Though there are dozens, if not hundreds, of lake monsters around the world, one superstar marine denizen outshines them all: Nessie, the beast said to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness.
Some say it's a myth; others say it's a living dinosaur or even a sea serpent that swam into the lake before it became landlocked. Whether real or fictional, it is what Scotland is best known for around the world (aside from whiskey, bagpipes and kilts).
Some claim that the Loch Ness monster was first reported in A.D. 565, when — according to Catholic legend — St. Columba turned away a giant beast that was threatening a man in the Ness River, which flows into the lake. However tempting it is to suggest that the encounter was a true historical record of the beast's existence, it is only one of many church myths about righteous saints vanquishing Satan in the form of serpents and dragons.