In a good year, the deepest point of Scotland’s Loch Ness is 226.96 meters or 744.6 ft. deep. In a good year, the average depth of Loch Ness is 132 meters or 433 ft. However, everyone should agree that 2021 is neither a good year nor an average year. Temperatures across the country are hitting record highs for the time of year, with some parts reaching 24C (75F). in addition, many locations have received less than a third of their normal monthly rainfall. Add that all up and you have the reasons why Loch Ness watchers are reporting old piers that were underwater earlier this year rising high and dry about the loch. What might this mean for the main reason why so many people come to Inverness every year?
“In 30 years of sitting here, I can’t remember ever seeing the water down this low. If it carries on this like this, we will have the Nessie mystery solved.”
Steve Feltham, the Guinness World Record holder for the longest continuous Loch Ness monster hunting vigil who has lived on the bank of the loch since 1991, is concerned, as he explained to The Scottish Sun. On his Facebook page, he estimates the loch is “about 2 inches lower than its normal low point” due to the lack of rain and the heat. That doesn’t seem like much until you look at the photos he’s posted on the page of exposed back areas and long unseen old peers. The Scottish Sun says the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) was trying to tow a disabled yacht and the lifeboat was forced to avoid the nearest landing point because it was high and dry due to water levels being the ‘lowest ever recorded’. Since the RNLI has been in business since 1824, that’s not good news for boaters.
On the other hand, is it really good news for Nessie hunters, as Steve Feltham suggests? The answer would seem to be yes and no. We’re halfway through 2021 and there’s been only seven sightings logged with the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. Gary Campbell point out on the site that “during the current lockdown, most sightings that we are posting are from the Loch Ness Webcam.” That means only a small, albeit popular, area of the loch is being watched. As the water level goes down, things that look like a monster will pop up – logs and trees in particular. The known marine creatures of the loch may be swimming deeper in cooler waters, so sightings of giant eels and fish might be down. The same could be true of Nessie, but if there are more than one – a likely case – even the deepest spot in the loch could be getting crowded. Finally, less water means less area for hunting excursions and tour boats to cover – that could make surfacings and radar pings easier to spot.
Will the mystery of the Loch Ness monster finally be solved by the current heat wave/drought/climate change? Keep watching that Loch Ness Webcam!