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New TV programme explores scientist's theory that the Loch Ness Monster could be a giant eel

By Val Sweeney

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Professor Neil Gemmell.
Professor Neil Gemmell.

A new TV documentary series explores the theory that Nessie may be a giant eel.

Mysteries Of The Deep with Jeremy Wade aims to find the answers behind the world’s most baffling underwater mysteries known to science.

In the first episode to be screened on the Discovery Channel tonight, the extreme angle, author and biologist looks at the mystery of the Loch Ness monster and the suggestion it could be a giant eel.

The theory was put forward last year by a team of researchers from New Zealand led Professor Neil Gemmell, a geneticist at the University of Otago, who features in the programme.

In one of the biggest studies of its kind, the team tried to catalogue all living species in the loch by extracting DNA from water samples.

Following analysis of 200 samples, the scientists 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. The suggestion that Nessie could be a catfish was also ruled out.

Is Nessie a giant eel?

Related article: Long-time Nessie hunter claims third sighting so far this year

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