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Loch Ness Monster

12 December 2017

At https://phys.org/print431945566.html … geomythology is back in the news. It is still an embryonic science we are told – and has to overcome prejudice and incredulity. It begins with a view over Mount Mazuna, a volcano in Oregon. Native Americans folk tales of its eruption go back 7000 years. Geologists Luigi Piccardi has suggested the Loch Ness monster has something to do with the unusual agitation of the lake's surface water during an earthquake. This idea derives from the Life of St Columba which notes the dragon appears at the same time as 'strong shaking' – before disappearing. The Great Glen fault runs along the axis of Loch Ness.

One can buy into this as far as historical sightings are concerned – but that doesn't account for the dragon. It is also a fact that peculiar movement of the water doesn't actually require a local earthquake but could come about as a water seiche from an EQ somewhere else in the world. These have historically been seen at Loch Lomond (during the Lisbon EQ). However, the myth may also be much older – the idea of a monster in the form of a dragon, a common mythic idea around the world. The earthquake activity may then be seen as periodically reinforcing the core myth. The dragon monster of course would have been in the sky, one might imagine, leaving a reflection in the body of water.

Piccardi also supports the idea that people in the Mediterranean region purposely built temples and oracles on geological fissures from which creeping gases might have caused those sitting or standing above the fissure might go into trance like conditions, somewhat like a shaman being induced by neurotoxic substances. Piccardi is also very interested in geomorphology in the Pacific islands where local stories of volcanic eruptions and islands disappearing and appearing are common. There are stories of giant waves, mostly ignored as fanciful by Europeans, unable to prove or disprove such folklore.

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