What a Loch-block.
A UK professor who hilariously proposed that Scotland’s iconic Loch Ness monster is actually a “whale’s penis” has since walked back his salacious claim.
“There are no whales whatsoever in Loch Ness,” Michael Sweet, a molecular ecologist at the University of Derby, told Live Science regarding his cryptozoological bombshell.
The researcher had first floated the controversial theory in an April 8 tweet with nearly 100,000 likes.
“Back in day, travellers/explorers would draw what they saw,” wrote the scientist. “This is where many sea monster stories come from ie. tentacled and alienesque appendages emerging from the water – giving belief to something more sinister lurking beneath….however, many cases it was just whale d – – ks.”
Accompanying photos juxtapose a classic black-and-white Nessie photo with a pic of a blue whale’s penis jutting out of the water. The images illustrate just how similar the Loch legend’s head and neck looked to a cetacean’s appendage, which is the largest in the animal kingdom, attaining a maximum length of 10 feet.
Sweet described in a subsequent tweet why blue whales like to breach penis-first. “Whales often mate in groups so while one male is busy with the female, the other male just pops his d – – k out of the water while swimming around, waiting his turn,” he mused. “Everyone’s gotta have a bit of fun, right?”
The whale of a tale made a big splash on Twitter, with one commenter wondering, “Why were the whales showing their d – – ks off to random people?”
Another wrote, “Big d – – k energy so strong it creates monsters.”
Charles Paxton, a statistical and aquatic ecologist, even posted a tweet in which he claimed to have written the research paper that Sweet was basing his Twitter tirade on. The article, which was published in the Edinburgh University Press, posited that a dreaded sea serpent “originally described by the ‘Apostle of Greenland’ Hans Egede in 1741” was actually an “unfamiliar cetacean.”
“The species seen was likely to have been a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) or one of the last remaining Atlantic grey whales (Eschrichtius robustus) either without flukes or possibly a male in a state of arousal,” read the paper’s abstract.
However, Paxton believed that Nessie was likely not a free willy, tweeting: “We never claimed (and I certainly do not believe) that many sea serpent reports came from sightings of whale penises. Only one or two.”
He added in a follow-up post that he never suggested whale phallus-flaunting as an explanation for freshwater monsters, as whales seldom enter freshwater.
Sweet has since retracted the raunchy theory.
“I used the image of Nessie just as an example of what people used to describe sea monsters looking like,” said Sweet, who firmly believes that the Scottish monster is a hoax. He added that Nessie “was a poor choice to use in this instance,” given the absence of whales in Loch Ness.
Nonetheless, the scientist maintained that “penises (from various species) were surely mistaken by tired and half-starved sailors around the world.”
In September, a British outdoorsman canoeing through Loch Ness captured drone footage that many internet tinfoil-hatters claimed was the fabled Nessie. The photographer has since chalked it up to a “trick of the light/waves.”