ROME: An Italian geologist has claimed that sightings of Nessie in the dark waters of Loch Ness are the simply result of bubbles caused by geological forces.

Dr Luigi Piccardi believes that there is no shy and ancient monster residing in Scotland’s most famous Loch. Popular opinion is divided about whether a surviving plesiosaur lives in Loch Ness or whether the modern myth of the monster is the result of a string of elaborate hoaxes.

The geologist, from the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Florence, said that historical descriptions of the monster often include details of the earth shaking. He claims that sightings of the monster are linked to bubbles rising from the bottom of the Loch caused by seismic activity along the Great Glen fault system, which runs beneath. Although people may not associate Scotland with earthquakes, Luigi said that the fault line is ‘very large and very active’.

The geologist told Italian newspaper, La Repubblica: ‘There are various effects on the surface of the water that can be related to the activity of the fault.’

Dr Piccardi points to an old biography about Saint Columba, written by Adamnan, that says the monster appeared and disappeared when the earth shook.–DM