The towns surrounding Loch Ness, around the urban area of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, have cashed in on their famous cryptid. The Loch Ness Monster, nicknamed Nessie, is responsible for nearly $42 million in goods and services every year, according to the BBC in 2012.

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    On August 22, 564, some historians say Columba, a Christian leader, reported seeing the animal that would become known as the Loch Ness Monster in Loch Ness, Scotland. Columba was an Irish priest (later a saint) who was visiting Scotland, and reportedly compelled the monster to not attack one of Columba’s followers.
    The Loch Ness Monster is probably the most famous target of cryptozoology, the study of animals whose existence has not been proven. Cryptozoology is not a science.
    Cryptozoologists search for mythical creatures called cryptids. Thousands of cultures all over the world report cryptids. Besides the Loch Ness Monster, other lake cryptids include Champ (in Lake Champlain, United States and Canada); Issi (in Lake Ikeda, Japan); and the Lagarfljot Worm (in Lagarfljot Lake, Iceland). Other cryptids include chupacabras, blood-sucking creatures that threaten livestock throughout Latin America; bunyips, which lurk in Australia’s swamps; dingoneks, “jungle walruses” found in lakes and rivers in central Africa; and, of course, Bigfoot, who stalks old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    capture Verb

    to take or control.

    Christian Noun

    people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers.

    compel Verb

    to force or cause something to be done.

    cryptid Noun

    animal or other organism, usually mythic, whose existence has not been proved.

    cryptozoology Noun

    study of animals or other organisms whose existence has not been proved. Cryptozoology is not a science.

    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    evidence Noun

    data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

    existence Noun

    state or continuance of life.

    fantasy Adjective


    historian Noun

    person who studies events and ideas of the past.

    jungle Noun

    tropical ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.

    lake Noun

    body of water surrounded by land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: lake
    Latin America Noun

    South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

    livestock noun, plural noun

    animals raised for sale and profit.

    lurk Verb

    to hide in order to attack or for other evil purposes.

    mythical Adjective

    having to do with a legend or traditional story, not fact.

    old-growth forest Noun

    collection of trees and shrubs that has not been harvested for timber or other uses in about 200 years, although definitions vary. Also called a primeval forest, primary forest, primal forest, or ancient woodland.

    priest Noun

    title of religious leader in many faiths.

    religious Adjective

    having to do with spiritual belief.

    reportedly Adverb

    according to rumor or last evidence.

    saint Noun

    holy person in Christian religions.

    suppose Verb

    to assume or believe.

    swamp Noun

    land permanently saturated with water and sometimes covered with it.

    Encyclopedic Entry: swamp