Many have tried and failed to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster – now Google has joined the search.
The firm has, with the help of divers and local experts, used its Street View cameras to capture parts of the Scottish loch, the reputed home of the famous cryptid.
Their images, taken both above and below the surface of the water, are available to view from today – giving armchair travelers the chance to admire the Highlands scenery – or plunge to the depths in search of Nessie.
“We were surprised by this sighting too,” said a Google spokesperson, when we pointed out a strange, lumpen object floating on the loch’s surface. “Is it a log, a bird or… the monster?!”
It sent teams to take pictures both above and below the waterline to help armchair Nessie hunters to explore the area.
Google said the development was to mark the anniversary of the release of the Surgeon’s Photograph – a 1934 hoax image claiming to show the monster in the misty waters of the lake.
A post on Google’s official blog said: “Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters.”
“Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring the legend of Nessie to life.”
It took Google around a week to take the photographs, with a diver being used to take the Street View Trekker camera under the waterline, before attaching it to a boat for the above-water shots.
Loch Ness is the largest Scottish loch by water volume, containing more fresh water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined.
Google says there are more searches for Loch Ness than the likes of Buckingham Palace.