Off The PathThe Unsolved Mystery of Loch Ness: What Lies Beneath the Scottish Lake?
The Unsolved Mystery of Loch Ness: What Lies Beneath the Scottish Lake?

The Unsolved Mystery of Loch Ness: What Lies Beneath the Scottish Lake?

Loch Ness is a famous lake in the Scottish Highlands that has fascinated people for centuries. It is known for its alleged sightings of a mysterious creature, called the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie. But what else is there to know about this lake and its secrets? Here are some facts and stories about the mystery of Loch Ness.

How Big and Deep is Loch Ness?

Loch Ness is the second largest lake in Scotland by surface area, after Loch Lomond. However, it is the largest by volume, because it is very deep. It holds more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.

The lake is 36.3 km (22.5 mi) long and has a mean depth of 132 m (433 ft). The deepest point of Loch Ness is 226 m (741 ft), making it the second deepest lake in Scotland after Loch Morar. It is so deep that it could fit Edinburgh Castle twice. The water temperature of 4-5 degrees Celsius all year round.

view of the Loch Ness area
A view of the Loch Ness area.

The water of Loch Ness is dark brown, due to the mud from the surrounding rivers and streams. The visibility under the water is very low, which adds to the mystery of what lies beneath.

Secret Under the Lake

The biggest mystery of Loch Ness is what lies beneath the lake. Alistair Matheson, who guides tourists on the lake with sonar equipment, said many people think there are monsters in the lake. He also thinks the lake is mysterious.

Alan McKenna, the founder of Loch Ness Exploration, a group that studies and searches for the Loch Ness monster, said the underwater scene is like a lost world. He said many people have seen things that they cannot explain. Those things could be monsters or natural phenomena.

The First Person to Capture the “Loch Ness Monster”

The legend of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to the 6th century when an Irish monk named Saint Columba reportedly banished a sea serpent from the River Ness, which flows into the lake.

The “Surgeon’s photograph” of the Loch Ness monster was taken in 1934.

People have been telling stories about a mysterious creature in Loch Ness for centuries. However, the first photo of the so-called monster was taken by Hugh Gray, a factory worker, on November 12, 1933.

A few months before that, in April 1933, a hotel manager named Aldie McKay caused a global sensation when he claimed to have seen a huge beast near the shore of the lake. This information drew many tourists to the lake over the last hundred years, hoping to find the monster. McKay’s hotel, in the nearby village of Drumnadrochit, became famous and lucrative. Nowadays, the hotel is the Loch Ness Center, a facility worth 1.8 million USD, that offers tours related to the enigmatic creature.

Some people believe that the monster is a plesiosaur, a prehistoric reptile that survived the extinction of the dinosaurs. Others think that it is a giant eel, a sturgeon, or a seal. Some even suggest that it is a hoax, a misidentification, or a natural phenomenon.

In August 2022, a massive monster hunt took place. It was the biggest one in half a century. But as usual, the hunt did not yield any convincing proof of the monster’s presence in the lake.

Mystery Around the Loch Ness Lake

Loch Ness is a captivating place, even on a dull and cloudy afternoon at the beginning of the week. Visitors are surprised by how much they enjoy the lake, even if they don’t see any monsters. They are intrigued by the weird stories that surround the lake.

One of these stories is about Saint Columba, an Irish monk who drove away a sea serpent from the River Ness in the 6th century. Another one is about Aleister Crowley, an English mystic who performed some of his occult rituals at the Boleskine House, a mansion in the southeast of the lake.

The house was burned down in 2015 but is being rebuilt and sometimes opened for visitors. The house is run by a charity, The Boleskine House Foundation, which repairs and maintains the house and its grounds.

However, none of these stories can match the popularity of the monster in the people’s imagination.

People Who Spend Their Lives with Loch Ness Monster

Adrian Shine, a naturalist who founded the Loch Ness Project research group in 1973, has been studying the lake for half a century. He is a role model and a guide for many younger generations of lake enthusiasts, such as Alan McKenna. McKenna travels for 3 hours from Edinburgh to the lake every month to start a monster hunt. Another person is Steve Feltham, who has been living next to the lake since 1991.

Adrian Shine, the founder of the Loch Ness Project, on a Loch Ness boat ride
Adrian Shine, the founder of the Loch Ness Project, on a Loch Ness boat ride. Image credit to Press Herald.

Visitors who come here can meet them and the community of Loch Ness fans. They are people who care about the environment and have a passion for scientific exploration and the mysteries of life.

The Water Illusion

The water of Loch Ness is warm at the bottom and does not freeze in winter. The water layers move at different temperatures and create huge waves under the water and strong currents on the surface that carry logs and debris. Many people think they see the tail or neck of a big creature because of this.

Sometimes the lake has geysers, mist, and swirling air even when the water is still. From a distance, it looks like the long neck of a twisting beast. McKenna and Shine both think that most of the Loch Ness monster pictures are made of water illusions.

Shine explained in the video that big ships that carry heavy loads can make big ripples that look like the bumps of a dinosaur’s backbones, especially when seen from a low angle like standing on the shore.

The idea of a dinosaur-like creature living in the lake was rejected a long time ago. One study did not find any reptile DNA in the water. And the water is too cold for such a creature to live.

The lake is also connected to the sea and many rivers. So, one possible explanation for the images of the suspected monster is that a seal or a whale swam by.

The monster’s existence has never been proven, but it cannot be disprover. And this is what keeps the believers trying to find it.

Loch Ness is a lake that has something for everyone, whether they are looking for adventure, history, or nature. It is a lake that has inspired many stories and legends, and it will continue to do so for generations to come.


loch ness area unsolved mystery - the  broad life pinterest board
unsolved mystery of the loch ness - the broad life pinterest board

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Rosey

    Yes, imagination does definitely fuel the fire. Awesome that a charity is rebuilding the house.

  • Bryan

    Whatever the reality of the loch ness monster, it’s great for tourism, as it keeps people interested in scotland and in this body of water. it’s cool to know so many facts about the lake, like its depth. i never knew it was so deep!

  • luna s

    Great post, I have always been intersted in Nessy and the legend behind her. Thanks for sharing this, I enjoyed the read.

  • pedja

    the part about water temperature is very interesting. thanks for sharing the story behind Loch Ness Lake.

  • Fransic verso

    Very cool, first time to know about this and we would love to visit it one day. Thank you for sharing about it.

  • Sonia Seivwright

    It’s fascinating to read about the people who have dedicated their lives to studying the Loch Ness Monster. Adrian Shine, in particular, has been studying the lake for over 50 years and has become a role model for many younger enthusiasts. It’s also interesting to learn about the water illusions that can create sightings of the monster, as well as the scientific explanations for these supposed sightings. Regardless of whether or not the monster actually exists, Loch Ness is a beautiful and intriguing place that continues to inspire curiosity and wonder in people of all ages.

  • Ramil Hinolan

    This is a thrilling expedition into the depths of intrigue and wonder! Your exploration is not just an article; it’s a captivating journey through the mystique of one of the world’s most elusive legends.

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