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Cryptozoologists Enlist Drones to Find the Loch Ness Monster

A massive hunt for the fabled creature is kicking off this weekend.

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There are plenty of urban legends that live rent-free in our minds, but few as notorious as the Loch Ness Monster. This weekend, a group of cryptozoologists will be taking to the namesake body of water to hunt for the mythological creature with a suite of technology in the biggest manhunt—or “monster-hunt”—in over five decades.

As Popular Science reports, the expedition is sponsored by Loch Ness Exploration, an independent research team obsessed with hunting the cryptid. The Loch Ness Center says that this is the biggest search for Nessie since 1972, and is featuring some technology that’s apparently never been used in the hunt. Loch Ness Exploration, or LNE, will be deploying thermal drones to detect any heat signatures lurking underneath the surface of the loch, and hydrophones to record subaquatic acoustics.


“Since starting LNE, it’s always been our goal to record, study and analyse all manner of natural behaviour and phenomena that may be more challenging to explain,” Alan McKenna, a researcher with LNE, wrote in a Loch Ness Center press release. “It’s our hope to inspire a new generation of Loch Ness enthusiasts and by joining this large scale surface watch, you’ll have a real opportunity to personally contribute towards this fascinating mystery that has captivated so many people from around the world.”


The myth of the Loch Ness Monster grew widespread attention after an infamous black-and-white photo referred to as the Surgeon’s Photo, taken in 1933. That photograph spurred years of stories, hoaxes, and plenty of debunking. Some of that debunking was conducted by a team of scientists who found, after analyzing water samples from the loch, that Nessie could be a large eel.


The hunt will be conducted this weekend, on August 26 and 27. LNE was also previously seeking citizen scientists and amateur cryptozoologists to join the exhibition through an application process but has now closed the process. That said, the curious around the world can watch the hunt take place on a series of different lives streams on Visit Iverness Loch Ness’ official website.