For years, the mystery surrounding the Loch Ness Monster in a freshwater lake in Scotland has given birth to bizarre explanations and conspiracy theories after the popular black and white photograph of the large sea creature was taken by surgeon Robert Kenneth Wilson in the 1930s. Wilson’s photograph shows a long neck or the “serpent-tail”, which is being claimed to be a whale penis now. A picture is doing rounds on the internet comparing Wilson’s photograph to a recent picture of a whale’s penis sticking out of the water similarly.
Experts suggest that the alleged neck of the monster really could be a whale’s penis. A team of experts investigating the claim published a paper in the Archives of Natural History arguing that the sightings could be a large baleen whale and its “snake-like penis.” The study cites other such similar accounts related to some of the male whale species, which can be 1.8 metres in length usually sighted rising from the water in ‘a state of arousal.’
On April 7, Twitter user James Felton, a comedy writer, shared a thread giving insight into the claim along with multiple photographs and links to the study material for the claim.
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) April 7, 2021
For as long as there have been sailors on the oceans, singing shanties and saying pirate stuff about enjoying rum, there have been sightings of strange and fantastic creatures – from krakens to sea serpents and mermaids. pic.twitter.com/Czq5IRjDBC— James Felton (@JimMFelton) April 7, 2021
The tweets have attracted netizen’s attention as users filled the comment section with their own speculations. It went viral with over 13,000 likes, 300 comments and more than 4000 retweets. However, as a strange theory grew on the internet, a fact-checking website Snopes took matters into their own hand to clarify the claim.
On April 27, an article titled ‘Is the Loch Ness Monster Just a Whale Penis? This rumour is more plausible than it might appear’ published online. It states that the famous photo of the creature, “dubbed as surgeon’s photograph was a hoax that was created with a toy boat and some putty” when Christian Spurling, involved in the hoax, had confessed before his demise in the 90s.
It added that while the famous picture is nothing but a ‘toy submarine’, it is possible that some of the “sea serpent” sightings could be whale penises.