Scotland's most infamous creature's mystery may have recently been solved, as a scientist described it as some kind of undiscovered sea turtle that became trapped in Loch Ness.

Professor Henry Bauer's research suggests that a turtle could have been trapped in the Loch when water levels reduced at the end of the most recent Ice Age.

That time period was around 12,000 years ago.

The US scientist worked at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and doesn't believe Nessie was a type of dinosaur.

He thinks all the sightings seem to describe turtle behavior, such as breathing air but living underwater.

Bauer is 89 and retired but had his research published in a respected scientific journal, according to the Daily Record.

The publication said creatures in Loch Ness are yet to be discovered and there could be evidence down there of a large, unknown turtle similar to ones that leave in the oceans today.

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"The most popular idea is that the Loch Ness Monster has a relationship to extinct plesiosaurs," he explained. "But this is difficult to square with the rarity of surface sightings, let alone occasional sightings on land."

"On the other hand, everything described for Loch Ness Monsters is known among the many species of living as well as thought-to-be extinct turtles such as air-breathing but spending very long periods in deep water, ventures onto land, very fast movement in water, ability to be active in very cold water and relatively long necks."

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