Google finds the Loch Ness Monster?
Published 21/04/2015 | 11:21
Many have tried and failed to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster - now Google has joined the search.
The firm has, with the help of divers and local experts, used its Street View cameras to capture parts of the Scottish loch, the reputed home of the famous cryptid.
Its images, taken both above and below the surface of the water, are available to view from today - giving armchair travellers the chance to admire the Highlands scenery - or plunge to the depths in search of Nessie.
"We were surprised by this sighting too," said a Google spokesperson, when we pointed out a strange, lumpen object floating on the loch's surface. "Is it a log, a bird or... the monster?!"
The release of the images coincides with the anniversary of the publication of the renowed "Surgeon's Photograph" of the Loch Ness Monster, in the Daily Mail, on April 21 1934 - a photo that was revealed to be a fake by The Sunday Telegraph in 1975.
Google spent a week collecting imagery, taking one of its 40lb Street View "Trekker" cameras around the perimeter of the loch, and attaching it to a boat to collect the overwater imagery.
It teamed up with Catlin Seaview Survey for the underwater shots.
According to Google, there are around 200,000 searches each month for the Loch Ness Monster, and around 120,000 for information and accommodation close to Loch Ness, yet "few people know what the loch even looks like".
There are 200,000 searches for the Loch Ness Monster each month.
Today's Google Doodle - that is the image that users see when they visit the seach engine - pays tribute to the 81st anniversary of the publication of the infamous "Surgeon's Photograph".
It is not the first time Google Street View has taken its cameras beyond the realm of the road.
It has photographed many of the world's most popular ski resorts, and earlier this month took pictures from the deck of a river cruise ship on the Danube.