There’s Actually A Government Plan To Deal With The Loch Ness Monster

We all know the Loch Ness Monster is real, but we’ve had a pesky time trying to find it. Don’t worry though, because there’s actually a plan if we do. Huzzah!

According to the BBC, a government-funded body called Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has prepared a “partly serious, partly fun” code of practice, in case the creature is ever found. It was created back in 2001, when Nessie fandom was particularly big.

“There was a lot of activity on the loch at the time about Nessie,” Nick Halfhide from SNH told BBC News. “So, partly serious and partly for a bit of fun, we drew up a contingency plan about how we would help Nessie if and when she was found.”

The document details how to keep the animal safe in the event it is discovered, building on lessons learned from reintroducing species elsewhere. It also says that a DNA sample should be taken from the creature, before allowing it to return to the loch.

Scientists actually recently looked for such DNA evidence. Last month, a team led by the University of Otago in New Zealand collected samples from the loch, in the hope of identifying new species. Sadly, they didn’t spot anything from Nessie.

Sightings of the monster date all the way back to the 6th century with mention of a “water beast”, but it gained particular prominence in recent times after a few hoax pictures. The most famous was one in 1934, which apparently showed a long-necked animal poking out of the water.

There are a number of more plausible explanations for Nessie rather than a giant unknown monster. These include people getting confused by a catfish or sturgeon, and there may well be other unknown modern species lurking in the loch. So Nessie is actually a pretty good excuse to go hunting for other animals.

SNH said they would “dust off” the plan again if a monster ever was found, although they’ll probably be waiting quite a long time. Still, it’s all a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun, and who knows. Maybe there is a giant creature lurking under these Scottish waters. And we’ll be ready if there is.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/theres-actually-a-government-plan-to-deal-with-the-loch-ness-monster/

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