An underwater drone has found the Loch Ness Monster but not the one many people are hoping for.

The fabled Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie in Scotland, has been the focus of searches for decades but all efforts have failed. However, an autonomous underwater vehicle has found a 30-foot model of the Loch Ness Monster in the freshwater Scottish lake.

The model appeared in the 1970 movie The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes but it sank in the loch. Munin, the underwater drone operated by Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime, has scanned the depths of the lake and captured images of the lost Nessie model.

Adrian Shine, a Loch Ness expert, says that the measurements, location and shape of the model matches that of the movie prop.

"We have found a monster, but not the one many people might have expected. The model was built with a neck and two humps and taken alongside a pier for filming of portions of the film in 1969," says Shine. "The director did not want the humps and asked that they be removed, despite warnings I suspect from the rest of the production that this would affect its buoyancy. And the inevitable happened. The model sank."

The torpedo-shaped Munin is capable of sonar imaging and it has been used for scanning the lake's depths several times. Apart from the Nessie model, Munin has also detected the wreckage of a sunken boat, the identity of which remains unknown.

Munin is normally used for searching sunken vessels and downed aircraft, and for doing forensic marine investigations. The team behind the underwater drone suggest that they are confident of making more discoveries in the loch.

In the past, many discoveries have been made from Loch Ness. A Wellington bomber from World War II and debris from a speed record attempt in 1952 have also been found in the lake.

Malcolm Roughead, the chief executive of the national tourism agency VisitScotland, says that the agency is excited about the latest findings and Kongsberg's state-of-the-art equipment used to make the findings.

VisitScotland has debunked the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, but the sense of mystery surrounding Nessie will persist even in decades to come.

Photo: Chris Brown | Flickr

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