Could a Kiwi finally find the Loch Ness Monster?

A New Zealand scientist hunting for the world's most famous marine monster has begun his journey in Scotland.

Neil Gemmel of Otago University has visited Loch Ness to get the lay of the lake, meet the people he'll be working with and take stock of the massive task ahead on the loch.

There's something about Loch Ness - it has a real knack for tricking the eye, because people want to believe a monster lies beneath.

"The thing about these hidden animals is we want lost worlds, places we haven't been, places that conceivably they ordinary person could visit," says Naturalist Adrian Shine.

"We want there to be in nature in reality dragons."

Mr Shine is one of the world's foremost experts on Loch Ness. In the '70s, he sat underwater for hours in something resembling a massive canon ball with windows, watching and waiting for Nessie.

Having helped with countless scientific projects on the lake, he's now joining a Kiwi project.

Professor Gemmel is planning to trawl the loch for DNA - excrement, urine, dandruff, skin cells etc - and it's never been done before.

"You don't believe in Nessie as such, but is there a little bit of you - my inner child - hoping that you might find evidence," says Professor Gemmel.

"Of course, we're always excited about the prospect of discovering something new, I suspect there are new things to be found."

Nessie is the rock star of marine and the theories abound about what it is and where it came from  -some based on fact, others fantasy.

"People have written in with some quite outlandish theories - my favourite at the moment is that the Loch Ness Monster is camels in wetsuits," says Professor Gemmel.

Mystery solved.