Loch Ness Monster Explained: Scientists Find Truth Behind Mysterious Sightings; What Is The Great Glen Sesmic Fault? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on July 3, 2013 3:08 PM EDT

Loch Ness monster
The Loch Ness monster legend is false, claims Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi. The following picture, captured in 1930's, was later determined a hoax. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Many are familiar with the Loch Ness Monster myth -- an ancient sea monster supposedly blurks beneath the surface of Scotland's Loch Ness. In fact, legend even claims that the appearance of the Loch Ness monster is often accompanied by alarming tremors that shake the earth. Many also believe that the Loch Ness monster is a surviving prehistoric Plesiosaur that calls the Loch Ness its home.

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However, Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi is not convinced and has devoted some time to find a plausible explanation for what the Loch Ness really is.

"There are various effects on the surface of the water that can be related to the activity of the fault," Piccardi said in an interview published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Piccardi is referring to an active fault that runs across the Loch Ness and nearby lakes, suggesting the tremors and swirling bubbles over the Loch Ness are not caused by a monster, but by genuine seismic activity.

"We know that this was a period [1920-1930] with increased activity of the fault. In reality, people have seen the effects of the earthquakes on the water," explained Piccardi, claiming the monster sightings coincided with periods of activity along the Great Glen fault. Quakes at a magnitude ranging from 3 to 4 were recorded in 1816, 1888, 1890 and 1901, according to Daily Mail. Piccardi explained that the 62-mile strike-slip fault, where rocks slide past on another without vertical movement, causes the seismic incidents that are largely responsible for alleged Loch Ness sightings.

The Loch Ness monster became a legend as early as the 1930s when a black and white photograph of a creature surfacing in Scotland's Loch Ness was released. In fact, the photo remains one of the most iconic images of the Loch Ness monster to date.

What's more, the myth even prompted researchers to search for the creature using a slew of methods including dolphins armed with cameras, sonar beams and satellite imaging. No evidence of the Loch Ness monster had ever been discovered.

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