A top biologist has revealed the Loch Ness Monster could be real – because we know so little about the mysteries of the deep.
Scientist Jeremy Wade has spent his career searching for answers to the world’s most baffling underwater tales – from Nessie to the Kraken and the Bermuda Triangle.
“It’s not impossible that something could have wandered into Loch Ness from the sea,” Jeremy tells the Daily Star.
“Much of what goes on beneath the Earth’s surface, particularly the oceans where you have such tremendous depth, 25,000ft in some places, remains unknown.
“There is a whole world down there. It would be so interesting to drain everything and have a look to see what’s there, but obviously we can’t, so we have to find small clues about what is going on and piece them together.”
With a depth of more than 785ft, Loch Ness is deeper than the North Sea and contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
The mysterious monster Nessie has long captivated people, with some saying it is a prehistoric creature called a plesiosaur which has managed to survive the Ice Age, and others believing it could be a new species.
The most recent sighting was last month, with one man claiming in a video that he’d seen the elusive creature rising from the depths.
Last year, researchers from New Zealand used DNA mapping to investigate Loch Ness further.
Jeremy says: “The obvious thing to do is look for a big animal.
“But the recent research said they would look for DNA instead – and this could be the future of technology, which could help us reveal more about what is going on.”
The survey found high levels of eel DNA data, which suggested Nessie could be a type of giant mutant eel.
This research in Loch Ness forms part of his new TV series, Mysteries of the Deep.
Presented by Jeremy, it is a round-up of all the biggest unexplained events and creatures from the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes, and also includes previously unseen footage of unusual sightings.
“We’ve tried to apply modern science and techniques in order to bring the mysteries a bit closer to a solution, or giving a bit more of an insight into them,” says Jeremy.
Some of the other stand-out stories from the documentary series include the grisly case of at least 20 detached human feet in shoes washing up on a beach in British Columbia, Canada.
They are possibly from tsunami victims or people who had killed themselves by jumping off bridges.
Then there is Harrison Okene, a Nigerian cook who managed to survive three days at the bottom of a shipwreck by being trapped in a 4ft sq air pocket. Another case which interested Jeremy was that of a yacht in a race being attacked by a suspected Kraken.
“Suddenly the boat’s speed diminished and they found this massive tentacled creature hanging on to the bottom of the boat,” he says.
“The crew were trying to prise it off to make it let go. But nobody filmed it because their focus was getting rid of it so they didn’t lose time.
“The identity of something like that would be amazing to find out.”
Jeremy’s fascination with the deep seas and rivers came from his interest in angling, which he’s done since he was a young boy.
He began investigating mysteries in 2005 when he travelled to the Himalayan foothills to fish in the area.
There, locals told him that people had gone missing in the river – and that a giant fish was responsible.
Jeremy caught a catfish, which weighed a hefty 11-and-a-half stone, but while he estimated this fish was strong enough to kill and eat a small child, it was unlikely to be the perpetrator. It remains undiscovered.
Jeremy says he has become more open-minded about mysterious creatures after coming face to face with a “monster” while fishing on the Amazon River.
“I saw an unusual creature, with a series of points on its back, appear for a fraction of a second,” he says.
“It looked like nothing I had ever seen before. When I described it to local people they just said, ‘No, there is nothing like that living here’.
“A year later, I went back to the same place and saw it again for a longer time. It turned out to be a pink river dolphin that had been mutilated.
“Having had the experience of people doubting what I knew I’d seen with my own eyes, it has made me more open-minded.
“So I don’t necessarily believe people are making up unusual sightings because they don’t have that hard evidence.”
● Mysteries of the Deep airs Thursdays at 9pm on the Discovery Channel.