Will DNA Finally Prove The Existence Of The Loch Ness Monster?
From USA Today
For years, Nessie has evaded the good work of explorers and scientists, all of whom have failed to find conclusive evidence the supposed monster living in Scotland's Loch Ness ever existed.
Yet, a global group of scientists will take another stab at it, reports The Guardian. This time they'll comb the water for environmental DNA, which they hope will give them a yea or nay as to whether there is any truth behind the existence of the Loch Ness Monster.
Environmental DNA, also known as eDNA, is often used by scientists in researching sea creatures. Fish and other animals, reports Reuters, shed feathers, feces and urine, leaving behind a trail of DNA clues.
If nothing is found about Nessie, the team's spokesman Neil Gemmell tells The Guardian they'll at the very least learn more about the body of water and perhaps what's driving theories and stories about the Loch Ness Monster.
“I don’t believe in the idea of a monster," the New Zealand scientist told the newspaper. "But I’m open to the idea that there are things yet to be discovered and not fully understood. Maybe there’s a biological explanation for some of the stories.”
The research, which will begin next month, reports Reuters, starts with gathering DNA, sequencing it and then comparing it to sequences of other organisms. The research will be made public in January 2019.
The Loch Ness & Morar Project has compiled research on Loch Ness — and its monster — dating back decades. Reuters reports the famous black-and-white photo of the monster taken in 1934 was later found to be a hoax. No effort to prove the monster's existence has ever been successful, The Guardian writes.
“I’m going into this thinking it’s unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis," Gemmell told The Guardian. "What we’ll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of Loch Ness."