DNA tests aim to reveal whether the Loch Ness monster is just a fish tale



The legend of the Loch Ness monster has baffled scientists for centuries, but now a group of experts hopes that modern technology will reveal what really lives in the dark depths of the Scottish lake.

Professor Neil Gemmell, a scientist from New Zealand, will lead the world team in a search of Loch Ness using DNA sampling techniques to discover its secrets.

The genetic code of lake water, collected over a period of two weeks, will be extracted to determine the types of creatures that make the lake their home.

  Professor Neil Gemmell directs the trip (Christine Auste / PA) Professor Neil Gemmell directs the trip (Christine Auste / PA)

While Professor Gemmell is not convinced that the Loch Ness monster exists, he hopes it can still throw some interesting surprises.

"I do not believe in the idea of ​​a monster," he said. "But I am open to the idea that there are still things to discover and that are not fully understood."

"Maybe there is a biological explanation for some of the stories."

DNA can be captured in the lake through small fragments that creatures leave while swimming in the water, for example, from skin and scales.

After the team's trip next month, the samples will be sent to laboratories in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and France for analysis in a genetic database.

"There is no doubt that we will find new things," said Professor Gemmell, who works at the University of Otago in Dunedin. "And that's very exciting.

"While the prospect of looking for evidence of the Loch Ness monster is the hook of this project, there is an extraordinary amount of new knowledge we will gain from working on the organisms that inhabit Loch Ness, the largest freshwater body from United Kingdom. "

  Nessie records released The myth of the Loch Ness Monster has baffled scientists (National Archives of Scotland / PA)

The legend of the Loch Ness monster is inserted in the Scottish folklore, with the first sighting of a "water beast" reported by an Irish monk in 565AD.

It is said that Nessie has a long neck, with protuberances protruding from the water, and more than 1,000 people claim to have seen it.

However, many believe that the "monster" could be a big fish like a catfish or a sturgeon, theories that scientists can explore during their research.

The trip, which has been a year in the planning, will include scientists from universities in New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, the United States and France, as well as Adrian Shine, leader of the Loch Ness Project in Scotland.

Although they expect me to answer some questions about the elusive Nessie, even if they do not find any evidence to explain it, the myth is likely to persist for years to come.

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