SEA monsters like Loch Ness really could exist, according to a University of Portsmouth expert.
But they are probably not Jurassic Park-style survivors from the dinosaur age.
Paleontologist Dr Darren Naish discussed the possibility of large undiscovered creatures in the sea at the Zoological Society of London yesterday.
Dr Naish said: ‘The huge number of “sea monster” sightings now on record can’t all be explained away as mistakes, sightings of known animals or hoaxes. At least some of the better ones probably are descriptions of encounters with real, unknown animals.
‘And, because new large marine animals continue to be discovered – various new whale and shark species have been named in recent years – the idea that such species might await discovery is, at the very least, plausible.’
Dr Naish rubbished suggestions that present-day ‘monsters’ might be survivors from the prehistoric world, as he said this would contradict scientific understanding of fossils.