A tourist has sparked debate online over the existence of the Loch Ness Monster after finding mysterious photos from a holiday to Scotland.
Steve Challice told UK's the Daily Record he was on holiday in September last year when he said he spotted ripples in the water at Urquhart Castle.
The keen amateur photographer took photos of the water and described what he saw as a "big fish" that came to the surface and quickly went back down again.
The Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster
This shadowy something is what someone says is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. (AP PHOTO)
The Loch Ness Monster', 1933, (1938). A photograph purporting to show the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie). From These Tremendous Years 1919-1938. [Daily Express, London, 1938] Artist: Unknown. (Photo by The Print Collector/Getty Images)
FILE -This is an undated file photo of a shadowy shape that some people say is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. For hundreds of years, visitors to Scotland's Loch Ness have described seeing a monster that some believe lives in the depths. Now the legend of "Nessie" may have no place to hide. Researchers will travel there next month to take samples of the murky waters and use DNA tests to determine what species live there. (AP Photo, File)
Gerald McSorley holds up a Jurassic fossil, clearly showing four prefectly preserved vertebrae, complete with spinal cord and blood vessels, which he found on the shores of Loch Ness, at his home in Stirling in Scotland, July 16, 2003. Though experts have stressed that the find is not related to the original Loch Ness monster - the remains of the plesiosaur (a long-necked, carnivorous sea reptile) are around 150 million years old and Loch Ness did not exist until the last Ice Age around 12,000 years ago - they say the find is evidence that the 35-foot-long creature once existed in the area.
DRUMNADROCHIT, SCOTLAND - APRIL 13: John Haig an engineer moves a Munin robot, operated by Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime in Loch Ness on April 13, 2016 in Drumnadrochit, Scotland The Norwegian company Kongsberg, which has been surveying the loch came across remains of a thirty metre model of the Loch Ness Monster, from the 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, discovered down on the loch bed by the underwater robot. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Have a team of scientists discovered proof the Loch Ness Monster exists? (Picture: PA)
Loch Ness, Scotland, February 1989. Scientist Thayne Smith Lowrance using a Lowrance sonar device during an attempt to find the legendary Loch Ness Monster. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
DRUMNADROCHIT, SCOTLAND - MARCH, 1987: The sun rises over Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands near Drumnadrochit. The large freshwater loch is believed by some to be the home of the Loch Ness Monster. The ruins of the 13th century Urquhart Castle overlooks the loch. It is near this castle that the majority of Loch Ness Monster sightings have occured. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 5104602RA_Scotland01.jpg
Frank Searle a photographer who studied the disputed existence of the Loch Ness Monster. He took up residence at Loch Ness in 1969 living a frugal existence in a tent then a caravan looking for definitive proof of the monster's existence. Eventually photographs began to appear from 1972 onwards and earned Frank a degree of fame as a monster hunter, 8th May 1975. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
The Goodies Trio are Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden & Bill Oddie. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
7th July 1969: A submarine is lowered into Loch Ness to begin its search for the monster. References to a monster in Loch Ness date back to St Columba's biography of AD 565, where Adamnan describes St Columba preventing a creature in the Loch eating a Pict. More than 1,000 people claim to have seen 'Nessie' and the area is a popular tourist attraction. (Photo by Ian Tyas/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
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"It only appeared in one shot and to be honest that was something of a fluke," he told the Daily Record.
He estimates it was about 10 metres away from him and the "fish" was about 2.5 metres long.
Mr Challice said it wasn't until he was in coronavirus lockdown recently that he had time to go through his images and spotted the strange creature in his photos, so he took to Facebook group Anomalous Universe to ask members what they thought was in the water.
"Took this in Loch Ness last September but I don't know what kind of fish it is," he posted in the group along with an image of the large spotted animal rising up from the water.
The post quickly gained traction with people debating whether the photo had been edited or not.
A moderator of the Loch Ness Mystery blog, Roland Watson, was quick to asses the images and said he has been in discussion with Mr Challice since finding the pictures on Facebook.
"If this is a genuine picture of a creature in Loch Ness, it would easily rank in the top three of all time," Mr Watson said.
He added that in the Facebook discussion a few members suggested Mr Challice had used computer-generated imagery to edit the photo, an accusation he quickly shot down.
"No it's just a fish but not sure what sort. Love the idea of cgi but I'm not that good at it," Mr Challice wrote.
Mr Watson said he asked for more images that had been taken and it took Mr Challice four days before he sent photos taken just before the creature rose from the loch.
Meanwhile Mr Watson did some investigating and discovered something that "raised a big red flag".
"So I first found out more about our photographer and discovered on his LinkedIn page that he was a 3D graphical artist and he had a portfolio of images of various constructions such as the one below. To be clear, he earns a living creating CGI - computer generated images," Mr Watson wrote on his blog.
Mr Watson was still curious and asked for the original file images which he analysed, finding discrepancies of date and time stamps the images were taken and the dates Mr Challice claimed to have snapped the original photos.
The Daily Record also reported that a digital photography expert cast doubts over the images and said photoshop was likely used due to colour saturation and indistinct lining of the creature.
"I could have performed further analysis, but at this stage, there are discrepancies which need to be answered first and which currently render this photograph unusable as evidence for a large creature in Loch Ness," Mr Watson wrote.
He finished the blog by adding that although he has his doubts, he is still in contact with Mr Challice.