Mystery of Iceland's 'Loch Ness monster' solved
Friday, September 26, 2014, 5:59 PM -
A viral video circulating YouTube of a serpentine creature swimming in a lake has caused speculation that Lagarfljótsormur -- Iceland's version of the Loch Ness monster -- is alive and well.
The video was first released in 2012, and it has been sparking rumours ever since. There are a few versions of the clip online. In total, it's racked up more than 3 million views.
Reports of Lagarfljótsormur first surfaced in 1345. For believers, the video has served as proof that the sea monster exists.
Miisa McKeown, described by LiveScience as a "Scandinavian skeptical", decided to look into the matter.
“Being at least passingly familiar with ice and how frozen objects behave in water (I live in Finland), I couldn't help but be intrigued by this,” McKeown told Discovery News.
“The movement was the most fascinating aspect, but when I realized how quickly the water was flowing I figured that could very well cause that effect on a flexible object trapped there.”
After taking several screen captures and analyzing the photos, McKeown determined that the object in the video is stationary and the flowing water is creating the illusion in the movement.
Still E. Kjerúlf, the film's creator, has maintained that the video "is absolutely not a hoax" -- and he's likely right.
While there clearly is something in the water Discovery concludes that it's most likely an ice-caked fishing net, largely because the 'creature' stayed in one spot for a long time, something that would be inconsistent with a living animal searching for food.
"It seems most likely that the video was not a hoax after all: Kjerúlf happened to notice a natural, inanimate object in the water and decided to videotape it," Discovery writes.
"Other people later called it a mysterious creature, elevating an interesting but natural phenomenon to a monster of Icelandic legend."