A tourist who posted a photograph online that he took in Scotland has sparked a debate after it was claimed that the 'mystery creature' in the image is the Loch Ness Monster.
The photograph was taken by a UK resident who was on a holiday in Scotland last year. Steve Challice along with his brother was visiting the Urquhart Castle situated on the banks of Loch Ness when he saw "sort of ripple in the water."
Challice took photos of the water after he saw a "big fish" that came to the surface and quickly went back down again.
"It only appeared in one shot and to be honest that was something of a fluke," he told the Daily Record.
As per his estimates, the "big fish" was 30 feet away from him and it was about 8 feet long.
Challice said that he did not think much about the image until he was in the coronavirus lockdown and started going through the old images on his computer. That's when he spotted the strange mysterious creature in his photos and decided to post it on the Facebook group - Anomalous Universe to seek help from other members to understand what the creature was.
Steve posted an image of the large spotted animal rising up from the water in the group with the caption: "Took this in Loch Ness last September but I don't know what kind of fish it is."
Soon it sparked interest with many claiming it could indeed be a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie that as per ancient Scottish folklore is said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.
The mysterious creature, which is often described as large, long-necked, and with one or more humps protruding from the water.
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It has been over a week since the images were posted on Facebook and since then author Roland Watson, who runs the Loch Ness Mystery blog, has been in discussion with Steve to establish the authenticity of the claims.
Roland Watson who is a Loch Ness Monster expert has its own doubts about the authenticity of the photo."Up until now this year we only had distant webcam blobs due to the lockdown at Loch Ness, then this image turned up.
"If this is a genuine picture of a creature in Loch Ness, it would easily rank in the top three of all time," he said.
Loch Ness Monster Expert Watson has been in touch with Steve and has been able to get a set of images from him that the latter claimed he took in September 2019. While Watson has not concluded that the images are a total fake, but in his blog, he said that Steve works as CGI animator and there is a chance the image could have been doctored.
"So I first found out more about our photographer and discovered on his LinkedIn page that he was a 3D graphical artist and he had a portfolio of images of various constructions such as the one below.
"To be clear, he earns a living creating CGI - computer-generated images," Roland wrote on his blog Loch Ness Mystery.