The 'Loch Ness Monster of Iceland' has (possibly) been identified

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Dec 16, 2012, 12:07 PM EST

Scotland's infamous Loch Ness monster may (or may not) have some company. Home footage captured by Iceland farmer Hjortur Kjerulf that appears to show some type of cryptid creature writhing in a river may not be as unexplainable as conspiracy theorists had hoped.

The video, which has recently gone viral, shows what looks like a long, snake-like "creature" drifting in the Jokulsa River in Iceland.

But professional debunker Benjamin Radford with Discovery News says the alledged "monster" captured on the tape does not hold up to scrutiny—and it's definitely not a MegaSnake.

"There are a few things that it pretty much could not be, starting with what it appears to be: a snake. Snakes are exothermic; they can't regulate their body temperature and must depend on the environment to do so," he said. "That's why snakes in the wild can sometimes be seen basking in the sun early in the morning—they're trying to warm up. While some species of snakes are aquatic, they typically live in much warmer climes; the last place a snake would want be is an ice-filled stream."

Radford credited the creepy, swift motion of the "creature" to the rushing speed of the river.

"Because of the poor quality, shakiness, and brevity of the footage, it's not even clear that the would-be monster is actually moving," he said. "It seems to be heading upstream, but that could just be an illusion created by the water moving past it. It could be making progress toward the shore—or its head might be simply sitting there, more or less stationary in the water while the 'body' contorts with the current."

His professional opinion: It's probably a boring old fishing net.

"This behavior is completely consistent with an ice-caked fishing net or piece of cloth caught on an underwater branch or rock—and completely inconsistent with a living animal," he said. "With this new information it seems most likely that the video was not a hoax after all: Kjerulf happened to notice a natural, inanimate object in the water and decided to videotape it. Other people later called it a mysterious creature, elevating an interesting but natural phenomenon to a monster of Icelandic legend."

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To his credit, Kjerulf maintains that he is not perpetuating a hoax, just passing on some creepy cool footage he happened to snag out his back door.

"This is absolutely not a hoax by me, that is ridiculous," he told local media source Bylgjan Radio. "This is no joke."

Oh, well. I guess Nessie will have to keep on living the solo life.

(via MSNBC)