GOOD

Scientists May Have Just Unveiled The Real Loch Ness Monster

“You don’t need an advanced degree to make huge scientific discoveries”

The legend of the Loch Ness monster has fascinated us for over a thousand years, inspiring hoax photographs and monster hunting cruises on the Scottish lake that gave the creature her name. But though Nessie has fascinated generations of believers, it wasn’t until yesterday that scientists were able to shed light on her very real past—unveiling a historic discovery 50 years in the making.


When a Scottish power station worker spotted an ancient ichthyosaur fossil in 1966, there weren’t any paleontologists in the country who could study the incredible find. The bulk of its remains were trapped in hard stone, too challenging to examine, so researchers stored the tangled block of rock and bone at a museum for safekeeping.

Today, scientists at the National Museums Scotland finally have the resources to study the specimen, labeled the Storr Lochs Monster. As University of Edinburgh professor Steve Brusatte told The Washington Post about the delayed inspection, “Look, a lot of specimens are in museums for a long time before they're studied… One of the reasons I came [to Scotland] is that I thought it was really under-studied.”

With the help of modern techniques and a team of researchers, Brusatte was able to separate the Storr Lochs Monster fossil from its prison of stone.

Though it will take some time for Brusatte and his team to thoroughly study the fossil, so far they’ve deduced that the creature did not have the long neck Nessie is known for. Instead, she resembled a dolphin, had rows of sharp teeth, and lived comfortably near the top of the aquatic food chain.

If all goes according to plan, Brusatte says they could be adding a new species to the history books, telling The Washington Post, “There’s a good chance it’s a new species just because it’s from a part of the world and a place in time where very few fossils are known.”

The massive sea creature dominated its oceanic environment 170 million years ago. To give you an idea of what the world looked like back then, tyrannosaurs were just beginning to get their land legs, the first birds began taking flight, and large sea animals initiated their dominance over the smaller ones. While the Middle Jurassic Period was no doubt a lively time for evolution, few fossils from the era have yet to be found. Which is why Brusatte is excited to continue combing the Scottish coasts, hillsides, and seas for new evidence of ancient life.

And if you think the search will be left to the most advanced scientific minds, think again. “It’s all thanks to the keen eye of an amateur collector that this remarkable fossil was ever found in the first place,” Brusatte told BBC News, “which goes to show that you don’t need an advanced degree to make huge scientific discoveries.”

Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading