When was the first Loch Ness Monster sighting?
The earliest recorded sighting of the aquatic monster was on 22 August 565 AD when it was written that a type of sea creature had attempted to gulp down a local farmer, before being banished back into the water by St Columba - the man responsible for introducing Christianity to Scotland.
En route to meet with a Pictish king, Columba was passing Loch Ness at the time of the attack. He is said to raised his hand, summoning the power of the Almighty and commanding the monster “go back with all speed”.
Since then, rumours have spread like wildfire about the presence of a mythical creature in the depths of the loch. Historians believe the story was married together with descriptions of Kelpies, the water horses, that were prominent in ancient Gaelic folklore.
The story of the Loch Ness Monster began to reach further afield in the 20th century.
In 1934, one photographer, London surgeon RK Wilson even managed to take a convincing photograph that seemed to show a creature with a humped back and plesiosaur-like head and neck emerge from the loch. To date, it is still the most famous photograph of Nessie ever taken.
Since then there have been between five to more than twenty sightings every single year.
In recent years, the most sightings has been 17. This particular record was made in 1996, the year that the movie Loch Ness starring Ted Danson was released.
The tally for 2017 was eight - which may not sound a lot, but not bad at all for a mythical beast!