We Found the Loch Ness Monster!

Loch Ness in Scotland

A Chilly Morning on Loch Ness

Inverness, Scotland

There in the distance! A massive long-necked beast slowly emerged from the black depths of Loch Ness. Could it be the legendary monster called Nessie?

Loch Ness is a big, cold, deep, and very murky lake in the heart of the Scottish Highlands that holds a secret. For years locals and tourists have reported witnessing a large unidentified creature with a long neck swimming through the water.

The earliest report dates back to the 7th century…

They’ve affectionately named the creature Nessie. The Loch Ness Monster has been an international sensation ever since 1933, when George Spicer and his wife were driving along the loch heading home to London.

On the way, the couple almost ran into a huge, black long-necked creature making its way across the road and into the water.

Jacobite Cruise Scotland

Our State-Of-The-Art Jacobite Ship

A Monster in Loch Ness?

Loch Ness is a whopping 22 miles long and 800 feet deep. In fact the loch holds more water than all other lakes in England, Scotland and Wales combined. So it’s pretty massive.

It’s also full of peat, a kind of decaying vegetation common in the highlands of Scotland. This means the water is incredibly murky with low visibility.

Could a pre-historic animal still be living in the loch?

We were about to find out. Joining me on the hunt was my friend and fellow travel blogger Juno from Runaway Juno. We would sail across the deepest part of Loch Ness towards the ancient ruins of Urquart Castle.

Loch Ness Sonar Scotland

Tracking the Monster with Sonar

Hunting a Legend

Many expensive projects have been launched over the years to hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. Some were sponsored by the likes of the Discovery Channel, the New York Times, BBC, Oxford University, and MIT.

High-tech GPS, sonar technology, and underwater photography is often used to search for Nessie with mixed results. There have been a few unexplainable sonar readings and underwater photos that seem to match up with the reported size of the beast (20-40 feet long).

Our own vessel, the Jacobite Warrior, was outfitted with advanced sonar imaging to scan the depths. Would we find anything on our expedition?

Loch Ness Monster Scotland

Nessie Spotted Off the Port Bow!

Loch Ness Monster Discovered!

The wind was cold and powerful that morning, creating waves on the surface of the loch. But while pulling up to Urquart Castle, I noticed a series of ripples that seemed larger than the rest…

A dark colored object was moving swiftly through the water.

Suddenly a long snake-like neck emerged from the loch, with what appeared to be a head at the top. It had a large hump trailing behind it. The clouds broke at just the right moment, allowing sunlight to shine down and reveal a hideous purple beast!

The creature glided across the water effortlessly for 30 seconds before quickly diving back into the lake without a trace. Luckily we managed to snap a photo of Nessie before she disappeared.

If you look carefully, I believe she’s smiling!

Urquhart Castle Scotland

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

What Could it Be?

The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid, a creature whose existence is suggested but hasn’t been scientifically proven yet. Other examples include the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Chupacabra.

Some people believe Nessie is a plesiosaur, a type of dinosaur who’s survived to modern times by living isolated from the sea in Loch Ness.

Another theory is that magician and occultist Aliester Crowley created the beast while attempting to summon evil spirits at his house on the edge of the lake in the early 1900′s. I met a local woman who prefers this explanation.

Whatever Nessie is, I now have the best photographic proof of her existence. Feel free to contact my agent if you’d like to schedule a press interview.

Location: Inverness, Scotland
Company: Jacobite Cruises
Useful Notes: Sailing Loch Ness in winter can be a cold and windy experience. Just make sure and bundle up to stand outside on the upper deck for optimal monster-hunting opportunities. You can hike around the ruins of Urquart Castle after the cruise too.

#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAG, EventScotland, Homecoming Scotland, VisitScotland, Edinburgh Festivals, Marketing Edinburgh and Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Matthew Karsten is the Expert Vagabond. Addicted to adventure travel and photography, he's on a mission to inspire your next journey with entertaining stories, beautiful images, and useful tips. Vagabonding around the world since 2010. Follow along! Email Updates | Facebook | Twitter |

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Tell Me What You Think!

Comment Rules: Critical comments are fine, but rude ones will be deleted. Have fun, and thanks for adding to the conversation!

