The Museum of Hoaxes
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Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Nessie Was an Elephant
Status: Interesting theory
image Accipiter beat me to this story, posting it in the forum earlier today, but it's worth reposting here for the benefit of those who read the site via RSS (or those who don't check out the forum). Scottish paleontologist Neil Clark has come up with a new theory about Nessie's true identity. He suggests that Loch Ness's most famous resident is (or rather was) an elephant.

His theory goes like this: A number of circuses visited the Loch Ness area in the early 1930s (when Nessie mania began, as I note on my Loch Ness hoaxes page). The circuses let their elephants swim in the Loch. So perhaps some people saw these swimming elephants and mistook them for sea serpents.

It's an interesting theory, and plausible. Though it still seems a bit more likely that the rise in Nessie sightings during the 1930s had more to do with the completion of the road along the loch's north shore, and consequent rise in tourism to the area.

And let's not forget the rival theory that sea serpents are really whale penises. (Although the whale-penis theory can't explain Nessie, unless a whale got loose in the loch.)
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 07, 2006
Comments (4)
I just saw a show last night on Nessie and it was rather well done, no mention of the elephant theory though. Mostly saches, boat wakes and overactive imaginations. (and yes, the occasional hoax)
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Tue Mar 07, 2006  at  09:27 AM
Interesting, but just like Nessie, totally unverifiable.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Tue Mar 07, 2006  at  09:31 PM
"I don't know when the last circus to Inverness was, but I'm presuming there were some after 1933."

2005. They come every year. Idiot. They now more usually come up and down the A9 rather than the A82 along Loch Ness, but still.
Posted by Marge  on  Wed Mar 08, 2006  at  05:03 AM
The theory has been going for years and years- it is pretty much accepted that the photo they're talking about is of a submerged elephant's trunk. The only difference with the new theory is that the elephant was supposedly from a circus and swimming in Loch Ness. Previously experts claimed the elephant was swimming in a river in India and the person who sent the photos lied about the location.
Posted by melanie  in  UK  on  Fri Mar 10, 2006  at  07:36 AM
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