Legend of Loch Ness monster to be tested with DNA samples
An international team of researchers is preparing to head to Scotland's Loch Ness in search of monster DNA.

Tyler MacDonald | 4 hours ago

Although University of Otago professor Neil Gemmell isn't a believer in the legend of Nessie, he believes that his team of international researchers can communicate science through their adventure to take samples of the murky waters of Scotland's Loch Ness where the creature is rumored to dwell.

The team is going to take 300 samples of water from different regions around the lake at various depths, filter organic material, and extract DNA. This will be accomplished using technology that was originally developed for the human genome project.

"I'm going into this thinking it's unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis," Gemmell said. "What we'll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of the Loch Ness."

Graeme Matheson, chief of the Scottish Society of New Zealand, wishes Gemmell the best.

"I hope he and his cohorts find something, although I think they'll be battling," he said. "Still, it's a good way to get a trip to Scotland."

Gemmell believes that even if his team doesn't uncover monster DNA, Nessie believers will remain unconvinced. Some of them have already been theorizing that Nessie might be on vacation in underwater caves, or it might be extraterrestrial and thus not leave any DNA behind (or at least no DNA that human techniques can detect).

"In our lives we want there still to be mysteries, some of which we will ultimately solve," Gemmell said. "That's part of the spirit of discovery. And sometimes, what you find may not be what you were expecting."

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