Though it seems amazing, Lloyds of London once actually insured the Loch Ness Monster, as part of the strangest cryptid hunt that the 20th century likely ever saw.
The odd turn of events that involved London's premier insurance market in the strange sightings at the Loch began when whiskey manufacturer Cutty Sark offered a reward to anyone who could capture the monster. The contest took place in 1971, and the company offered a sum of one million pounds ($2.4 million) as a bounty. Before long, however, Cutty Sark began to get nervous about the hunt, and sought the help of Lloyds to underwrite the event.
Over 20 miles long and 700 feet at its deepest, Loch Ness is the largest loch in Scotland. Via http://t.co/Mw5359vPxz pic.twitter.com/UYWtSB5hjP
— Yoor Wullie (@YoorWullie) September 3, 2014
As io9 notes, nobody is really certain why Cutty Sark began to believe that anyone would be able to capture the Loch Ness Monster. In the early 1970s however, with a plethora of photographs and sightings reported, belief in the creature was at a peak. Just a few years later in 1975, Dr. Robert H. Rines (who passed away in 2009) would capture an iconic underwater photograph of the monster, as the New York Times points out. By the middle of the decade, institutions like the Smithsonian were taking reports of sightings at Loch Ness seriously.
Another shot from the water...#LochNess #NoKelpiesSorry ;) pic.twitter.com/IMjk2lkquf
— Outlandish Journeys (@OutlandishTour) September 3, 2014
Though Lloyds originally turned Cutty Sark down, a deluge of bad press, in which the insurers were called out for their refusal to issue a policy, stimulated them to change their minds. According to PSA Perspective, the policy was laced with conditions, so that only the genuine article would qualify. The Loch Ness Monster, if captured, would have had to measure over 20 feet in length and be independently verified by the curators of the Natural History Museum.
So I put 'Loch Ness' in maps and found this.... pic.twitter.com/rKKn08t133
— ☯Brynhildr☯ (@God_Of_Thund3r) September 3, 2014
The search for the Loch Ness Monster continues in the present, and as The Inquisitr has noted, sightings are still reported, if less frequently. In the 1970s though, the monster was never caught, and Lloyds ended up making a profit on the policy. With no way to calculate the actual possibility that the monster could be captured, the insurer charged a premium far in excess of any possible loss.
Whether it is ever proven to exist or not, there is little doubt that the Loch Ness Monster will go down in history as one of the strangest things ever insured by Lloyds.
[Image via AMC Blog]