The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid (a legendary creature), claimed to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness, the most voluminous freshwater lake in Great Britain. The creature's "scientific" name, chosen by the late Sir Peter Scott in Nature, is Nessiteras rhombopteryx (Greek for "the wonder of Ness with the diamond shaped fin"). Scottish politician Nicholas Fairbairn soon followed this with the discovery that the letters could also say "Monster hoax by Sir Peter S".

Along with Bigfoot and the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster is one of the best-known mysteries of cryptozoology. Most scientists and other experts find current evidence supporting the creature's existence unpersuasive, and regard the occasional sightings as hoaxes or misidentification of known creatures or natural phenomena. Belief in the legend persists around the world, however. Local people, and later many around the world, have affectionately referred to the animal by the diminutive of Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: "Niseag").

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