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Photography

Stunning Loch Ness fireball illuminates shadowy monster's home

A bright fireball tried to shine a little light on the home of the mysterious creature Sunday evening.

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Are the heavens showing us where to find Nessie? John Alasdair Macdonald/thehebrideanexplorer.com

The most famous photos ever taken on Scotland's Loch Ness tend to feature fuzzy profiles of mythic creatures, or perhaps fuzzy, creature-shaped shadows, depending on your level of skepticism. But the above photo taken Sunday around 9 p.m. GMT shows another otherworldly feature over the Scottish lake with remarkable clarity.

Local tour guide John Alasdair Macdonald, who runs thehebrideanexplorer.com, said he just happened to get lucky when he snapped the picture of a shooting star reaching fireball-level luminosity as the meteor streaked toward the ground.

"I am not a photographer really. I just take some now and again to put on Facebook," Macdonald told the Scotland edition of UK newspaper The Herald. "I thought I would nip up the loch and take some photos using my little compact camera which I just point and shoot."

The more cynical reader might note that whipping up such an image in Photoshop might be great for the professed amateur photographer's tourism business. But fireballs were reported by other skywatchers across Scotland and other parts of Europe Sunday, including the below video shot from a dashboard camera in Austria.

OR, if you're more conspiratorially minded than cynical, perhaps the aliens were attempting to lock on to Nessie with their tractor beam to finally take the monolithic monster back to her home planet. Either way, it sure seems like a sweet show.