A photo of an unusual creature taken by a tourist in Scotland has people wondering whether he finally captured an image of the elusive Loch Ness Monster, the Daily Record reports.
Steve Challice, of Southhampton, England, and his brother, visited the Urquhart Castle — the ruins of which sit next to the Loch Ness — in September 2019 when he noticed a ripple in the water near the opposite shoreline.
Challice told the publication he saw what initially appeared to be a large, 8-foot-long fish that was about 30 feet away from him.
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“I started taking a couple of shots and then this big fish came to the surface and then went back down again,” he recalled. “It only appeared in one shot and to be honest that was something of a fluke. I watched for a while as you can see from the last picture but didn’t see it again.”
While sifting through his photographs, Challice decided to share the picture he took, sparking a discussion over whether the water creature was the Loch Ness Monster — a cryptid with a long neck and multiple humps.
Some people have been convinced that the creature depicted is the monster, although Challice admitted that he has his doubts.
“I have to say I don’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster, and, frankly, I think if anything is there, then there is a logical explanation for most of the sightings,” he said. “My guess would be that what I captured was a catfish or something like that. As seals get in from the sea, then I expect that’s what it is and that would explain why these sightings are so few and far between.”
The photo also caught the attention of Roland Watson, who founded the Loch Ness Mystery blog and had his doubts.
“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. “At this point, I am in an ongoing conversation with Steve as to the objections and concerns I have about this being a Photoshop picture, so we will see where that takes us.”
The Record spoke to a digital photography expert, who went so far as to say that Challice may have altered the image’s color saturation and noted the blurry lining around the animal in the picture. Challice, however, denied that he did any retouching.
“There are pics on Google showing large monsters with lots of loops like a snake or something, and my image is nothing like that,” he said. “I genuinely think, to this day, it’s just a big fish.”
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