Watching the dark waters of Loch Ness without anticipating the sudden appearance of some portent is nearly impossible. As with many of the fantastic worlds and creatures imagined by people, we often learn more about our own interiors and natures, irrespective of any possible presence in what we call “the real world.” More than a thousand sightings are recorded of the monster supposedly inhabiting the legendary Scottish Highlands lake. The Loch Ness Project is dedicated to the collection, diffusion, and study of the documents related to this creature, known more affectionately as Nessie.

This project aims to disclose scientific information on the exploration and investigation of the enormous body of water, and the controversy over the existence of the monster said to dwell within. The website consists of a huge number of photographs (each analyzed in detail), other records of sightings, documentaries, books, academic articles, a timeline, and a calendar of events related to the lake, its culture, and traditions.

loch-ness-1
The earliest references to an aquatic creature inhabiting Loch Ness, one of Britain’s largest and deepest lakes, are so ancient that it’s difficult to point to a true origin. The first record of someone speaking of a “monster” was that of one Alex Campbell, a member of the coast guard and a journalist who warned of the creature during a tour in 1933. Thereafter, reports of a species of sea-serpent, a monster fish, or a dragon in the lake began to go increasingly public. Photographs, film, and testimonials soon followed, and the legend we know today continues to fuel the imaginations of those who approach this magical lake.

Many experts speak of Nessie and the legend as having evolved from the myth of kelpies. Water spirits from the Celtic tradition, kelpies dwelled in the ponds and lochs and could take multiple forms, such as that of a horse or even a person. They could be predecessors of the Loch Ness Monster of today. But the lair of the creature is equally symbolic and rife with mythology. Water, both delicate and terrible, has been to all ages and cultures, a home to ghosts and beings of beauty, power, and mystery.

The Loch Ness Project celebrates fantasy and myth from a scientific approach. It’s a task that’s not only paradoxical but valuable. It’s a tribute to fantastic territories and the beings inhabiting them, and like Nessie, these also live in our unconscious. Fortunately, the existence or non-existence of this monster (or of Utopia) is unimportant when compared to what the monster reflects of ourselves.

 

*Images: 1) kyriazis – flickr / Creative Commons; 2) Mike Johnson – geograph.org.uk / Creative Commons

Watching the dark waters of Loch Ness without anticipating the sudden appearance of some portent is nearly impossible. As with many of the fantastic worlds and creatures imagined by people, we often learn more about our own interiors and natures, irrespective of any possible presence in what we call “the real world.” More than a thousand sightings are recorded of the monster supposedly inhabiting the legendary Scottish Highlands lake. The Loch Ness Project is dedicated to the collection, diffusion, and study of the documents related to this creature, known more affectionately as Nessie.

This project aims to disclose scientific information on the exploration and investigation of the enormous body of water, and the controversy over the existence of the monster said to dwell within. The website consists of a huge number of photographs (each analyzed in detail), other records of sightings, documentaries, books, academic articles, a timeline, and a calendar of events related to the lake, its culture, and traditions.

loch-ness-1
The earliest references to an aquatic creature inhabiting Loch Ness, one of Britain’s largest and deepest lakes, are so ancient that it’s difficult to point to a true origin. The first record of someone speaking of a “monster” was that of one Alex Campbell, a member of the coast guard and a journalist who warned of the creature during a tour in 1933. Thereafter, reports of a species of sea-serpent, a monster fish, or a dragon in the lake began to go increasingly public. Photographs, film, and testimonials soon followed, and the legend we know today continues to fuel the imaginations of those who approach this magical lake.

Many experts speak of Nessie and the legend as having evolved from the myth of kelpies. Water spirits from the Celtic tradition, kelpies dwelled in the ponds and lochs and could take multiple forms, such as that of a horse or even a person. They could be predecessors of the Loch Ness Monster of today. But the lair of the creature is equally symbolic and rife with mythology. Water, both delicate and terrible, has been to all ages and cultures, a home to ghosts and beings of beauty, power, and mystery.

The Loch Ness Project celebrates fantasy and myth from a scientific approach. It’s a task that’s not only paradoxical but valuable. It’s a tribute to fantastic territories and the beings inhabiting them, and like Nessie, these also live in our unconscious. Fortunately, the existence or non-existence of this monster (or of Utopia) is unimportant when compared to what the monster reflects of ourselves.

 

*Images: 1) kyriazis – flickr / Creative Commons; 2) Mike Johnson – geograph.org.uk / Creative Commons