  • http://www.indefiniteadventure.com Sam

    Hahaha! I’ve never heard that theory about the magician – how odd. I don’t really care if Nessy is real or not…Loch Ness is a lovely place either way. I really enjoyed visiting Urquhart castle; such amazing views over the loch!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      I agree Sam, the views in that part of the Highlands are beautiful. We spent a few hours just driving around taking photos.

  • http://kayakfocus.us Cynthia Scarborough

    :)Looks like Barney made his way across the sea! Is Nessie really purple? Amazing photos-don’t know why National Geographic or NOAA wasn’t along for the search.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      They totally missed out on the find of the century!

  • http://passportdave.com/ Passport Dave

    Haha! Love the photo of Nessie. Have to be honest, not quite what I expected. Looks like a great time though and I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to visit that beautiful country. As for whether or not it is real… I think it is as real or unreal as people want it to be. If it is real in the hearts and minds of the locals, it is real enough for me.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Taking a look at the list of sightings was an eye opener for me. A good portion of the witnesses are upstanding members of the community. But there’s also a history of fakes. So who knows!

  • http://www.adventurestrong.com Hiking Tim

    Looks legit, man. Haha! Sounds like a fun trip to take. You’ve been sharing a lot of great stuff from Scotland. Its making me want to go hike their new National Trail.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Yeah, that trail sounds great Tim! I’d love to hike it one day.

  • http://wanderingsasquatch.com Brian

    Of COURSE Nessie is real – how else would the know what model all the plastic souvenirs after if no one has seen her?

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Good point. :D

  • http://www.stylehiclub.com David DiGregorio

    I don’t know how anyone could possibly refute this as undeniable proof of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Well done.

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      You can’t argue with photographs like these Dave.

  • http://www.suitcasestories.com Michael

    You could have made millions selling it to the newspapers, but instead put in on your blog. Now that’s a real travel blogger!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Who needs millions Michael, when there’s traffic to be had?

  • http://www.bankerinthesun.com Banker in the Sun

    Forget Nessie – I’m going just so I can see Urquhart Castle. Wow!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      The castle is pretty cool. With an interesting history too. The former owners actually blew up the front gates with gunpowder and abandoned the whole thing. Then much of the stone & lead was stolen by locals to build their own homes.

  • http://www.internettraveltips.com Katie

    Nessie is … Barney the Dinosaur? Well … that was unexpected.

    Urquhart Castle looks quite lovely, you get to spend much time exploring it?

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Barney might be related, but Ness is one-of-a-kind!

  • http://www.solotraveluncut.com/ Ruann @ Solo Travel Uncut

    Great post! Comical and informative. I like to think the LochNess monster is real, for the same reason I believe in mermaids: thought trippin!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Glad you enjoyed it Ruann. Thanks.

  • http://www.backpackerbecki.com Becki | Backpacker Becki

    Nessie is such a cute monster!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com Matthew Karsten

      Ness takes offense to your comment Becki, she’s trying to look tough here. To keep up her scary monster reputation.

      Your “cute” comment isn’t helping… ;)

  • http://www.tammyandchrisonthemove.com TammyOnTheMove

    Looks to me like a real photo of Nessie and a man photo-shopped into the picture. You cheat! ;-)

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      This is a completely legit photo Tammy. No doctoring whatsoever. Straight from the camera. :-)

  • Kara Brandt

    My husband and I lived in Aberdeen for two years and for the span of time we had a great chance to visit every corner of Scotland. Loch Ness is very beautiful just like the other Loch in Scotland. I enjoy your post though. Thanks!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      Yes, from what I heard, there are many beautiful lochs in Scotland Kara. I’ll have to return one day to explore some more of them.

  • Steve Sandberg

    Great photos, I think you caught Nessie’s good side. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

    • http://ExpertVagabond.com/ Matthew Karsten

      I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about Steve, Nessie doesn’t have a bad side! (careful, don’t make her mad…)

  • Anand

    I believe he/she could exist. Obviously there would have to be two of them or 1 being asexual. But I definitely believe something may be down there. Maybe one day we’ll know :)

  • Heavy.Gunner

    Cool