By Tim Binnall
A video hailed by some observers as confirmation that the Loch Ness Monster is really an eel appears to be more of a misunderstanding rather than actual proof. The footage in question was posted to Twitter by the Ness Fishery Board earlier this month and features an underwater glimpse of the River Ness which runs out of the Scottish landmark. In the footage, what looks like a fairly lengthy creature can be seen seemingly swimming through the water above a trout that looks diminutive in comparison.
In their post sharing the video, the group wrote: "let's be honest - when you see a large, eel-shaped object passing your camera in the River Ness, the first thing you think of is the Loch Ness Monster." Interest in the video intensified a few days later when the results of an environmental DNA study at Loch Ness indicated that the most plausible theory for the famed 'monster' is that it is an eel. Suddenly the footage took on new meaning as many observers postulated that it constituted proof for that conclusion.
However, the director of the Ness Fisheries Board now says that the posting of the footage had been meant in jest and that it does not show a giant eel. "It is actually likely to be a tree branch," Chris Conroy revealed to ABC News. He also theorized that the object measured around nine feet in length, which is far bigger than an eel in Loch Ness would be expected to grow. He also expressed amazement at how the video spread online and the amount of work people did to analyze the footage all because "we just made a reference to the Loch Ness monster."
With the video having sparked apparently false headlines around the world, Conroy was quick to stress that "in no way were we trying to do a hoax" and chalked the confusion up to people taking the post too seriously and not realizing it was meant to be in jest. Whether he did his best to dispel the misconception that the video shows a giant eel, one fears that it's probably too late to enlighten the many people who have seen the footage and now believe that the 'Loch Ness Eel' had really been caught on film.