A new photograph taken in Scotland has rekindled speculation about the existence of the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
But it’s probably just a big catfish.
English tourist Steve Challice said he took the picture in September while visiting Urquhart Castle on the shores of the famous Scottish lake, capturing what he described as a long fish swimming, the Daily Record reported.
“I started taking a couple of photos and then this big fish came to the surface and then went down again,” Challice told the store. “It only appeared once and, to be honest, it was a fluke. I watched him for a while as you can see in the last photo, but I didn’t see him again. “
It wasn’t until the recent coronavirus lockdown that he had time to review his hundreds of vacation snapshots and posted the fishy photo online, sparking further speculation from conspiracy theorists that he had the latest snapshot of the elusive creature.
Challice, however, believes it was just a catfish.
“I guess what I caught was a catfish or something,” he told the Record. “As seals enter from the sea, then I hoped that was the case and that would explain why these sightings are so rare and distant.”
The Loch Ness monster, known as “Nessie” in popular culture, is one of Scotland’s oldest myths. Only a handful of photographs of the alleged prehistoric creature have come to light over the decades, but many have been duped.
Roland Watson, who runs the Loch Ness Mystery Blog website, said Challice’s photo, if legitimate, would be among the top three Nessie images ever released. But Watson also believes it’s just a massive catfish.
“I kept talking to Steve, the photographer, but that came to an end as I couldn’t provide the original image of the SD car,” Watson wrote.
He said he compared an image of a monstrously 280-pound catfish and saw a match to Challice’s photo.
“As you can see, the spots on the catfish align very well with the spots on our Nessie,” Watson wrote. “The case is closed, but I will write a follow-up article on photoshopped images as I feel there are some shortcomings in the way we approach this issue.”