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Over one and a half millennia ago, the legend of the Loch Ness monster has captivated people from generations to generations. Now, scientists have unearthed fossils of a peculiar ancient monster called Storr Lochs. Could this be the missing piece that could somehow put an end to this millennia-old mystery?
According to the legend, a mysterious sea monster had once dwelt underneath the sea surrounding the picturesque Scottish island of Loch Ness. Although there have been no hard evidences to prove its existence, several claims of its sightings are still creeping up, including the popular, but much-debated photograph in 1934 by London-based surgeon R. K. Wilson.
Loch Ness Monster
But before the controversial photo emerged, ancient people in Loch Ness have documented some animals through stone carvings, which can still be found even up to today. One of the figures that stood out was the strange and unfamiliar monster with elongated beak and muzzle similar to that of an elephant, the PBS reported.
In the absence of science-backed evidences, the existence of the Loch Ness monster remained a mystery. Until a group of scientists from the University of Edinburgh have discovered a weird-looking 13-foot-long reptile in Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Storr Lochs Monster
According to the report, the sea-dwelling beast once lived some 170 million years ago. The scientists now called the fossil as Storr Lochs Monster, which was an intact skeleton of an ichthyosaur—a now extinct family of reptile that lived during the Jurassic period.
Are Loch Ness and Storr Lochs one and the same? Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh said they are not. Brusatte, who is one of the lead researchers who analyzed the fossil, in a report from the National Geographic, said the latter is real and had actually once swam the waters of Scotland, while the former remains a mystery.
“Although some people think that sea monsters live here today in our lakes, there were actually real ones that lived here over a hundred million years ago,” Brusatte was quoted as saying by the National Geographic.