Look! The Loch Ness monster! Or is it?

Loch out! Hundreds of stunned tourists were duped into thinking they had seen Scotland’s famous Loch Ness monster, the television pranksters behind the stunt revealed on Tuesday.

The legendary creature, said to live in the Highland lake’s murky depths, has attracted Nessie-hunters to the shoreline for decades, eager for a glimpse of the mystery being.

About 600 people got just what they were looking for when they saw a 5m beast rise through the water.

However, Britain’s Channel Five television admitted the startling vision was actually a 200kg animatronic model named Lucy, which had roamed the loch for a fortnight.

The results were filmed for a forthcoming programme on Nessie.

The television channel said the public reaction ranged from those utterly convinced they had seen the legendary beast and those who know a fibre-glass and polyurethane rubber hoax when they see one.

“The Loch Ness monster is one of the world’s most enduring myths, and we thought it would be fascinating to see if the general public, fed on a diet of movie special effects, could still believe in Nessie,” said Five’s senior programme controller, Chris Shaw.

A Five spokesperson said: “Some people were thinking, ‘What is it?’—they couldn’t quite work it out—whereas other people thought it was the waves and some were saying they had definitely seen a green hump.

“I think it shows that people still want to believe in the myth.”

Ronald Mackenzie, who runs Royal Scot boat cruises, said some tourists were taken in.

“The first time Channel Five put the monster in the loch, even we were unaware of it, so we were pretty shocked.

“There were a lot of Americans who were impressed, some people who believed it and others who thought it was just part of the tour.”—Sapa-AFP


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