Apple maps photo tricks Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts

Apple maps

Spoiler alert! We did not find the Loch Ness Monster. A photo of what looked like the Loch Ness Monster went viral after the Daily Mail reported a possible sighting.

According to the Daily Mail, two men spotted the image on Apple maps -- Andrew Dixon and Peter Thain. Dixon says he was looking at satellite pictures of his town, Darlington, England, when he saw the strange image.

"It was a total fluke that I found it. I was looking at satellite images of my town and then just thought I'd have a look at Loch Ness," Dixon told the Daily Mail.

The two men forwarded the image to the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, which has been analyzing the images for months. To date, there has been no definitive call that the photo is of the elusive monster.

Several people are debunking the photo. The most popular theory is that the alleged monster is a boat.

The Daily Dot suggests that Apple blurred out personally identifying information, causing the boat to keeps its shape but lose details that would make it obvious that it is a boat.

A commenter on the blog Sploid found a boat on Google Maps with a similar wave pattern. Another commenter posted an altered version of the boat -- revealing a similar image.

Google maps

The Daily Dot pointed to a blog called Southern Fried Science for an explanation. The blog says satellite images aren't taken in real time, and are a series of pictures that are stitched together -- much like a panoramic picture.

Some Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts are still hopeful that this is a sign that the elusive beast actually exists. Blogger and monster hunter Mikko Takala, who runs the Officially Original Loch Ness Monster blog, still believes the photo is of a creature swimming below the surface.