1933 – Loch Ness Monster sighted
On this day in dinosaurs, we’re going to take a slight Mesozoic detour into the world of plesiosaurs (which you’ll recall are not dinosaurs). For at least the last 1,500 years, people have reported seeing a sea monster in Scotland’s Loch Ness. But ‘Nessie’ has always been elusive. The modern sightings of the creature began on this day in in 1933.
A couple at Loch Ness reported “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface” of the loch. A reward for 20,000 pounds sterling was posted for the animal’s capture. At 23 miles long and 800 feet deep, Loch Ness is the perfect spot for a mysterious creature to live. After initial reports in 1933, many people flocked to Loch Ness in an attempt to glimpse the monster. A famous game hunter of the day, Marmaduke Wetherell, found tracks of a four-legged creature. After these were sent to the British Museum, researchers concluded they were made by one stuffed Hippopotamus foot. But the frenzy around Nessie never truly died down.
After decades of research, and even the confessions of those who faked an infamous Nessie photo in 1934, the legend remains powerful. Some keep a steady on the loch still, hoping that they might see the beast. But many people conceded it’s unlikely any large marine creature from the Mesozoic should have survived, and in such a hostile climate from the one it originally would have inhabited.
Still, generations of children (and adults) around the world hear about Nessie for the first time and hope the monster does exist–that there is still undiscovered natural magic in our modern world.