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Story Behind the Picture: The Legend of Nessie

The Loch Ness monster, commonly also known as Nessie, is a creature said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish highlands. It is often described as large in size with a long neck and one or more humps. There are many stories about Nessie but the oldest report consists in the following:

Around 565AD, Irish monk Saint Columba was staying near the lake with some friends when he saw some locals burying a man next to Lake Ness. Saint Columba immediately told his friends and approached the local residents to ask what had happened. They explained that the man had been swimming in the water when he was attacked by a “water beast which mauled him and dragged him underwater” and that they had tried to save him but it was too late. However, Saint Columba didn’t believe them and so sent one of his friends to swim across the river. The beast approached him but Columba made the sign of the cross and said: “Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once”. The creature immediately stopped and fled. Columba, his friends and the locals gave thanks, for they thought that what they had seen was a miracle.

This photo was taken in 1934, and often referred to as the ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’. It was reportedly taken by a doctor from London and published in the Daily Mail, and for a long time, was the main example of concrete evidence that suggested that the Lake Ness Monster existed. However, after much research and investigation, many have now dismissed it as a faux, claiming the photo to have been cleverly manipulated.

By Gonzalo O, Year 9

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