Status: Interesting theory
Accipiter beat me to this story
, posting it in the forum
earlier today, but it's worth reposting here for the benefit of those who read the site via RSS (or those who don't check out the forum). Scottish paleontologist Neil Clark
has come up with a new theory about Nessie's true identity. He suggests that Loch Ness's most famous resident is (or rather was) an elephant.
His theory goes like this: A number of circuses visited the Loch Ness area in the early 1930s (when Nessie mania began, as I note on my Loch Ness hoaxes
page). The circuses let their elephants swim in the Loch. So perhaps some people saw these swimming elephants and mistook them for sea serpents.
It's an interesting theory, and plausible. Though it still seems a bit more likely that the rise in Nessie sightings during the 1930s had more to do with the completion of the road along the loch's north shore, and consequent rise in tourism to the area.
And let's not forget the rival theory that sea serpents are really whale penises
. (Although the whale-penis theory can't explain Nessie, unless a whale got loose in the loch.)