If you’re traveling to Scotland with hopes of catching a glimpse of the notorious Loch Ness Monster, you might be out of luck. A conservation charity recently suggested that fallen trees and branches from nearby woodland could be to blame for recent sightings of the lake’s infamous figure.
The Daily Mail recently issued reports of the Loch Ness Monster’s head and neck emerging from the waters. However, the Woodland Trust says not so fast: The “sighting,” which was caught on video, may easily be a result of logs that washed into the loch from nearby Urquhart Bay Wood, BBC reports.
“Large amounts of wood flows out of the woodland through the two winding rivers that flow into Loch Ness each year, peaking when water is high in late autumn and spring,” a spokesman for the trust said.
“I think that some of that debris explains long thin – some stick-like – shapes seen.”
Regarding the site, he added, “Urquhart Bay is a really important wet woodland, made up of species such as ash, alder, rowan and willow.”
“It’s one of very few intact floodplain woodlands remaining in the UK and has European importance. Challenges such as flooding, movement of the rivers and accumulation of woody debris make it an interesting place to manage.”
Past reasonings for the monster’s spotting have been erratic, including circus elephants being exercised in the 23-mile-long loch. Other explanations have involved otters and large fish called sturgeon.
In February, Gary Campbell, who keeps count of sightings, said there were no “confirmed sightings” of the monster for the first time in almost nine decades. At the time, it had been 18 months with no incidents.
“So far 1,036 reported sightings have been recorded and there were some in 2012,” Campbell said. “I’m convinced that Nessie has just taken some time out and will be back with a vengeance this year.”
First brought to the world’s attention in 1933, the existence of the Loch Ness Monster has never been formally documented by the scientific community. The modern-day myth is mostly backed by anecdotes and much-disputed photographic material as well as sonar readings.