Science

Sea monster identified: Nope, it's not the Loch Ness Monster

By Matthew Klickstein , Jun 04, 2013 01:15 PM EDT
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It seems as though the age-old mystery behind the Loch Ness Monster has been solved. At least for now.

It has now been determined that the (corpse of the) Loch Ness Monster did not wash up on a beach off the coast of the UK last week; the mysterious sea creature was also not a dinosaur as the rumor mill jibed.

Although the body of this humongous reptilian beast with a gigantic crocodile mouth and sharp teeth jutting out might at first glance look like the image we have in our minds of the Loch Ness Monster or even a dinosaur from some far-off land, it turns out the beast that was first discovered by a man and his family off the east coast of Scotland was not so much the "menacing creature" he thought it was.

"We were just walking on the beach to see what we could find and we came across this," David Mackland said to the UK Evening Telegraph after stumbling across the creature on the Easthaven beach north of St. Andrews. "I would say it was 4 to 5 feet long and about a foot wide. It was pretty big."

Mackland went on to say that the teeth of the creature could be seen right away.

"I don't know what it is," Mackland told the Telegraph. "To be honest, I looks a bit like an eel ... You don't usually see stuff like that. You very rarely see fish on the beach. You sometimes see dead birds, but it is unusual to see that."

Mackland added that there has been a huge chunk of flesh bitten out of the beast. He also took photos of the creature, which do reveal it looks prehistoric if not fantastical.

There were those online who, upon seeing the photos, speculated this might finally be proof the Loch Ness Monster. Others felt it could have been a shark, eel or ling.

St. Andrews Aquarium's own Stephen McKelvie at first felt it was an oarfish.

"There was a specimen found near Carnoustie a few weeks back," McKelvie told the Evening Telegraph. "It could be that this oarfish was left on the beach and the mystery creature is the desiccated corpse. It's hard to tell because we are unsure of the size and dimensions of the oarfish they found a few weeks ago."

McKelvie also believed that the creature could have been a Conger eel.

"The shape of the jaw and the pattern of the teeth are the only things to go on, because of the level of mortification," McKelvie said.

Now, according to the St. Andrews Sea Life Center, the mysterious sea monster discovered by Mackland has been identified as, indeed, a Conger eel, according to a report published by GrindTV on Monday, June 3.

"When you get a look at the head and the teeth you think, 'Now that's one mean-looking fish,'" Mackland said to GrindTV.

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