E V I D E N C E
Photographs of the Loch Ness Monster abound, but few prove convincing on analysis. Some are definite fakes; some are not quite that, but are certainly not pictures of anything very monstrous. The most famous of all the photographs purportedly of the creature, taken in 1934 by a visiting London surgeon, R. K. Wilson, seems convincing at first until one begins to make sensible estimates of the scale of the ripples surrounding the "monster's head"; conventional naturalists have proposed that the subject of the photograph was probably a diving otter or marine bird, perhaps a moorhen. Other photographs have been shown to be of floating logs. And others?
In 1972-3 and again in 1975 underwater photography was used in the loch by a team headed by Dr Robert Rines. The results can only be described as inconclusive, for, even on the tiny minority of photographs which show anything other than the expected, the images are far from clear. One shows what can (with a stretch of the imagination) be constituted to be a monstrous horned head, rather reminiscent of that of a snail or slug. Even of these objects (and, in the case of the head at least, we cannot really be sure that it is an object ) are what they might seem to be, they give us no real clues as to the nature of the creature. It is easy to underestimate the hostility to life of the environment that is Loch Ness.
The Loch Ness is about 250m (820ft) deep, only the uppermost 40m (130ft) or so of which tolerates normal marine creatures. Below that there is virtually no animal life at all, and very little other life, in water whose temperature varies hardly at all throughout the year from a chilly 5.5 degrees. Thus any denizen of the depths would have to be a plankton-eater; but plankton is much more plentiful in the surface regions, so we would expect to see the monster there quite frequently.