Loch Ness Monster is spotted for the ninth time this year as sightings soar to record level

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Someone has just sighted the humps of the gigantic, prehistoric beast trapped for centuries in the icy waters of Loch Ness – on a webcam pointed at the loch.

Or, of course, it might be a log.

It’s the ninth Nessie sighting this year, as monster-hunters pore over footage from a webcam which scans the water near Urquhart Castle.

Gary Campbell of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register said, ‘The sighting lasted about two minutes and other than a boat in the distance, she saw no other traffic on the loch.

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‘‘She saw a wake and it does not appear to be that of a boat. We have accepted it and it means the number of sightings is the most we have had this century.’

But is the monster really a relic of the age of the dinosaurs? Others suggest that many of the sightings may be catfish, or even swans.

A look at the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and other enduring mysteries of the world.

A recent book, Hunting Monsters by Darren Naish suggests that one of the iconic photos of the monster is, in fact, a swan.

Hugh Gray’s picture, taken in 1933, was the earliest photograph of the monster – seemingly showing an eel-like head and flippers bashing the water.

But the reality is a little more prosaic, Naish suggests.

Naish says, ‘Without giving too much away, I want to say that the famous Hugh Gray Loch Ness monster photo of 1933 is not a swimming dog, or a salamander-like beast, or giant anachronistic Tullimonstrum… but a swan.

‘Yes, a swan. And the infamous Peter O’Connor photo of 1960 – the one that depicts what looks like an inflated plastic bag with a stick for a head – has proved to be the inverted hull of a kayak called a Tyne Prefect.

‘You can even see the base of the rudder support!

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