The evidence uncovered and collected thus far (namely nothing at all) and pure common sense tells us that there is no Loch Ness monster.

Had some prehistoric creature somehow avoided the mass extinction process science boffins believe was sparked by a massive meteor impact then it is highly unlikely it managed to stay unseen, yet continue to breed and splash about to gather air, for 40 million or so years.

But I think in the back of many peoples' minds there is that small doorway of hope which is always slightly ajar, despite the best efforts of common sense and hard facts to keep it closed.

A faint hope that maybe, just maybe, there is something prehistoric still alive and thriving there in the dark and cold waters of Loch Ness.

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We all love a good mystery ... especially ones that may weigh about 25 tonnes and leave mysterious wakes across an otherwise still watery landscape.

It's a "what if?" thing, and it has to be said that just because one has not been captured and placed in some great tank for people to pay to see doesn't mean they ain't out there.

Because after many millions of years the Lochnessosaur would have finally been confronted by the human race and would have realised that it is a more dangerous long-term option to share the planet with than an impacting meteorite.

So accordingly, they lay low.

Very low.

Basically stay on the bottom and come up for air very, very briefly.

Back in the '70s I spent a day at Fort William which is on the shore of Loch Ness. It was a little village which had adopted something iconic.

Sort of like how Napier adopted Art Deco.

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Lots of Loch Ness postcards and memorabilia and nods to it all over town.

That's the way I remember Fort William.

Monster postcards, monster mugs, monster scarves and T-shirts.

One the local pubs even had some strange dark beer dubbed Prehistoric Ale.

You could order a Monsterburger to go with it.

What a marketing gold mine, and all revolving around something no one had ever been able to prove, without a doubt, that actually existed.

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Ditto I daresay for the Sasquatch, or bigfoot.

Crikey, they've even made a daft and sensationalised television Hunting Bigfoot television series. There are small towns and service areas spread along the remote rural lands of upper Washington state which have bigfoot postcards, bigfoot mugs, bigfoot scarves ... you know how it goes.

I take such things with a cynical grain of salt but then I remind myself of what happened of the coast of South Africa only 78 years ago.

Oh, that sounds like a long time ago, but in prehistoric terms it is less than the blink of a bigfoot's eye.

Fishermen hauled their humble net in and were stunned to see what they had snared.
It was later identified (and preserved accordingly) as a beast called a coelacanth, a creature the scientific community believed had become extinct in the late cretaceous period.

Meaning 66 million years ago.

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Another one was hauled up off the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean back in October 1974.

Genuine living fossils.

Remarkable, but sadly, given they are very rare and difficult to locate in deep oceans, they have little or no commercial value.

I doubt the corner dairy on the island of Comoro has a shelf boasting coelacanth postcards, coelacanth mugs, coelacanth scarves ...

So what else may be out there?

Apart from the yeti (a cousin of bigfoot) not a lot, but in the near future there may well be.

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An American biologist has been in the country recently and one thing she discussed was the idea of one day being able to perform acts of what she called "de-extinction" ... the bringing back to life creatures such as the mammoth through DNA which remains in its dug-up ancient tusks.

Ditto then for the dodo and the Aussie thylacine dog which last walked those lands in 1936 ... not to mention our own huia.

And if that works, then the de-extinction net can be cast wider as science and biology and other things I failed to grasp at school accelerates and evolves.

To the time when the NZ Transport Authority needs to put an on-line alarm out about a brontosaurus sleeping in the southbound lane of State Highway 5.

But oh, what happy days for the Loch Ness monster as he can finally emerge and in whatever language he possesses joyously cries: "Daddy!"