Loch Ness DNA suggests 'Nessie' might be eel, says geneticist

No, we still don't know if 'Nessie' is real.


But a New Zealand scientist who gathered and analyzed DNA from the fabled Loch Ness in Scotland says there's a possibility the so-called 'Loch Ness Monster' monster might be a very large eel. Or, maybe, lots of little eels.

Neil Gemmell of the New Zealand University of Otago says the DNA material his project collected from the water at Loch Ness included a high count of eel DNA.

Whether such a finding, if legitimate, might indicate one huge eel or many little eels, no one knows.

Professor Gemmell, who is a geneticist, said at a news conference in Scotland on Thursday his findings make the notion of a giant eel more plausible.

He told reporters, “People love a mystery, we've used science to add another chapter to Loch Ness' mystique.”

Excerpt from the BBC's coverage of his pitch:

"We can't find any evidence of a creature that's remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data. So, sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained."

He added: "So there's no shark DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. There is also no catfish DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. We can't find any evidence of sturgeon either,

"There is a very significant amount of eel DNA. Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness, with eel DNA found at pretty much every location sampled - there are a lot of them. So - are they giant eels?

"Well, our data doesn't reveal their size, but the sheer quantity of the material says that we can't discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness. Therefore we can't discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel."

Eels.

Eels.

Eels, up inside you.

Finding an exit where they can.

More at the Associated Press.