Ah, Nessie, Nessiteras rhombopteryx
, the Loch Ness Monster. Her mysterious allure and continuous camera shyness has led the Loch Ness Monster to inspire many other myths and urban legends of lake dwelling cryptids, as well as having legends of other lakes sneak back into her own. Many lakes around the world have had local stories about the secret monster that lives at the bottom and as the world was getting ready for the moving pictures, a lot of these separate myths consolidated into one shared stock trope about hidden lake creatures waiting to be found by open minded zoologists.
The creature is prone to travelling around the surface like an iceberg with a small section peeping out of the top, often making it cunningly indistinguishable from a log when seen by a Caledonian drunk, while its main body lies hidden beneath the bottom. Explanations often revolve around being some ancient or long lost creature found miles away from where it would be expected, locked in by changes of geography, in an ecology often far too small actually to support it unless it devoted itself to eating once a year and never breeding.
There is also often a plot that goes along with these beasts that decks the halls of SyFy
Originals. Some idiot starts the plot by becoming kelpie chow, some low paid fringe scientist, with fewer peer-reviewed papers and far better looks than any normal scientist, will go or be forced out there to investigate alongside a gruff, no-nonsense local and a wacky comedy sidekick, daring to find the truth while being threatened with ridicule and/or group buggery by the other locals.
The earliest written mention of Nessie may be in a 7th century biography of St. Columba
who saved a swimmer being pursued by a "water beast" in Loch Ness by making the sign of the cross
A number of myths also have their creatures as helpful or at least sufficiently beautiful to not want to kill, so there's also a softer side to the trope where the creature will be friendly. The myths of Nessie being a Plesiosaur helps play into that being a slightly more friendly looking form that a giant eel or floating turd.
Occassionally, the monster will turn out to have been something completely different
Is not in any way related to the name of an RPG protagonist
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- The Loch Trevor Monster in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (and later Project Cadmus-related comics).
- One of those elements used again and again and again in Disney Mouse And Duck Comics, whether in the form of an expy or the original. Carl Barks already did it, but that didn't keep everyone else from doing it, too.
- Lake Placid had a giant crocodile, which was raised by a surprisingly foul-mouthed Betty White, and was running amok eating people. As it turns out, there's actually two of them. And they had babies. At least 10.
- The 1996 film Loch Ness in which an American scientist trying to disprove the existence of the Monster, only to later disprove his own evidence when he accidentally finds it.
- The Water Horse posits that the titular creature is a dinosaur-like beast which reproduces by laying a single egg and dying, so only one is in existence at a time.
- Beyond Loch Ness is a movie about the titular creature. In Lake Superior. Yes, you read that right. The identity of the creature is revealed to be a "plesiosaur". Note the quotation marks, as it's entirely possible that this is the least realistic plesiosaur in fiction. Not only does it have the typical inaccuracies, like the swan like position of the neck and laying eggs, this one goes further. For one thing, it doesn't have flippers, it has amphibian like legs. In fact, it spends most of the movie on land. It apparently has no problem with this. Despite plesiosaurs being mainly fish eaters this one, of course, seems to have a taste for humans. To top it all off, it doesn't even look like a plesiosaur, not even the inaccurate ones!.
- Amazon Women on the Moon reveals that Nessie was also Jack the Ripper.
- Danny Dunn and his friends once went searching for a lake monster in central Africa, thinking it might be a dinosaur. It turned out to be (no, really!) a giant electric walking catfish.
- Steve Alten writes a lot of books with Sea Monsters; his novel Meg was about a Megalodon (sixty foot prehistoric shark) that makes it to the surface after surviving down in the Marinara Trench. Hilarity Ensues. His more recent novel The Loch deals with, of course, the Loch Ness Monster. In a twist however, Nessie isn't a peaceful plesiosaur but a giant eel with a taste for tourists.
- Claire encounters one in Outlander.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them explains that the Loch Ness monster is actually a shapeshifting lake monster that turns into an otter when Muggle tourists are around.
- Erasmus Darwin had an encounter with this critter in The Amazing Dr. Darwin.
- According to the Star Trek: Stargazer novels, the trope isn't just confined to Earth. The Kandilkari have "The Lake Dweller That Roars", though it's unclear as to whether it's real or not. Nol Kastiigan seems to think so, but it's not certain.
- The Redwall novel High Rhulain features the Slothunog. It's only on one page, but it makes up for it by being the most awesome page in the book.
- Anthill: A Novel by E. O. Wilson mentions one. It's probably just a myth.
- Nessie makes a brief cameo in Illuminatus!.
- In Voyage Of The Basset the sea serpent looks like this. In a variation on the "monster" bit, he's actually a good creature.
- Shady from Hometown. An odd and suspicious case, since all sightings (and attacks) report a creature far too large to survive and stay hidden in the bodies of water where the sightings took place. And yet the bodies, mauled by an unknown but appropriately-sized animal, keep turning up.
Live Action TV
- The Skarasen (a.k.a. the Loch Ness Monster) from the Doctor Who serial "Terror of the Zygons".
- The X-Files episode "Quagmire": Mulder and Scully investigate reports of a lake serpent and find a surprisingly ordinary (albiet still deadly) crocodile. This being The X-Files, however, after they've left, a The End... Or Is It? ending shows there really is a serpent in the lake.
- Truth in Television: Some of the giant fish pursued on River Monsters have a reputation for bumping boats or dragging fishermen into the water, feats often attributed to the scarier versions of this trope.
- Jeremy Wade eventually did a two-hour episode devoted to Nessie. He didn't catch her, obviously, but he explored various possibilities of the creature's identity and eventually concluded that a Greenland shark was the most likely suspect.
