The Loch Ness “monster” may not be so scary after all.
A team of scientists from New Zealand’s Otago University identified about 3,000 different species in the murky water of the Scottish loch and came to the conclusion that the “monster” could actually be a giant eel, according to a release of the study.
They study, led by Profesor Neil Gemmell, found that most of the species identified were so small that they could barely be seen and included high levels of DNA from humans, as well as dogs, sheep and cattle.
“The remaining theory that we cannot refute based on the environmental DNA data obtained is that what people are seeing is a very large eel,” the release said.
Gemmel’s team could not find any shark DNA in the Loch Ness, nor could they find evidence of catfish DNA or sturgeon.
“It is possible there are very large eels,” Gemmell said at a press conference, according to The Guardian, “but it depends how big you think ‘large’ is.”
Gemmell explained in the press conference that he and is team were surprised about the findings, specifically due to the high number of eel DNA in the murky lake.
“We don’t know if the eel DNA we are detecting is from a gigantic eel or just many small eels,” he said.
Gemmel insisted that due to their findings, the longtime theory of the Loch Ness monster can likely be squashed — for now.
“Like every other monster hunt there has been here at Loch Ness, we have found no definitive evidence of a monster,” he said. “More and more studies providing more and more negative evidence cast more and more doubt on the possibility, but we can’t prove a negative.”
However, Gemmel added that “there’s still some level of uncertainty” in the findings, “so there is still the opportunity for people to believe in monsters.”