift truth from fiction in order to explain the ‘Yeti’” The commercial I watched said he will use a DNA sample from a large footprint in the snow. Not sure how that will work, but it did look interesting…

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