By Tim Binnall
The scientist behind the much-heralded Loch Ness environmental DNA study is teasing some intriguing results from the project. Professor Neil Gemmell of New Zealand sparked headlines and imaginations last year when he and a team of experts extracted water from Loch Ness with the purpose of creating a catalog of creatures residing at the site via genetic material found in the samples. It was presumed by many that the study could provide an answer to the Loch Ness Monster mystery and now, nearly one year later, we're getting our first glimpse of what has been found.
Speaking to The Scotsman, Gemmell revealed that the team will unveil the complete results from the project at a press conference next month and gave an indication that fears for the future of the Nessie legend may be unfounded. "We've tested each one of the main monster hypotheses," he said, "and three of them we can probably say aren't right and one of them might be." Unfortunately, Gemmell didn't specify which theory proved to be possible, so we're left waiting a few more weeks with the hope that, somehow, they found plesiosaur DNA in the water before that classic concept likely goes up in smoke.
Sharing some additional hints as to what the study uncovered, Gemmel said, "Is there anything deeply mysterious? Hmm. It depends on what you believe. Is there anything startling? There are a few things that are a bit surprising." Once again, we're left to speculate on what that might mean until the results of the project are shared with the public, but it's worth noting that Gemmel also said that they identified 15 species of fish living in Loch Ness, so perhaps the project stumbled upon some kind of aquatic creature that they weren't expecting to be there.