The creatures behind repeated sightings of the fabled Loch Ness Monster may be giant eels, according to scientists.
Researchers from New Zealand have tried to catalogue all living species in the loch by extracting DNA from water samples.
Following analysis, the scientists have ruled out the presence of large animals said to be behind reports of a monster.
No evidence of a prehistoric marine reptile called a plesiosaur or a large fish such as a sturgeon were found.
Catfish and suggestions that a wandering Greenland shark were behind the sightings were also discounted.
"We can't find any evidence of a creature that's remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data. So, sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained."
He added: "So there's no shark DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. There is also no catfish DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. We can't find any evidence of sturgeon either,
"There is a very significant amount of eel DNA. Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness, with eel DNA found at pretty much every location sampled - there are a lot of them. So - are they giant eels?
"Well, our data doesn't reveal their size, but the sheer quantity of the material says that we can't discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness. Therefore we can't discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel."
For everything and anything that goes "bump" in the night or is unexplained.
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But Nessie might be an eel.
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No giants in there huh? That's too ba-...
...we can't discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness.
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The title of this thread leaves open the possibility of normal-sized plesiosaurs.