Everyone has heard of the Loch Ness Monster, but what most people don’t know is that several large lakes throughout the world, including Lake Superior, Lake Champlain, and Okanangan Lake, have reports of serpentine sea monsters. Nessie isn’t even the only lake monster who resides in Scotland. Located just seventy miles from Loch Ness, Loch Morar is home to its own creature, the Morag.
Loch Morag is not as large as Loch Ness, but it is deeper. Its depth reaches 1,000 feet in places. With no roads around the loch, it is much more remote and inaccessible to eyewitnesses.
The first recorded sighting of the Morag was in 1887. One of the most famous sightings of this beast occurred on August 16, 1969. Two local men, Duncan McDonnell and William Simpson, were on their way back from fishing at the north end of the loch. They heard a splash behind them and turned to investigate. They saw a creature approach them and strike the back of the boat. McDonnell struck the creature with an oar, while Simpson shot it with a rifle. Unaffected, it turned away and slowly submerged itself. The encounter lasted about five minutes. On July 14, 1970 loch marine biologist, Neil Bass, claims to have spotted the creature.
The creature is described as being 25 to 30 feet long with rough, dirty brown or black skin. Three humps are reported to stand out of the water, each about 18 inches high. Its neck is approximately three to four feet long. It has a head described as “snake like” and about a foot wide.
So what exactly is the Morag? There are many possible explanations. The most popular seems to be that the creature is a plesiosaur that escaped extinction. If this is true, the animal must have learned to adapt to a much colder environment than its ancestors. Another explanation is that the creature could be a zeuglodon, a snake-like whale thought to have gone extinct over 20 million years ago. Other theories include the suggestion that the Morag could be sharks, seals, eels, or mats of vegetation.
Loch Morar does have an adequate food supply to support a population of large animals, but did some animal escape extinction and make its home in this huge lake? With its huge size and deep water, it may take a long time to be able to find any substantial proof of the existence of the Morag.