21:43 GMT16 January 2021
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    Rumours of an eerie creature living in the waters of Loch Ness in Scotland have proliferated over the decades, with witnesses fuelling speculations yet scant evidence to back up the claims.

    Recently surfaced new images of a mysterious creature "the size of a very large seal" in Loch Ness, the large, deep, freshwater lake in the Scottish Highlands extending for approximately 37 kilometres southwest of Inverness, has been declared a fresh Nessie sighting, reported the Daily Mail.

    The news has buoyed the spirits of fans of the “Loch Ness Monster”, a rumour that has persisted for decades.

    ​Karen Scott, 54, reportedly spied the strange creature swimming in the loch while visiting from Aberdeen with her partner and was quick to take several photos.

    Dating to 24 November the photos have now been recorded as a positive ‘Nessie sighting’ by the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register.

    Shadowy shape that some people say is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. (File)
    © AP Photo
    Shadowy shape that some people say is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. (File)

    According to Scott, she was walking around Urquhart Castle sightseeing when she cast a glance over the loch from the castle. At that instant she spotted something in the water, thinking it originally a bird.

    “By the time I got my phone camera on, it had slowly dipped under the water and then appeared again a short distance further away.”

    The woman took several snapshots a few times, until the creature was much further away.

    According to her partner, who also saw the mysterious animal, it was roughly the size of a very large seal. “But," he added in puzzlement, "when we spoke to the guides at the castle, they said it was very rare for a seal to be this far up Loch Ness, so I don't know what it was.”

    The encounter prompted Karen Scott to visit the Loch Ness sightings website.

    “I was quite excited, especially when I went onto the sightings website and found that there were similar pictures to mine.”

    Although the witness to the ‘sighting’ isn’t sure what exactly she saw, if it was a seal, she believes it didn't move like one.
    “It didn't dive under the water but slowly went down under. It didn't bob about like a seal would do.”
    In any case, she insisted she believes the Loch Ness Monster is out there somewhere.

    2020 Rich in Sightings

    The year 2020 has been hailed as rich in new sightings of “Nessie”, said Gary Campbell, who keeps the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, adding that the coronavirus pandemic had affected the normally large numbers of tourists flocking to the area.

    “As with everyone else around the planet, 2020 has been a very different year at Loch Ness. The primary tourist attraction, Urquhart Castle, would normally welcome in excess of 500,000 visitors but, as you would imagine, numbers have been severely curtailed by the Covid crisis. However, there have still been a significant number of Nessie sightings throughout 2020,” he said.

    Campbell also applauded the fact that so many witnesses to alleged sightings have been using a live camera online.

    “We are lucky that many folk can join in the hunt from around the world via the Loch Ness Webcam and a number of the sightings have been reported via that medium."

    Rumours of a strange creature living in the waters of Loch Ness have existed for decades, with often nothing but grainy images to support the claims.

     Loch Ness Monster
    © CC0
    Loch Ness Monster

    One of the first sightings, fueling the “Nessie Saga” is reported to date to 2 May 1933.

    At the time the Inverness Courier carried a story supplied by a local couple who claimed to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface".
    Loch Ness Monster
    © Flickr / unukorno
    Loch Ness Monster

    A photograph taken in 1934 by Colonel Robert Kenneth Wilson was also registered as a famous alleged sighting of the creature. However, it was subsequently exposed as a hoax by one of the participants, Chris Spurling, on his deathbed.

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