July 19, 2015 11:59 am

Loch Ness monster

“Looking at all the evidence, speaking to eyewitnesses, the most likely solution is a Wels catfish,” Steve Feltham told Sky News.

Feltham doesn’t have much proof to back this up — but then again, neither do all the people claiming to have seen the mythical Loch Ness monster after all these years. What the 52-year-old British man does have, however, is proof of 24 years sacrificed to tracking down the truth.

Feltham gave up his girlfriend and his home in Britain to move closer to the Scottish loch to better investigate the sightings, according to the Scotsman.

He had good, admirable reasons: “This is an explainable phenomena,” he told the Scotsman. “There is something to be explained in Loch Ness.”

[Researchers identify an ancient Scottish sea monster maybe scarier than Nessie]

The Loch Ness monster’s existence has been bandied around for decades. But virtually every sighting of the creature — including the original, infamous 1934 “surgeon’s photo” – has turned out to be a fake.

Even this Lock Ness Monster photo:

Loch Ness monster

That photo previously fooled Feltham, who once told the Telegraph it was the best image of the monster he’d ever seen.

But as the Telegraph reported in 2013, a man by the name of George Edwards, who operates a cruise boat on the loch, staged the photo, saying the picture was “just a bit of fun.”

“He has admitted,” the Telegraph reported, “that ‘Nessie’ was nothing more than a carbon fibre hump that starred in The Truth Behind the Loch Ness Monster, a 2011 National Geographic documentary.”

[The Loch Ness monster joins Google Street View. Really.]

That brings us to the Wels catfish, a truly terrifying creature in its own right.

Known for their voracious appetites, they grow to be about 16 feet long — whiskers and all. The fish is native to Europe, but was introduced into Scottish waters by Victorians looking for sport, according to Reuters.

Posted by Sportex Italia on Sunday, July 12, 2015

So far, he’s turned up nothing.

Nothing, except for the possibility that Nessie is probably an ideal specimen of the third-largest freshwater fish in the world.

“I’m not saying the mystery’s solved,” Feltham told Sky News of his Wels catfish theory. “I’m still looking for a better explanation than that.”

[Loch Ness Monster real in biology textbook]

As for the quarter-century he spent Nessie-hunting, Feltham said was all worth it.

“I have to be honest; I just don’t think that Nessie is a prehistoric monster,” he told the Scotsman. “However the monster mystery will last forever and will continue to attract people here — monster or not.”

“I certainly don’t regret the last 24 years,” he added.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella