BBC Learning English 英语教学

Is Nessie a tourism ploy? 用尼斯湖水怪吸引游客?

1934 picture of the non-existent Loch Ness Monster

Vocabulary: conspiracy 词汇: 阴谋

It's 80 years since the Loch Ness monster was spotted for the first time. Mrs Aldie Mackay, a local hotel manageress, might have thought that her eyes had deceived her when she reported seeing a "whale-like fish" in the waters of the Scottish lake.

Or was it a fabrication? Dr Charles Paxton, a researcher from St Andrew's University, noted that many of the 1,000 eye-witness accounts of the elusive ''monster'' he's been analysing come from hotel proprietors. This raises suspicion of a conspiracy to boost tourism.

Mrs Mackay's is widely regarded as the first ''modern sighting'' of the monster in the lake. And it’s opened the floodgates.


Police inspectors, lorry drivers, clergymen and fishermen were among the people who claimed to have seen the monster. It became so famous that it got a nickname: Nessie.

Tourists and 'Nessie hunters' flocked to the area. There were traffic jams around the lake. Certainly, there was much to be gained from the legend. According to Visit Scotland, Nessie tourism brings in more than £1m to the area per year.

Marine biologist Adrian Shine, who interviewed Mrs Mackay years later, believes she was sincere. But there are plenty of people who have made a living from Nessie, including Mr Shine himself. He now runs the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition out of Mrs Mackay's old hotel.

Dr Paxton says, analysing the eye-witness accounts may tell us more about ourselves than whether or not the monster exists. He is due to publish the results of his study later this year.

As a scientist, he casts a sceptical eye on all the evidence linked to Nessie. Highly respected British surgeon, Colonel Robert Wilson, claimed he photographed the beast in 1934. It was later revealed to be a toy submarine with a sea-serpent head.

Dr Paxton says: "I suppose it is possible that people have an agenda. But I believe the vast majority of people are reporting the truth. They believe they have seen something strange.''

Some say you see what you expect. If this is true, in the land famous for whisky and Nessie, the beast will live long and prosper.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)


Copyright ©