Meet the Storr Lochs Monster, a frightening sea monster that lived at a time when dinosaurs walked the face of the Earth. Although originally discovered in the 1966, the fossil was until now buried in a museum in Scotland, and have only recently been uncovered. Dating back to the Jurassic era, the dolphin-like creature possessed an extremely sharp mouth, complete with powerful teeth.
Measuring around 4 meters (or 13 feet) in length, the sea monster is believed to have been the member of the ichthyosaur family. The family, according to researchers, comprised of terrifying, finned predators known as sea dragons. These strange prehistoric creatures went extinct shortly before the arrival of dinosaurs, whales and dolphins. Speaking about the find, Steve Brusatte, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Geosciences, exclaimed:
It is spectacular.
Some 50 years ago, the fossil was found on a beach along the Isle of Skye in the northwestern part of Scotland. It was later handed over to the National Museum of Scotland. The 170 million-year-old fossil remains, which was embedded in a block of rock, has only recently captured the attention of scientists and evolutionists. Brusatte was reported saying:
For half a century the museum kept the fossil safe and secure, but there wasn’t the expertise to free it from the very dense rock that surrounded it, or the expertise to study it. But now we finally have that expertise… and have realized that this skeleton is the most complete fossil of a sea reptile ever found in Scotland.
The fossil has been carefully extricated from its rock casing, and will soon be on display at the Scottish museum. As explained by experts, the ichthyosaurs lived for nearly 157 million years before going extinct, possibly due to some kind of prehistoric global warming. Many of the sub-species survived even after these deep-sea monsters disappeared. Brusatte added:
People don’t realize that REAL sea monsters used to exist. They were bigger, scarier and more fascinating than the myth of Nessie. The new fossil is one of them. It actually lived in Scotland 170 million years ago!
Nessei here refers to the mythic monster that is believed to inhabit the Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The researchers are currently examining the fossil remains, in the hope of uncovering the mysteries surrounding it.