Loch Ness Monster Just (Not) Found By Apple Maps

The Loch Ness Monster, perhaps the most elusive of legendary mythological creatures, may or may not have been spotted on an Apple Maps satellite feed. The people who spotted it, however, seem certain enough to say, "What else could it be?"

According to the scaling feature on the mapping service, the creature measures about 100-feet-long and appears to be using flippers of some sort to navigate south in the Scottish Highlands lake. The form has actually been studied for a half-year by "experts" at the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club in Scotland, and they believe that, since they've ruled out so many other explanations, it's "likely" Nessie, the nickname for the Loch Ness Monster.

"We've been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is," Gary Campbell, the club's president, tells the Daily Mail. "It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn't one here. We've shown it to boat experts and they don't know what it is." Club members also have ruled out floating logs and seals as possible explanations.

What it actually looks like -- a giant 100-foot-long fish -- also must have been ruled out, since that would likely mean the photo was somehow doctored before making its way viral. Judge for yourself:

Nessie Close Looks Like A Fish

In any case, the images are the first sightings of the Loch Ness Monster in 18 months, according to Campbell, making 2013 the first year in 90 years that no one had come forward with a sighting claim.

Andrew Dixon, a 26-year-old worker for Great North Air Ambulance, was one of the two spotters who passed the footage of Loch Ness waters on to Campbell and Co. He called it a "total fluke."

"I was looking at satellite images of my town and then just thought I'd have a look at Loch Ness. The first thing that came into my head when I saw it was, 'That's the Loch Ness Monster'. It was the shape of it, I thought it had to be something more than a shadow.... It was exciting. I've never been to Loch Ness but I'm always interested in that sort of stuff."
Perhaps he'd be interested in learning that debunkers like the people at Southern Fried Science have a pretty solid explanation for what the image could be: Since satellite images aren't taken in real time, using instead what are known as stitched photos, the alleged image of the Loch Ness Monster is the same exact shape as a boat wake. See the photos retrieved by the website and learn how the boat and wake ended up appearing in separate frames.

Do you think that this is really the Loch Ness Monster? Or is the tourism dollar stretching kind of thin in and around Loch Ness these days?

[Images courtesy of The Independent]