First allegedly spotted in 1933, there’s no doubt that the long-necked sea creature said to inhabit an otherwise nondescript lake in Scotland is one of the most enduring urban legends in history. And endurance is exactly what monster hunter Steve Feltham has displayed in his hunt for the creature.
Feltham has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having embarked on the longest continuous stretch of searching for the creature long-dubbed the “Loch Ness Monster,” but also affectionately termed “Nessie” in its homeland.
Feltham made the banks of Loch Ness his home in June 1991 and has spent the last 31 years looking for irrefutable proof of Nessie’s existence.
“That's my life's work. I need to prove to myself it's real. This is something I need to get closure on,” Feltham told The Daily Record of his unrelenting hunt for evidence, a search that has made him almost as much a part of lore as the creature itself.
“A popular misconception is that my life here is in any way similar to that of a hermit, this could not be further from the truth,” Feltham said of the many tourists who seek him out in his converted mobile library-turned-home near the lake. “I meet and speak to hundreds of people every day, especially in the summer months.”
And after plesiosaur fossils (Nessie’s most likely species based on descriptions from sightings) were found in Africa, scientists now say it’s possible the ancient sea creature could have adapted to live in freshwater as well, like that found in Loch Ness – a bit of biological basis for Nessie devotees to lean on.
(Yes, the creatures are believed to have gone extinct around 66 million years ago, but what’s a few dozen millennia when the story is this good.)