A photo taken in September 2019 has gone viral as of Wednesday, with some believing the photo captures the Loch Ness monster. The photos were taken by Steve Challice, who took the shot on the West bank of Loch Ness last fall. A large creature can be seen surfacing across the water, which some believe could be the legendary creature, especially considering everything else that's happened this year.
"In my opinion (and I'm no expert) I think it's a large fish that got into the Loch from the sea," he said in an interview with Cover Images, via TooFab. "As to what it is personally, I think it's a catfish or something like that but a big one. Someone suggested it may be a sturgeon. It's very large as the bit you can see must be at least 8-foot-long and who can tell what amount is below the surface. It was gone almost instantly so much so I wasn't sure if I had got it or not. I guess it was something of a fluke shot. I waited about for a bit and took another image but didn't see the fish again."
so first the witches, amish, and satanists came out to join the protests and now we got the loch ness monster on deck? our deep sea queen said defund the police💦 pic.twitter.com/qjR7mfeWco— Sarah McGonagall (@sarahmcgphoto) June 24, 2020
Roland Watson, an expert in the Loch Ness monster's lore, agrees with Challice's assumption that it was a catfish in his photograph. "The analysis of the photograph's EXIF data led me to conclude this was not a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster," he wrote in the Loch Ness Mystery blog. "I continued to talk to Steve, the photographer, but that has come to an end as he could not provide the original SD card image." He then shared an image of a giant Wels catfish, which not only had similar markings but can grow up to 16 feet of length.
Sightings of the Loch Ness monster are thought to date back to the 1870s, when D. Mackenzie claimed to have seen something "wriggling and churning up the water." However, his account wasn't published until 1934, though several newspapers did publish stories about a creature in in the years before. The best-known article came in May of 1933 in Inverness Courier, which described a large "beast" or "whale-like fish."