It’s the creature explorers have spent decades searching for — just not in the flesh.
A long-lost Loch Ness monster prop that was built for a Hollywood movie in the 1960s has been found in the murky depths, researchers say.
The recognizable long curved neck and body were found about 590 feet beneath the surface by Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime using an underwater robot equipped with sonar and cameras, the company announced Wednesday.
The 98-foot prop had been built for the 1969 film “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” starring Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely. Before filming took place, however, the model sank into the abyss.
Loch Ness expert Adrian Shine runs The Loch Ness Project, which explores the famous Scottish Highlands’ body of water. He said he has no doubt about it being the missing prop.
Shine, speaking to the BBC, said the Hollywood model originally had two humps that provided buoyancy. At the order of the movie’s director, Billy Wilder, they were removed, likely leading to the monster sinking on its maiden voyage.
"We can confidently say that this is the model because of where it was found, the shape — there is the neck and no humps — and from the measurements,” he said.
In a release, researchers called the discovery “just the beginning” of their finds while scouring the mysterious water which has long held stories of a fabled creature.
"Kongsberg Maritime Ltd began surveying Loch Ness with some of the world's first multibeam sonar back in 1987,” Craig Wallace, senior subsea applications engineer at Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, said in a release.
“Over the years, the company has returned many times, bringing the latest technology to uncover the Loch's mysteries.”
Though they weren't expecting to find Nessie, he called the discovery "an unexpected bonus."