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Legends are the elements of folklore that provide meanings about culture from which they emerge. Legends have existed for many years, but they develop and incorporate new themes as cultures that create them evolve. Urban legends are a variation of the traditional folklore, which often describe apocalyptic events, fiction and questionable authority in the society. These legends serve as a source of caution or moral lessons that can help people avoid danger. The Internet has considerably popularized urban legends with e-mail acting as the major channel of passing stories between people. Unlike in the traditional folklore, passing stories without the word of mouth minimizes the reinterpretation of a story. This is important concerning the maintenance of feelings of legitimacy among people fascinated by a legend. Although many folklorists argue that urban legends reflect some form of truth concerning morals, peoples’ fears, societal priorities and history of a society, they are ridiculous and outrageous with their content largely derived from individual fears and beliefs, and involve storytellers who lack any form of experience of events in an urban legend.
Evidence shows that urban legends are spontaneous occurrences whose origin is difficult to trace to a single point. Thus, unlike factual events whose occurrence is systematic, documentation of urban legends is erroneous and inconsistent. These stories contain unexplainable events and mostly spread through interpersonal communication, which introduces several variations of a story. Urban legends incorporate content that motivates their preservation and propagation in the society, and concern unexplainable occurrences that creators of legends interpret in the context of personal opinions.
The supposed existence of a mythical creature in Scotland’s Loch Ness has prompted people to search the waters several times in an attempt to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Despite the numerous claims by individuals stating that they have sighted the creature, probing the waters of the Loch Ness has not produced any concrete evidence about the existence of the monster. Tourists, locals and monster hunters claiming to have seen the Loch Ness Monster describe the creature as having dinosaur-like features. A famous photographic evidence of the creature, which shows the image of a head, neck and hump in water, further increased the conviction among people believing in the existence of the monster. Wilson, the photographer, though not categorically stating that the image was of the Loch Ness Monster, maintained that the photo was the depictions of a creature he had seen in the Loch Ness. Unconvinced of Wilson’s claims, critics of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster used photo experts to analyze Wilson’s photo and establish its authenticity. According to the experts, ripples in the photo demonstrated that the creature in Wilson’s photo was very small and thus could not be the supposed monster. Several years later, Wilson admitted that the monster photo was a fake. He stated that the photo was of a toy submarine that comprised of a crafted neck and head refined using technology to create an image of the monster (Woods and Mary 12). Most photographic evidences of the Loch Ness Monster are vague with shadows and outlines that create various imaginary images. Fuzzy photos can create diverse forms and images depending on an individual’s imaginations. Logs, waves and wave shadows around the Loch Ness create various images, which are subject to personal interpretation.
Conflicting descriptions of the Loch Ness Monster by people claiming to have sighted it raise doubts about the existence of the creature. While most people describe the monster as dinosaur-like, individuals such as Alastair, a renowned Loch Ness researcher, claim that the monster resembles a 20-foot whale. Considering this size, it would almost be certain for submarines exploring the Loch Ness waters to locate the creature due to the sophisticated technology available for such undertakings. Scientific evidence shows that creatures of the plesiosaur family became extinct about 65 million years ago. Thus, the claimed sightings in the 1900s lack any credibility. In addition, claims of the sighting of swan-like neck rising from the Loch Ness contradict fossil studies about plesiosaurs. Research shows that due to the nature of its neck, the Loch Ness Monster could not lift its head in the manner described by individuals who claim to have seen it (Carroll 201). Information about the Loch Ness Monster remains purely speculative with theories of the existence of the monster built on individual accounts such as submerged logs and sightings of a large creature crossing the nearby road and disappearing into the Loch Ness.
A monster, irrespective of its large size, cannot exist eternally. Thus, if the Loch Ness Monster is real, there must be other creatures of its kind in the Loch Ness waters. Numerous expeditions focused on establishing the existence of the creature should at least have come across skeletal evidence or a carcass. An exploration of the lake using sophisticated satellite technology that would enable analysis of the Loch Ness using sonar beams did not find even signals of the monster’s breathing. This is a rare observation considering the high reliability of satellite technology. The results from the exploration indicate the absence of any large living creature that could resemble the Loch Ness Monster.
With the advancement in research methodologies and scientific analysis, most theories concerning the Loch Ness Monster have turned into falsehoods. Zoologists’ reports indicate that the lake cannot support a creature of the size of the Loch Ness Monster (Boyd & Katie 42). Such a large creature needs an abundant supply of food to sustain its high-energy requirements. The only logical explanation for the Loch Ness sightings is an underwater wave that occurs due to seismic events in the Scottish lake. According to a geologist known as Luigi, seismic activities produce forces that create water waves accompanied by groans and loud blasts. This phenomenon has led people to nurture beliefs that the Loch Ness harbors beasts.
The Loch Ness Monster is merely an illusion that people create as a response to an unexplained natural phenomenon and shadowy waters that people interpret according to their wishes. Research shows that the first reference of encounters with the Loch Ness monster described a creature whose appearance entailed a strong shaking of the Loch Ness waters. In the famous sighting of 1933, witnesses claimed to see an abnormally violent movement on the water surface (Bauer 7). They interpreted that the only possible cause of such a phenomenon was an underwater monster. However, doubts regarding the sighting arose upon the realization that pranksters used hippopotamus feet to create the supposed monster’s tracks.
The older generations that nurtured and passed folklore heavily relied on subjective knowledge, irrespective of its lack of any tangible evidence. Thus, they depicted mirages and other unexplained events as real forms. The trend of declining sightings of the Loch Ness Monster in current times illustrates that most people are discarding their perceptions of the monster since it lacks any substantial explanation. Considering the failure of various expeditions directed towards the discovery of the monster, its existence is only imaginary. Scientists have always discovered even the rarest creatures that people thought were extinct after conducting extensive researches. The elusiveness of the Loch Ness Monster despite its large size depicts a creature created through imaginations and spread using interpersonal communication, media and other channels such as the Internet. The legend is very powerful and surpasses the need to seek evidence that proves the monster is not real.