He’s alive! Google Doodle celebrates Loch Ness Monster photo

21 Apr 2015

Google’s gone all mythical on us today, celebrating the now 81-year-old photo of the Loch Ness Monster with its latest doodle, and letting us search for the beast on Street View.

Thanks to a grainy, black and white photograph taken by Colonel Robert Wilson back in 1934, we’ve had to endure bizarre rumour after bizarre rumour about a dinosaur living in a lake in Scotland.

The Daily Mail published the picture all those years ago, long before its sidepanel of snaps populated its website. So, given the paucity of celebrity news at the time, they went big on Nessie.

Why is the monster hanging around in Scotland? Well, because it’s trapped in a deep, dark loch, that’s why. And it likes tartan and shortbread. That’s what ‘sources’ told me, anyway.

Wilson eventually discredited the picture, calling it a “surgeon’s photograph”. As Time explains, more than 20 years ago the then 93-year-old Christian Spurling confessed that he had built the neck and attached it to a toy submarine.

“The toy was then photographed by a big-game hunter named Marmaduke Wetherell to spite the Daily Mail for a perceived injustice from a previous Loch Ness Monster search.”

Well now we can finally get to the crux of the matter, with today’s Google Doodle just one element of our new ‘research’.

If a moving doodle of three aliens mechanically controlling a faux dinosaur is not conclusive enough, take a look on Google Street View. It’s mainly water, some greenery and the side of Google’s boat.

“In 1934, the ‘surgeon’s photograph’ was released, claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake,” said Google.

“It’s the most iconic photo in the history of Loch Ness ­– and may be one of the most elaborate hoaxes of our age. Today, to celebrate the anniversary of its release, we’re bringing 360-degree Street View imagery of Loch Ness to Google Maps, so you can go in search of Nessie yourself.”

Loch Ness image (not real, or is it? Nope, it’s not), Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic