We are re-sharing this article as hundreds of people join what has been described as the biggst search for the Loch Ness Monster in more than 50 years this weekend. 

Almost 300 people have signed up to monitor a live stream from the search. 

“SOMETHING very large” has been photographed in the waters of Loch Ness by a holidaymaker – sparking speculation that it was the elusive Nessie.

John Payne, who was staying on the southern banks of Scotland’s most famous loch, said he had spotted something that “was like a huge neck” popping in and out of the waters.

He told the SWNS news agency: “I was looking out at the scenery from the window and this huge thing just appeared out of nowhere. I tried to get a picture but it was gone and then it popped up again further down the loch.

READ MORE: Scientific discovery makes Loch Ness Monster existence 'plausible'

“I took another picture and then zoomed in on my camera and waited to see if it would appear again and it did.

The National:

“It must have been something very large because we were about a mile away from the loch and I could see it clearly. You wouldn’t have been able to see a bird or anything from that far away – it had to be something large.

“It was like a huge neck. At first I thought it was a giant fin, but I know there are no dolphins or porpoises in the loch so I was thinking what the hell is this thing.

“It wasn’t like it was tied to anything, like a buoy, because it kept moving further away.”

The National:

Payne, a retail worker from Newport in Wales, was staying at Foyers Roost guest house, roughly 19 miles from Inverness, when he took the photographs.

He said he had gone down to the lochside later in the day but not spotted any movement.

Payne (below alongside one of his photos) went on: “I showed some people at the hotel and they were all really shocked. It all happened so quickly, it was only there for maybe two minutes.

“I went down to the loch later that day but I couldn’t see anything. I looked at other Nessie pictures and these do look similar to it.”

The National:

The first written mention of a monster in Loch Ness appeared in a 7th century biography of St Columba, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Those who believe in the mythical monster say she could be an animal similar to a plesiosaur – a large, long-necked marine reptile which lived between 215 million and 66 million years ago. Like the rest of the dinosaurs, these creatures have been extinct ever since.

Over the years many experts have questioned whether a plesiosaur-style creature would have been able to survive in Loch Ness’s fresh water, as the prehistoric beast lived in saltwater.

However, in July 2022, researchers at the Universities of Bath and Portsmouth, and University Hassan II in Morocco, discovered small plesiosaur fossils in a 100m-year-old freshwater river system in the Sahara Desert.