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The Mystery Of The Loch Ness Monster May Finally Be Solved

The Scottish Mystery Revealed Scientists now have some idea of where the enduring belief in the “Loch Ness Monster” comes from. Dr. Charles Paxton, a statistician at St. Andrews...

The Scottish Mystery Revealed

Scientists now have some idea of where the enduring belief in the “Loch Ness Monster” comes from. Dr. Charles Paxton, a statistician at St. Andrews in Scotland, says the belief that a long-necked dinosaur is living in the lake in Scotland probably dates to the discovery of actual dinosaur fossils in the area.

“A new study suggests the legend of the Loch Ness monster and other long-necked ‘sea monsters’ may have been influenced by something very real and even more terrifying — dinosaurs,” Fox News reports.

The legend of the Loch Ness monster has existed since at least the early 1800s, Dr. Paxton found. But back then, only 10 percent of reported sightings described the creature as having a long neck. After 1933–when fossils of long-necked marine dinosaurs were discovered in the same region of Scotland–the number of reports describing “Nessie” as having a long neck jumped to 50 percent.

Therefore, Paxton concluded, people’s imaginations were simply influenced by the discovery of the actual fossils. They started believing they were seeing a creature that matched the description of real dinosaurs that once lived in the waters of Scotland.

“The discovery of long-necked marine reptile fossils in the 19th century does appear to have had an influence on what people believe they have spotted in the water,” Paxton concluded. “‘The problem is an interesting fusion of history and paleontology which shows that statistics can be used to rigorously test all sorts of strange hypotheses if the data is handled in the right way.’

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