Loch Ness Monster lookalike found in Antarctica

We're no closer to confirming the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, but what may be its long-lost twin has been discovered on the other side of the world.

Paleontologists have found the fossilised remains of an enormous marine reptile on Antarctica's Seymour Island. It measures 11m from snout to tail, and likely weighed almost 15 tonnes when it was alive millions of years ago.

The creature is believed to be an elasmosaurus, a kind of plesiosaur that lived in what's now known as North America during the Cretaceous Era between 93 million and 70 million years ago.

Scientists say it's long-awaited proof that such creatures once swam in our oceans.

"For years it was a mystery...we didn't know if they were elasmosaurus or not," José O'Gorman of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina told National Geographic.

"They were some kind of weird plesiosaurs that nobody knew."

Other Cretaceous fossils have been found in Antarctica before, but this discovery is one of the most complete fossils ever recovered there.

The recovery of Nessie's lookalike has been three decades in the making. The huge fossil was first detected in 1989, but the expedition team didn't have the resources to dig it up.

It took three separate return trips to Antarctica in 2005, 2012 and 2017 to fully extricate, with scientists collecting 800kg of fossilised bones in the process.

A study into the fossil, funded by Argentina's National Antarctic Directorate and the Argentine Antarctic Institute, will be published in the Cretaceous Research journal in October.