Images of a strange figure in the Scottish highlands freshwater areas surfaced over the weekend, causing a bit of a stir in the media as speculation emerged of a Loch Ness Monster spotting.

q

Sure, at first it looks a little weird (Image source: Southern Fried Science)

“This shadowy form measuring around 100 feet long and seemingly with two giant flippers powering it through the waters of Loch Ness was photographed by a satellite…So large that it can be seen from space, it is enough to send shockwaves through even the most cynical Nessie sceptic,” the Daily Mail reported.

Even the Huffington Post got into the go (catch a) fish game, earning 5,000 likes on Facebook for their post.

w

(Screenshot: Huffington Post)

The Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club president Gary Campbell, the group had been looking into the picture for years, according to PC Magazine.

“We’ve been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is,” Campbell said. “It looks like a boat wake but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is.”

Alas, despite the clever journalistic quips and an image that does look a little like a giant fish of some sort, it only took internet debunkers a few hours to spot the flaws in this satellite image scare.

“No, we didn’t find the Loch Ness Monster with Apple Maps,” Southern Fried Science reported. “The accompanying image is a low-resolution satellite image of a boat wake … there’s really no deconstruction needed.”

@ 1) The Captain. 2) Nothing, that's the wake in a composite satellite image. http://t.co/3OzRvG66h6
Apple Maps Spotting Loch Ness Monster? Fishy Photo Exposed
@MickWest
Mick West
Twitter Pic from Mick West

Mick West posted this Twitter picture, which compares the “Nessie” image on the left with other boat wakes (Image source: Twitter).

These comparisons don’t help the Nessie believers either.

w

(Image source: Southern Fried Science)

Update: It’s this boat (now with excellent .gif), from a slightly earlier satellite image, showing the boat heading south from the very north end of the Loch

Southern Fried Science found another picture of the same boat in an early satellite image, heading south from the very north end of the Loch (Image source: Southern Fried Science).

The official Nessie club still isn’t convinced.

“Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie,” Campbell said.

(H/T: PC Magazine)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.