Loch Ness Monster
For 1,500 years Nessie, the monster of Loch (or lake) Ness, has intrigued—and frightened—the world. In 1933, a man and a woman claimed to see a lizard-like creature 40 to 50 feet long holding an animal in its jaws cross a street and disappear into Loch Ness. Scientists have speculated that Nessie is a large ocean fish, or eel, that became stranded in the loch. However, Loch Ness is more than 700 feet deep. Little sunlight penetrates its depths, making photosynthesis difficult. Although it is 22 miles long and the largest freshwater lake in Great Britain, few plants or fish survive there. While a monster could easily lurk undetected in the murky depths, it would not find much to eat, making the matter all the more mysterious!
Monsters live in other lakes around the world, including Loch Morar, in Scotland, and the Irish Loughs of Ree and Fedda. At Norway's Lake Sudal a huge creature with a head the size of a rowboat has been reported, while a giant red sea horse with a white mane, capable of speeds up to 70 mph, lurks in Storsjö Lake in Sweden. The monster Ogopogo haunts Canada's Lake Okanagan.
The practice of preserving dead bodies occurred all over the ancient world. Egypt is perhaps best known for its mummies, but the Inca of Peru also perfected a preservation process. Preserved bodies have also been found in such diverse places as peat bogs in Denmark, the Canary Islands, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
Modern mummies have taken center stage in a number of movies as evildoers. For instance, in the 1999 film The Mummy, archeologists stumble into an ancient Egyptian tomb, causing an angry and lovesick mummy to wake up.
German for "knocking ghost," a poltergeist is a supernatural spirit that makes noise. Poltergeists move furniture, bang on walls and doors, and break things to make their presence known.
In some cases poltergeists can be quite aggressive, hurling objects through the air and striking people. Poltergeists often visit séances, and have lately been active as movie and TV villains, such as in the 1982 movie Poltergeist.
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.