Monster fever is sweeping Loch Nessagain after a boy of nine took a photo of a mysterious "fin" in the water.
Eager Sam Knight snapped the amazing picture during a cruise on the loch.
It shows a dark triangle shape breaking the surface in an area known as a top Nessie haunt.
And experts, who at first were divided over whether it was a wave or an animal, have credited it as an official sighting of the monster at the centre of the 1,500-year-old Highlands legend.
The sighting is the eighth this year, the highest annual total so far this century.
Sam was so keen to go monster-spotting during a family holiday in the area he even brought ropes in the hope of tying Nessie to the boat and a kit to take genetic samples.
During the cruise he took hundreds of pictures of the loch – and it was as the family studied them later the incredible "fin" shot emerged.
Mum Dr Jo Knight, a genetics expert at Lancaster University, said: "Sam is very excited.
"It appears to be a very dark shape somewhere in Urquhart Bay. It is part of the mystery."
Dr Knight said she and Sam do not think Nessie is a long-necked dinosaur, but possibly a giant eel or sturgeon.
Nessie records keeper Gary Campbell said 2107 had been a "vintage" year for sightings, with newlyweds Rebecca and Paul Stewart spotting a large fin just last month.
The most famous picture of the monster, the 1934 Surgeon's Photograph, was later exposed as a hoax.