Ah yes, thanks be to the almighty google for pointing out today marks the 81st year of the search for Nessie, The Loch Ness Monster. Usually, the monsters Whistlepig Studio traffics in are decidedly metaphorical. Monster making workshops are meant to put participants in tune with their ability to have dominion over monsters of the psychological interior landscape in order to effect their external reality.
It's all very, "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus."
BUT, society seems to love the legend of Loch Ness, allowing it to push us into the fuzzy boundary between fact and fiction. We've never proven she does exist, and there are some pretty firm probabilities pointing out why she couldn't possibly exist:
1. Loch Ness was covered in ice and there is no natural path from the sea to the lake
2. There has never been a herd of the creatures seen, so how do they populate (or are we assuming she is immortal too)
3. Loch Ness isn't large enough to sustain a creature of Nessie's size.
What comfort do we find in carrying on as though the story of Nessie might one day be proven reality? Is the desire to believe in something magical so unshakeable in our collective imaginations? Is it a hope for proof that the strongest species CAN survive in the face of modernity and all our excessive harvesting of resources? Is it proof that we still have questions to answer and mysteries of biology to unearth? Or is it just fun to harass science with the wild goose chases of cryptozoology?
Reports of sightings are ancient.
The first recorded sighting was in the time of the Celtic saints, from ca. A.D. 690 in a hagiography by Adamnans of Saint Columcille. Although news of sightings did not reach the public very frequently until the advent of the road running the length of the loch. In 1933 a number of people motoring down the road saw the monster and described it independently, which was reported widely in the press. People persist in sharing evidence of Nessie's existence to this day.
Interestingly enough, there is another such creature named on this planet. A reptilian serpent seemingly impervious to cold. The Lockski Nesski Monsterovich (real original, no?) is of Russian origin and is said to inhabit the waters of a lake in eastern Siberia. Reported in the early 1960s, she is a vast, serpentine, undulating monster with a huge fin the length of her back and at least thirty feet long.
And again, from Norwegian folklore, the Seljordsorm was first sighted in 1750 by Funleik Andersson, with hundreds of sightings since. The Seljordsorm, or Selma, is described as being like a huge black bow when the waters of Lake Seljord were perfectly calm. This neck, or bow, was at least six feet in length and very thick while all around the water was foaming like the frothing of a wake. In 1999, it is told, that a Global Underwater Search team and aerial spotter planes were trying to establish scientific evidence of Selma's existence.
Oh to dream! Rather than join in a debate about the existence of these creatures. It is much more interesting to the monsters at Whistlepig Studio to ask, "What are we (humanity) really looking for and what is the connection between cultures or the shared gap in various cultures that generates similarly slippery tales and quests?"