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Andrew Alden

A Fine Loch Ness Mess

By June 25, 2013

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The legendary "monster" of Loch Ness refuses to die. And every summer tourist season, you can expect a fresh burst of Nessiemania. Although the monster is probably just the appearance of seiche in the long Scottish lake, human nature keeps the specter alive. Then there are the frauds, like the anonymous prankster who dumped a plesiosaur fossil in the lake a few years back. More column inches for everyone!

One crucial bit of human nature is the simple thirst for drama in everyday life. Witness the first flurry of publicity in 1933, accompanied by a suggestive photo, which sold whole forests worth of newsprint. Debunkers and promoters alike can benefit from this game, preaching the controversy and earning prominence with juicy quotes.

Here on About.com, you'll get the diversity of opinion you crave. The Paranormal Guide gives you the history of the Monster and concludes, "could it be? we can't know for sure!" He also adds related stories from large lakes around the world, without exploring what these bodies of water might have in common, like their physics. The Dinosaurs Guide is content to show that Nessie isn't a dinosaur. But I come down firmly on the debunking side, as you'll see in my article on Nessie. The monster is not a living thing, merely an activity. Is that mystical? No. But is it marvelous? Yes.

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