By Tim Binnall
The results of an environmental DNA study of Loch Ness will be officially released in a few weeks and the scientist behind the ambitious project says that the findings indicated that one theory for the site's legendary 'monster' remains plausible. According to a press release issued on Wednesday, the exhaustive research endeavor led by Professor Neil Gemmell of New Zealand collected 250 water samples from "the length, breadth, and depth of Loch Ness" last year.
These samples were subsequently examined for genetic material that had been left behind by animals and plants living at the site. A whopping 500 million DNA sequences were found in the water and then "analyzed against existing databases" to provide a vibrant look at the various lifeforms that call Loch Ness home. The comprehensive catalog is apparently now complete as Gemmell will unveil the findings from the study at a press conference to be held on September 5th in the village of Drumnadrochit which sits on the shore of Loch Ness.
While we'll have to wait a few more weeks for the much-anticipated results from the environmental DNA study, Gemmell was quoted in today's press release reiterating a promising hint that he made earlier this summer. "There have been over a thousand reported sightings of something in Loch Ness which have driven this notion of a monster being in the water," he said, "from those sightings, there are around four main explanations about what has been seen. Our research essentially discounts most of those theories, however one theory remains plausible."
Nessie fans yearning to hear Gemmell announce that they've found the DNA of a plesiosaur via the project may wish to temper their expectations heading into next month's press conference. Based on what he has said so far, it stands to reason that the theory for Nessie that is still viable after the study is that the 'monster' could be an eel or some other prosaic creature known to live in Loch Ness. That said, we'll keep our fingers crossed for the next few weeks in the hopes that something more fantastic will be revealed in the findings.