Loch Google Monster

Today the British newspaper «The Sun» published a snapshot from Google Earth’s satellite images showing a shape in the Loch Ness which looks like the famous monster. Is that really a plesiosaur, or just a boat with rear wakes? You can see the same image on Google Map too:

So I captured the image and enlarged it four times. Here it is:

A quick look to the picture might give the impression of a big animal, the long neck towards the lower left corner of the image, four outwards extended legs, and a big fat body. According to this interpretation, the animal is swimming from the top right corner of image to the lower left one. However there are a couple of unresolved questions. First of all, where is the tail? It should be visible in the top right corner of image, but it is missing. Well, it could be under the body in that moment… OK, it could be an answer. But what about the water around the animal? If the monster is below the surface, we should see just the waves, with no or few interactions with the white shape. On the other hand, if the animal is swimming on the surface, we should see wakes at the back and on the sides of the animal. Honestly it is quite difficult to understand how the surface interacts with the shape, because most colors belong to the same range of frequencies, that is, green and violet. So I decided to elaborate the image in false colors. I tried several models and eventually I selected one where it is easier to see the shape in contrast with the background. Here it is:

Now you can see two new details: a border around the body, and wakes… in front of the shape, assuming the front is were it should be the head of the plesiosaur. So I decided to produce other two images to better highlight those details. First, by using a threshold, I generated a black and white image that clearly shows both the body and the wakes. I marked the wakes by red segments of line. As you can see, they are compatible with a boat whose stem is in the top right corner of image. If the shape represented an animal swimming in the opposite directions, there would be no black dots and circles below the red lines, at least not so aligned.

Second, by increasing the brightness of the false colors image, I generated another image where the borders of the presumed body are well detailed.

So, the result is really compatible with the shape of a motorboat, probably a small fishing or pilot boat. On the other hand, a sailboat would have a pointed stem, not a rounded one, and the wakes on the back would be different, that is, a single straight one in the shift direction (because of helm), and two wider ones on the sides, starting from the stem, as in this image I got from Google Map showing a boat on Loch Ness some kilometer to the south of the “monster” shape, whereas inboard engines produce a thicker wake on the back, and since the stem is raised, one or more pairs of wakes from the sides.

My conclusion? Well, in my opinion the shape is representing a motor boat moving to north-east, not a monster.

Comments (2) to «Loch Google Monster»

  1. Mi fa venire in mente tutti quei siti di debunking e antibufala che parlano spesso di questo genere di argomenti. L’altro giorno infatti parlavo con un “complottista” che mi raccomandava caldamente di stare lontano da questi siti. Però io li ho guardati lo stesso e ad esempio ho seguito la diatriba sulle cause del disastro del 11 settembre. Bè, le argomentazioni dei complottisti mi sono parse sinceramente molto povere, mentre i debunker sembravano informarsi seriamente, andando a cercare fonti e prove di ciò che dicevano. Tutto questo per farti una domanda, tu che pensi di questi siti ? e che pensi (a primo acchito) quando vedi una notizia come quella di cui hai parlato in questo post ?



  2. @Alexandro Da una parte penso che sia bello che in rete ci sia spazio per tutti, anche per chi dice sciocchezze. È un segnale di democrazia. Dall’altra cerco sempre di ragionare con la mia testa e di chiedermi: ok, suona ragionevole, suona vero, ma lo è? Ricordati che la maggior parte delle teorie sono fatte di verità, non di menzogne. Il punto è che basta selezionare questa piuttosto che quella verità ed ecco che si può dimostrare qualsiasi tesi. Leggi questo mio articolo a riguardo. Ti consiglio di leggere anche questo sito. È molto educativo.

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