Theories behind legendary creatures including mermaids, bigfoot and the kraken

The mystery of the Loch Ness Monster may finally have been solved after boffins claimed the serpent-like tail of the legendary beast may have actually been a huge willy.

As we reported yesterday, the study claims that famous sightings could in fact have been of the "snake-like penis" of a baleen whale.

Researchers published in a paper in the Archives of Natural History claimed the Nessie 'neck' is really just a whale's penis.

In the past, it has been suggested the fable creature could be a giant eel or even a relative of the dinosaurs.

But what about the world's other fantastic mythical critters?

Here Daily Star reveals some possible explanations…

Mermaids

  • TikToker finds 'mermaid skeleton' washed up on the beach in eerie footage

What: Tales of creatures which are half-human, half-fish, date back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Explorer Christopher Columbus reported sighting three real ones in the Caribbean in 1493, one of many sailors to do so.

The theories: Columbus said they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted” and scientists now believe that most “mermaids” were actually unknown manatees – 13ft marine mammals with human-like faces.

Another theory is mermaids are aquatic apes that evolved to live in water millions of years ago.

Yeti

  • Ex-soldier claims Bigfoot 'with special powers' exists after pal spots ‘humanoid’

What: The Abominable Snowman is reckoned to be a shaggy ape-like species living in the Himalayan mountains.

Huge footprints have been photographed in the snow and in 2019 an Indian army unit reported finding 32-inch examples.

The theories: In 2013 research by scientists at Oxford University examined hair samples and suggested a possible genetic match to polar bear DNA from 40,000 years ago.

Other analysis suggested a link to ordinary brown bears.

Bigfoot

  • Most shocking secrets declassified by US government: 'Spy cats', brainwashing and UFOs

What: Tales of a hairy Sasquatch came from North America where a burly 10ft tall creature with 24-inch feet is said to lurk among the forests. Footage of one in California from 1967 remains unexplained.

The theories: Everything from bears walking upright to apes escaped from zoos have been suggested to explain the many sightings.

Even the FBI investigated, fruitlessly. One theory is that Bigfoot is a surviving example of giant ape species Gigantopithecus.

Kraken

  • Giant squid feasts on prey 2,500 feet underwater in chilling first-ever footage

What: Stories of giant tentacled sea monsters attacking boats have been told as far back as the old Norse sagas.

In the 1960s two British soldiers rowing across the Atlantic reported being nearly rammed by a 35ft beast they couldn’t explain.

The theories: It’s now thought that most of the historical sightings originated in a species of giant squid.

The existence of the creature was not proven until the 1870s and was only recently filmed in the wild. The largest recorded measured 43ft.

Beast of Bodmin

  • Mystery solved after ancient werewolf chalk figure appears on UK hillside

What: Known in British folklore for centuries, sightings of a fearsome feline roaming Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor soared in the 1970s with blurry snaps.

The theories: An official 1995 inquiry found no evidence of such beasts. But Dr Andrew Hemmings from the Royal Agricultural University reckons up to 500 big cats could have escaped from zoos and private collections.

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