Otago scientist on the hunt for Loch Ness monster

Long Lunch 22/05/2018
Loch Ness Monster. Photo credit: Getty.

An Otago scientist is heading off to discover if the long-fabled Loch Ness Monster is actually real, and more than just a myth.

Equipped with a special set of DNA, University of Otago Professor Neil Gemmell will use tiny environmental DNA remnants, which he calls "animal dandruff", left behind in the lake.

Prof Gemmell told Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE that special DNA detection technology has been tested in Otago harbour and has the capacity to determine what fish species were present in the water sampled.

“The idea came to me about two years ago that maybe we could use this [technology] to test one of the world’s endearing myths – which is the Loch Ness Monster,” he said.

From this scientists will be able to establish all living life in Loch Ness, and make comparisons between it and other lochs. 

However he says the project is far more than just a hunt for the infamous monster. 

Prof Gemmell predicts the team will find new species of life - particularly new bacteria.

The research will start next month.

Listen to the full interview with Neil Gemmell above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.