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1930s & Earlier / Loch Ness Monster Photo 1934
Although reports of a strange aquatic creature inhabiting Scotland's Loch Ness have been around since the seventh century A.D., the first purported photo of 'Nessie' did not appear until this image was published in the Daily Mail on April 21, 1934. It became known as the 'surgeon's photo' because the picture was sent to the newspaper by Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson, a gynecologist, who insisted on anonymity. Sixty years later the photo was revealed to be a hoax. The image was created with a submerged toy submarine and a head and neck sculpted of plastic wood (a material commonly used in model construction). Sculptor Christian Spurling made the creation at the request of Marmaduke Wetherell, a big-game hunter who had been mocked by the Daily Mail. Wetherell used Dr. Wilson as a go-between to get the hoax published in the newspaper.