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Urban legend believers now going after Loch Ness Monster, and local authorities are worried
Breaking into Area 51 on Sep. 20 is yesterday's news. Facebook has a new urban legend to debunk in the form of storming the Scottish Highlands for a glimpse of the fabled plesiosaur-like cryptid known as the "Loch Ness Monster." So far, more than 25,000 people have RSVP'd to the "Storm Loch Ness, Nessie can’t hide from us all" event (set for Sep. 21), with almost 50,000 marking themselves down as "Interested."
While many of us have enjoyed the funny memes that came along with the Area 51 stuff, the Loch Ness affair actually has local Scottish authorities a bit worried, the BBC reports. They're not fretting over the safety of the creature — which may or may not exist — but for the well-being of humans who plan on attending the event. In fact, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (a Coast Guard-esque volunteer organization based in the U.K.) issued an official warning to hopeful "Nessie" hunters about the dangerously deep waters of Loch Ness. If hundreds or even thousands of people actually do show up, the RNLI doesn't have enough volunteers to watch out for large crowds.
"With no U.S. Army involved, Loch Ness looks a little less hazardous than storming Area 51, but here we have our own set of problems," said a spokeswoman in a statement, via the BBC. "Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat has an impressive survivor-carrying capacity, but even that will be stretched by the 'attendees' of this event."
If you do plan on going, however, you should be aware that the depths of the loch's depths can reach a height larger than two Big Bens stacked on top of each other. (No wonder the monster's never been found, she's got ample hiding room!) Furthermore, temperatures in the water usually average 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius). And should you fall in, it won't be a matter of just floating around like you would in the ocean; since the loch contains freshwater, it is less buoyant, which means it'll be harder to keep your head above the surface in the event of finding yourself in the freezing cold, and perhaps dino-inhabited, water.
Like Area 51, the Loch Ness Monster (and other long-necked water beasts like her) has captivated pop culture for decades, popping up in everything from The X-Files to 2007's Water Horse: Legend of the Deep. Depending on the depiction, Nessie is either a benevolent animal leftover from primordial times or a bloodthirsty beast that drags unassuming victims to a watery grave.