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Loch Ness Eel

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The legend of the Loch Ness monster's been around for more than a thousand years. Skeptics have tried to explain away repeated sightings of a dinosaur-like creature luxuriating in chilly Scottish waters. Is Nessie, as she's hailed, some kind of aquatic dinosaur suspended in time or merely BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music?

But now comes a theory advanced by a team of researchers from New Zealand. They say Nessie could be just a big, old eel, maybe lots of smaller ones. Scientists say they've tried to catalogue all living species in the loch using DNA and found some 3,000 of them. They didn't snag a single giant reptile but a great many eels. Geneticist Neil Gemmell told a press conference that some of those eels could be really big. But, you know, he didn't conclusively rule out Nessie either, saying, there may well be a monster in Loch Ness; we didn't find it. So the legend continues.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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