Actual

We have an endearing habit, us humans, of ascribing phenomena to outlandish causes. It is our creative instincts that get the better of us, that send our minds whirling with the probable and the impossible, and have always bolstered our best innovations and philosophy. But we can get ahead of ourselves.

For instance, for a century sightings of a monster in the Scottish Loch Ness have prompted all manner of speculation; that the beast is a prehistoric holdover due to the drop in sea level, stranded by the upheavals of tectonic plates and subsisting on the small fishes that barely populate its murky water; or that it is some undocumented family of exotic megafauna native to the Northern Hemisphere; or, fancifully, that the Loch Ness monster is a mystical remnant of the fair folk, capable of bestowing luck or calamity on wayward travelers.

Actually, Nessie is an ambassador from a planet not very far away, who has outstayed her visa in a comfortable spot where she has easy access to haggis, which she loves. For all our ingenuity, it is often the simplest answer that escapes us.

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