There are only three things you need for a trip to Scotland's famous Loch Ness. First and foremost, a keen sense of adventure. Second, a super-high-powered pair of binoculars with top-quality lenses. And finally, a really crap camera that only takes fuzzy shots.
All set? You're now ready to follow in the footsteps of countless adventurers who for so many years have tirelessly searched the vast waters of the great lake in the hope of happening upon the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
But if all that sounds like too much effort, how about a Nessie adventure from the comfort of your own couch? Yes, thanks to Google's globetrotting Street View team (who else?), sofa-loafers can now explore Loch Ness at their leisure, all the while keeping an eye out for a creature that's had folks around the world arguing over its existence (or not) for hundreds of years.
"Sail across the freshwater lake and take in its haunting beauty, made darker still by the peat particles found in its waters," Street View's Sven Tresp writes in a poetic post announcing the new panoramic material. Clearly warming to his theme, Googler Sven continues: "Let the Loch unlock the spirit of your imagination, where the rippling water, tricks of the light, and drifting logs bring the legend of Nessie to life."
The imagery takes in not only the surface of the lake, but also its more mysterious murky depths (very murky, according to the photos). The underwater content was provided by the Catlin Seaview Survey, which has helped Street View on other projects, including its collection of content for Australia's Great Barrier Reef back in 2012. To grab its above-water shots, Google plunked its multi-lens camera on a boat before motoring up and down the lake a few times.
The launch of the new imagery celebrates the anniversary of the release of the famous ' Surgeon's Photograph' snapped in 1934, which appears to show Nessie poking his head out of the lake's misty waters.
If you fancy trying to track down Nessie via Street View, keep in mind that the lake is some 23 miles long, and around 800 feet deep. With that much water sloshing around, the monster will surely have had plenty of chances to steer clear of Google's prying cameras. However, look long enough and hard enough and you may well spot a mysterious creature (a fuzzy-looking one, most likely) that over the years has spawned books, movies, and TV shows, and continues to draw crowds of fascinated tourists from around the world.