Technology

Never Fear, Google Is Now Joining The Quest To Find The Loch Ness Monster

Scotland August, 1934. A photograph allegedly showing the Loch Ness monster. This photograph was revealed as a fake many years later.
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Big Foot might be the popular mythical creature to grab media attention here in 2015, but Google and other folks are hoping to bring some more attention to the Loch Ness Monster. I wrote about that alleged Nessie photo from Apple Maps around a year ago, so I guess it’s about time to check back in and taste the sadness. Also it’s the 81st anniversary of the famous Surgeon’s Photograph above, featuring Nessie allegedly breaching the water.

This time around, Google is stepping up to help wannabe explorers search Loch Ness from the comfort of their own homes using Google Maps. If you’re interested and have boat loads of time, you can go to the Maps page over here and search the murky depths one section at a time. How they managed to do this isn’t much of a surprise, but it is interesting. From The Atlantic:

In honor of the 81st anniversary of the Surgeon’s Photograph, Google mounted its imaging equipment on a boat—plus took underwater photographs—and stitched together a portrait of Loch Ness by taking photos every 2.5 seconds.

Google also partnered with Adrian Shine, a man who has claimed to have seen the monster more than 1,000 times. “He helped us go through the imagery,” said Deanna Yick, who is a program manager for the Street View team. “There are some very interesting images where the way the light hits the waves on the water, you’re not really sure.” (Yick’s take on the question of Nessie’s existence: “I believe anything is possible.”)

I’m going to say that after 81 years, the anything is possible idea is getting a bit tired. Some are saying they might’ve already captured the mythical beast on camera, but it isn’t exactly an image that jumps out and screams “giant beast.” Still the legend persists, mostly due to people enjoying the idea of “not knowing” according to The Atlantic. It’s that perfect combo of the unknown and the failure of modern science to fully explain or disprove all the theories that are floating out there.

Think of it like an episode of Ancient Aliens where ol’ crazy hair with the Gargamel teeth pulls out the whole “it doesn’t prove aliens, but it doesn’t disprove aliens either” chestnut. That just a general citation, but pick and an episode and you’ll find that moment.

I think the other big reason it persists, much like Bigfoot, is that we want to believe it is there. Tourism is big because of it and it adds a bit more wonderment to a world that is already full of it.

My favorite part of this new addition to the Loch Ness Monster lore is actually an old addition from the New York Times back in 1934, when Nessie was known as Bobby:

“Bobby… is equally at home in fresh water and salt water, which means he resembles the Swedish ‘monster’ of 25 years ago. This creature inhabited Lake Storsjon and, like Bobby, received a name. He was addressed familiarly as ‘Storsjoodjuretuppenbarelserna,’ but disappeared without leaving evidence of his actuality.” (via)

I like how Storsjoodjuretuppenbarelserna is the familiar name. Bobby is much better and it reminds me of this. I’ll be watching it while you go hunt for the monster, wonder why Scotland keeps a giant toilet for a lake, or complain that Google has too much money.

(Via The Atlantic / Google Maps / Forbes)

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