A lot of mystery surrounds Loch Ness in Scotland, near Inverness.
Most significantly is the phenomenon of the Loch Ness Monster – an enormous creature which is believed to live in the water.
Through the years there have been various alleged sightings of Nessie, as the creature is affectionately known.
Some have been proved to be hoaxes, while others are unexplained.
Is the Loch Ness Monster Real?
The first sightings of a creature in Loch Ness date back to around 500 A.D.
According to the biography of Irish monk Saint Columba, a giant “water beast” was spotted dragging a man to his death in Loch Ness.
Interest in the mystical creature spiked in 1933, when a road was built along the loch – making it more accessible and less isolated.
Many people have come forward claiming to have seen a giant beast in the water.
However, all efforts to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster has failed.
Although there have been more than 1,000 alleged sighings, some have been exposed as hoaxes, while others remain unexplained.
For example, the “surgeon’s photograph” was taken in 1934 and was one of the most famous pictures of Nessie.
However, the image which appeared to show the monster’s neck and head was later revealed to be a hoax.
Proving Nessie exists has proven to be a difficult task, as Loch Ness has the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain.
The water is about 800 feet deep and 23 miles long.
Despite numerous “sightings” over the years, there is still no actual proof the Loch Ness Monster is real.
A BBC documentary in 2003 conducted a large-scale search for Nessie.
Rob Jones, 35, of North Wales filme this video
Using 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking, explorers attempted to prove Nessie existed.
However, the researchers did not find anything.
Now the creature is widely regarded as a myth, but it hasn’t stopped the interest in the creature.
In 2017 there were more “sightings” of the creature than ever before in this century.
There were eight “official” sightings, the last one being a photo of a strange “fin” in the water.
The picture was taken by Dr Jo Knight from Lancaster University.
Most recently, a little girl claimed to have spotted Nessie while staying at Loch Ness Highland Lodge.
Charlotte Robinson, 12, snapped a picture when the creature surfaced for about a minute, she said.
Earlier this year Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed the Loch Ness Monster does exist on Good Morning Britain.
She said: “The Loch Ness Monster does exist and I’m not going to concede grounds on this this morning.”
There have been many sightings through the years, including in 1969, when Fred Millwood claimed to have seen a 10 to 12ft long creature travelling across the lock.
In 1988 John Galbraith claimed to have picked up an unusual sonar reading in Foyers Bay, estimating the creature to be between 90 and 120 ft long.
More recently, a local gamekeeper reported to have seen the 50ft long wake in the water, and no boats were in the area.
Another well-known hoax of Nessie was in 201 when local skipper George Edwards used fibreglass to make Nessie’s hump.