Home › Explore Smithsonian › Science and Nature
Share this page

The Loch Ness Monster

The Museum of Natural History frequently receives requests for information concerning the Loch Ness Monster. A recent attempt to find the monster occurred in October, 1987 when 20 cruisers methodically swept the Loch with sonar equipment bouncing sound waves from the surface down to the bottom and electronically recording any contacts. Many salmon were found, but no monster. To date, the actual existence of a monster in Loch Ness has not been proven. Even though most scientists believe the likelihood of a monster is small, they keep an open mind as scientists should and wait for concrete proof in the form of skeletal evidence or the actual capture of such a creature.

The Smithsonian has no scientist on staff directly involved in efforts to find the Loch Ness monster and has no pamphlet or brochure available for general distribution on this subject.

The following books and periodicals are a sampling of the literature on the Loch Ness monster. They can be obtained from most large libraries or may be requested through an inter-library loan.


  • Bauer, H. 1986 The Enigma of Loch Ness. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. (Excellent review of the history of the search and of the individuals involved; extensive bibliography.)
  • Bendick, J. 1976 The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster. . McGraw-Hill, New York. (kindergarten - 3rd grade)
  • Binns, R. 1985 The Loch Ness Mystery Solved. . Prometheus, Buffalo, New York.
  • Campbell, S. 1986 Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence. . Re-published, 1991, Aberdeen University Press.
  • Cornell, J. 1977 The Monster of Loch Ness. . Scholastic Book Services, New York.
  • Costello, P. 1974 In Search of Lake Monsters. . Coward McCann and Geoghegan, New York.
  • Dinsdale, T. 1973 The Story of the Loch Ness Monster. . Allan Wingate and Target, London. (elementary school grades) 1982 Loch Ness Monster. . 4th edition. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
  • Editors of Time-Life Books 1988 Mysterious Creatures. . Mysteries of the Unknown Series. Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia.
  • Encyclopedia Brittanica Inc. 1977 1978 Yearbook of Science and the Future. . " Once more into the Loch" by George Zug.
  • Gibson, J.A., and D. Heppell, eds. 1988 The Search for Nessie in the 1980's . (Proceedings of the symposium held at the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, July 25, 1987. Published as Parts 2&3 of the Centennial Volume of The Scottish Naturalist, 1988.)The Scottish Natural History Library, Foremount House, Kilbarchan, Renfreshire, PA102EZ, Scotland, U.K.
  • Holiday, F.W. 1970 The Great Orm of Loch Ness. Avon, New York.
  • Mackal, R. 1976 The Monsters of Loch Ness. Swallow Press, Inc., Chicago.
  • Meredith, D.L. 1977 Search at Loch Ness. Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., New York.
  • Michell, J. and R.J.M. Rickard 1982 Living Wonders: Mysteries and Curiosities of the Animal World. Thames and Hudson, London.
  • Newton, M. 1979 Monster, Mysteries and Man. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts.
  • Rabinovich, E. 1979 The Loch Ness Monster. Franklin Watts, New York and London. (young children)
  • Thorne, I. 1978 The Loch Ness Monster. Crestwood House, Mankato, Minnesota. (elementary school grades)


  • National Geographic, Vol. 151, No. 6, June 1977, p. 759, William Ellis, Loch Ness: the lake and the legend.
  • Nature, Vol. 258, December 11, 1975, pp. 466-468, Scott and Rines, Naming the Loch Ness monster.
  • Science, Vol. 191, No. 4222, January 9, 1976, p. 54, Nessie: what's in an anagram?
  • Science, Vol. 205, July 13, 1979, pp. 183-195, W.H. Lehn, Atmospheric refraction and lake monsters.
  • Sea Technology, Vol.18, No. 1, January 1977, pp. 35-37,49, Martin Klein, Sonar scores in Loch Ness.
  • Smithsonian, Vol. 7, No. 3, June 1976, pp. 96-105, John P. Wiley, Jr., Cameras, sonar close in on denizen of Loch Ness.


Smithsonian Information
202.633.1000 (voice)


Terms of Use | Privacy