- In the Andy Griffith Show Reunion Movie Return to Mayberry some locals - including Earnest T. Bass - try to convince people there's a lake monster.
- On an episode of Married... with Children in which Al claims to have been visited by aliens, daughter Kelly tells him, "And by the way, the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot wanted to know if you're still on for poker at Darth Vader's house tomorrow night."
- In the first episode of ''Monster Quest, the suggestion that "Champ", or "The American Loch Ness Monster" could be a pleisiosaur is bandied about.
- The Lost Tapes episode "Monster of Monterey" contemplates that one or more Elasmosaurs (carnivorous marine reptiles of the "pleisiosaur" type) may inhabit Monterey Canyon and are responsible for many of the mysterious disappearances amongst sailors in those waters, with the ominous shadow that twice glides past the boat looking very much like the pleisiosaur silhouette.
- Nessie, of course, is the most famous of the lot. Interestingly, its fame is a fairly recent phenomenon, largely resulting from alleged sightings in the 1930s: before that, it was just another local legend like many, many, many others. Many of the "imitators" were already recorded in local folklore long before Nessie became famous.
- Canada has several, including Ogopogo (which is actually protected under provincial legislation, just in case) and its cousin Manipogo (who lives in Manitoba) and Memphré (in Quebec/Vermont, the first recorded North American monster). All of them were recorded in local legend long before the 1930s; as far back as the 1810s for Memphré.
- There are many, many, many others:
- Champ is probably the most famous North American one, dwelling in Lake Champlain. And yes, it was recorded in local folklore several decades before Nessie became an international star.
- The Storsjö Monster in Jämtland, Sweden.
- See also the Bear Lake Monster of Bear Lake, Idaho.
- The Other Wiki, as a matter of fact, has a rather impressive list of reported lake monsters from all over the world.
- Martin Ruane (1945-1998), while better known in his native England as Giant Haystacks, also competed as Loch Ness in Stampede Wrestling and was in WCW for a month, debuting in February 1996 before the SuperBrawl VI PPV as a member of the Dungeon of Doom before he left the group in March. His last appearance saw the Giant (The Big Show) defeat him at the Uncensored PPV on March 24. His run was cut short due to health problems.
- Ravenloft had an undead lake monster. One assumes it was a living lake monster at some previous point.
- The Lake Nose Monster from Phineas and Ferb.
- The entire non-human cast of The Family Ness.
- Scooby-Doo and friends have encountered the Loch Ness monster or similar lake monsters on a regular basis, but always seem surprised to learn they're fake. The direct-to-DVD movie Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster reveals the monster to be a scam but at the end (like The X-Files example above) shows a real creature in the Loch. Scooby met lake monster that was compared to Nessie in The New Scooby Doo Movies episode "Loch Ness Mess" and met Nessie again (apparently out of continuity) in the Scooby's All-Stars episode "A Highland Fling with a Monstrous Thing."
- An episode of The Simpsons was actually about Homer and Mr. Burns attempting to capture the Loch Ness Monster.
- Xiaolin Showdown: According to Dojo Kanojo Cho, the Loch Ness Monster is actually his cousin.
- According to Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc., Nessie was actually banished to the human world along with the Abominable Snowman.
- Freddie as FRO7
- In the Gargoyles episode Monsters, Golith, Angela, Eliza and Bronx help save a family of Loch Ness Monsters from Dr. Sevarius.
- An episode of Godzilla: The Series features a mother Loch Ness monster teaming up with Zilla to save her baby.
- In South Park, Chef's parents (who live in a castle in Scotland for some reason) insist that they keep having run-ins with Nessie, who keeps asking for $3.50.
- The 2011 Disney short The Ballad of Nessie tells the story of how Nessie ended up at Loch Ness after her home was paved over to build a miniature golf course. By the end of it, you'll probably want to give her a hug.
- Denver the Last Dinosaur did this in "Monster Maze", with a local bad guy trying to convince people there was a monster in the lake, the 'Lost Lake Monster'.
- Disney's Doug had Doug and Skeeter investigate the existance of the Lucky Duck Lake Monster on occasion. Said monster is a featured character in The Movie.
- An episode of Inspector Gadget centers around this, in the end it turns out to be a Mechanical Monster created by MAD.
- In "Come Back, Little Monster" on PB&J Otter when Jelly is trying to convince her friends that the really is a monster, she takes a blurry picture of Pippin (a manatee, and the supposed "monster") that bears a resemblance to typical photos of the Loch Ness Monster.
- The Gravity Falls Gobblewonker.
- Hyphalosaurus was pretty much the closest equivalent to a real Nessie: it was a long necked, completly aquatic freshwater reptile that lived in what was once a large lake in a temperate climate. Unfortunately, it lived in the early Cretaceous...though relatives might survived in Europe until the ice ages.
- Minne the Lake Creature, a (statue, sadly) monster who "lives" in the lakes around Minneapolis.
- Hippo, seal, otter and manatee sightings have all been misreported as Stock Ness Monster encounters. The first, at least, occasionally do earn the "monster" part of the title, attacking swimmers or small boats in defense of their territories or young.
- Not exactly a dinosaur, but an unidentified animal looking something like a seal-manatee cross keeps lolling around the waters of Miami, captured on film by a Gene Sowerwine. Already there have been attempts to consider it a modern variation of a Mosasaur.
- Brickly, the Lego Ness Monster who inhabits the lake at Downtown Disney outside the Lego store. While Legoland already has a pair of dragon mascots (Ollie and Allie), when they began building a Legoland in Florida, enough people asked if Brickly was going to be the mascot for Legoland Florida that they decided to make it canon-and released a special edition set just for him.
Stock and Loch don't rhyme? Well for god's sake then don't tell anyone else.