More people than ever before are reporting sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, official figures show.
Statistics released on Tuesday revealed the legendary monster was spotted by 13 people in 2018, up from 11 in 2017.
There have been a total of 1106 sightings of the mythical monster since it was first spotted by St Columba over 1000 years ago.
The first sighting of Nessie this year was back in March when American Dakota Frandsen reported seeing a large dark shape, roughly 40 feet in length, moving about in the water near to the Urquhart Castle jetty.
She said the shape seemed to purposely avoid the boat traffic but when a black speedboat passed by, it briefly surfaced showing its grey skin which resembled that of a hippopotamus.
Dakota, who was on holiday to Scotland from Idaho, claims it then started swimming towards the shore opposite the castle before finally disappearing.
Irishman Eoin O’Faodhagain took a ten-minute video from the Loch Ness webcam that appears to show a creature moving right to left in the water when there were no boats visible.
Eoin, from Co Donegal, first noticed it swimming towards Urquhart Bay but when two cruisers came down the middle of the loch from the north, it sank briefly before coming back up again, but staying lower in the water than when it first appeared.
As the cruisers got closer to the object it sank completely and never came back up.
A family from Yorkshire were staying the Highland Lodges holiday park when they managed to snap a picture appearing to show the head of an unknown creature caught in the moonlight.
It remained for a few minutes before disappearing.
A dark brown “strange looking lump” was spotted on the surface of the loch by a family from Leeds as they were driving through the area.
Revisiting a few hours later, the lump, which resembled an upturned boat, had disappeared.
Just three days, later something unexplained was seen near Urquhart Castle by ten-year-old Isla Ross.
There was no boat traffic nearby when Isla managed to snap a picture on her iPhone from the back of her parents’ car.
A local resident reported a possible sighting of Nessie around 40 feet from the shore of Dores beach.
The witness said he was no less than 100 metres away on the woodlands walk behind the beach.
Less than 24 hours later there was another two sightings on the same day.
The first took place at around 9.40am when the Locke family from Canada saw a “solid dark shape” appear close to Urquhart Castle.
The sighting lasted around one minute and was captured on camera.
Just a couple of hours later, 12-year-old Charlotte Robinson snapped what has been described as “one of the best in years” while on holiday from Leeds.
She was staying at the Loch Ness Highland Lodges at Invermoriston with her parents when she spotted something unexplained just 50ft away and took some pictures on her iphone.
Two men on holiday from England saw a dark shadow in the water near Dores Beach at around 5.30pm.
Dipak Ram and Tom Smith initially thought the shadow was just a wave but it remained persistent for around 35 seconds with water moving around.
When they zoomed in through their camera phone, they say it became clear it was a stationary object.
Just over a week later, an American Nessie hunter spotted an image on Google Earth she believes to be the real monster.
Lisa Stout, from Ohio, had just taken her daughter to school when she began the online search.
She said “I had been searching for Nessie on and off for the past few weeks, spending an hour or so a week on Google Earth as well as other places I like to visit in the app.
“I had seen some of the latest Nessie sightings and thought that I can definitely find a better image of her than that which I used for motivation to challenge myself to find her.
“I found a cluster of pictures taken by an Underwater Earth Contributor all in one area near the Loch Ness Highland Resort in Fort Augustus and noticed what I believe may be the creature known as Nessie – or at the very least what makes up for most of the accounts of Nessie sightings that residents/tourists are seeing and reporting.”
A visitor from the United States reported a sighting of a dark green object, that almost appeared black, protruding from the water, at about 4.5 feet in height and slowly moving farther from shore.
There was no boat traffic and the sighting lasted about 30 seconds.
Loch Garry and Loch Lomond
The elusive monster wasn’t only seen in Loch Ness this year with sightings also recorded in Loch Garry and Loch Lomond.
On April 13, a holidaymaker from Northampton reported being frightened after seeing a 20 foot movement in calm water.
The woman, who was in the passenger seat in a car so couldn’t take any pictures, said it looked like a crocodile’s back as it raised from the water.
The sighting only lasted a few seconds
Then on May 20 a couple on holiday from Australia reported seeing a serpent like creature in the water near the Glen Garry sign as they passed by on the road to Fort William.
Harry and Tonya said the twin humped creature was about 100m out from the shore.
They estimated that it was about 20-30 metres in length and the sighting lasted about 10 seconds.