Loch Ness Tilts, but Don't Blame Nessie

Scientists say North Sea tides cause land to shift

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 3, 2012 5:05 PM CST

(Newser) – UK scientists have made a nifty, unprecedented discovery about Scotland's Loch Ness, but prepare to be a little disappointed. They found that tides from the nearby North Sea caused the land underneath the lake to shift ever so slightly, resulting in a change in depth of 0.06 inches at either end, depending on whether the tide was in or out. One professor likened it to a carpenter's bubble level, notes the BBC. "I have described Loch Ness as the largest spirit level in the world," he says.

"If you were on a boat in the middle of the loch, you certainly wouldn't notice it," adds another. "But a tide like this has never been observed in a western European lake before." The scientists used underwater pressure sensors at various spots in the lake to get the astonishing accuracy, explains Discovery. The hope is that the method can be used at other lakes to shed more light on how oceans affect the Earth's crust. (The study, here, fails to mention the elephant in the room, but a Fark headline suspects that the lake level changes because Nessie is getting out to towel off.)

The undated file photo shows Scotland's Loch Ness.
The undated file photo shows Scotland's Loch Ness.   (AP Photo)
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