This mysterious photo sparked the global fascination with the Loch Ness Monster

In 1933, a fellow named Hugh Gray snapped this image of  "an object of considerable dimensions" emerging from Loch Ness in Scotland. Gray was convinced that he had captured a photo of "Nessie," the mysterious creature that was part of the local lore. Some people claim the photo is just a dog fetching a stick in the water. But it's obviously a plesiosaur, a long-necked dinosaur that didn't actually go extinct 66 million years ago as scientists would have us believe.

From the Washington Post:

"The photo kicked off the modern era of [Nessie] hunting. Up until then, it was just a local mystery," said Watson, the author of several books about the Loch Ness monster, including "Photographs of the Loch Ness Monster: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." "Ninety years on, Gray's photo is still seen as one of the best."

And yet Nessie hunters today are no closer to getting a convincing image of the elusive creature. New technology, including webcams, sonar, satellite imaging and Loch Ness visitors' smartphone cameras, so far has failed to yield conclusive evidence. The latest mass search, scheduled for this weekend by the Loch Ness Centre, will deploy airborne drones with infrared cameras and a hydrophone to pick up acoustic signals at the 23-mile-long lake. Watson said he will be taking part in the effort[…]

In 1934, Gray's photo was eclipsed in the public's mind by the picture known as the "surgeon's photograph." (below) Attributed to a London doctor, the photo shows a long-necked creature with a small head rising from the lake. It has become the iconic image of Nessie in people's imaginations — despite the fact that the photo was revealed decades later to be a hoax, Watson said.

(via The Anomalist)

The "Surgeon's Photo" of Nessie (1934), known to be a hoax.