Nessie watch: Fears over 'storm Loch Ness' monster hunt
The mass search for Nessie was inspired by the Storm Area 51 Facebook event.
A rescue service has issued a warning after tens of thousands of people signed up to an event to "storm Loch Ness" in search of the "monster".
More than 19,000 have said they are going - with an additional 39,000 people marking their "interest", following the creation of the event on Facebook.
The mass search for Nessie was inspired by Storm Area 51 - another Facebook event which has jokingly called for people to raid the US Air Force base in Nevada to uncover the truth behind the infamous UFO conspiracy.
However, in the wake of the Scottish hunt - scheduled to take place on September 21, Loch Ness RNLI is warning of the dangers of the deep.
In a statement, they said: "With no US Army involved, Loch Ness looks a little less hazardous than storming Area 51, but here we have our own set of problems
"Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat has an impressive survivor carrying capacity, but even that will be stretched by the 'attendees' of this event."
The spokesperson added that "jokes aside", the Loch Ness waters were actually very dangerous with swimmers at risk of "cold water shock and hypothermia".
They stated the loch was 230m deep - which is nearly two and a half times the height of Big Ben - and said conditions could deteriorate quickly with wave heights of 13ft recorded.
The rescue crew signed off their warning with "Nessie 1 - 0 Bandwagon".
Loch Ness Monster
- In Scottish folklore, the Loch Ness Monster or Nessie is said to be a creature that inhabits Loch Ness in the Highlands.
- It is often described as large in size with a long neck and one or more humps protruding from the water.
- Popular interest and belief in the creature have varied since it was brought to worldwide attention in 1933.
- Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with a few disputed photographs and sonar readings.
- The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a phenomenon without biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxes, wishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects.
Loch Ness water facts
- The Loch is 230m deep - that's nearly two and a half times the height of Big Ben.
- The water temperature is an average of 6C all-year round, meaning cold water shock and hypothermia are real dangers.
- Weather conditions and water state can deteriorate rapidly, going from flat calm to a large swell in minutes.
- There are very few areas on the shoreline where it is possible to make it up to a road.
- Waves are wind generated rather than tidal, so they behave differently to how users might expect.
- Its fresh water is less buoyant than salt, meaning more effort is required to float and swim.
- The largest official recorded wave height was 13ft, however unofficial reports have recorded 16ft.