Leader comment: Your chance to find Nessie

So, at last, there is a genuine chance that we will be able to find Nessie.

The Loch Ness Monster 10p piece is part of a series of 26 featuring British icons (Picture: PA)

Not Nessie the actual Loch Ness Monster, but Nessie the 10p piece, which has been issued by the Royal Mint as part of the Great British Coin Hunt.

Some 26 coins – one for each letter of the alphabet – have been created, featuring supposed British icons as varied as a double-decker bus, a zebra crossing, a queue, and fish and chips, with the public invited to try to collect the set.

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Loch Ness Monster '˜missing' after no sightings in 8 months

What the archaeologists of the distant future will make of our decision to put Nessie’s image on a coin is open to speculation. As they sift through the ruins of our once mighty civilisation, perhaps they will suppose we worshipped this strange beast and were ultimately laid low by our irrational belief in such mythical creatures.

In support of this theory, eminent professors from Edinburgh University’s Mars campus may point out that ‘Scotland’s national animal’ was a unicorn.

But no, the coin is just a bit of fun based on a tall tale we mostly use to sell cuddly toys and mini-breaks to tourists.