SOMEWHERE DEEP within the briny depths of Ireland’s oceans and lakes lurks secrets too outlandish to even contemplate.
Everyone knows the stories of mythical, eel-like aquatic beasts. Part sea-creature, part-amphibious reptile.
The details remain scarce, coloured only by brief sightings and snatches of accounts dating back decades if not centuries.
But the bottom line remains the same: something is lurking within those waters.
Residences of locals around Lough Fadda and Lough Nahooin in Connemara, Co Galway have often laid claim to such remarkable sights.
Described as possessing an elongated body and horse-like head, the sightings have drawn obvious comparisons with a certain Scottish legend.
Until now, such notions have remained just that though, notions.
But, according to the Irish Mirror, the residents of Carlingford Lough are claiming to have once again witnessed these majestic beasts.
And, more importantly, they have enlisted an expert to prove it.
Adrian Shine has been studying the contents of the briny deep for over 50 years. He’s dedicated his life to the discovery of the Loch Ness Monster.
But while he may have come up short in providing irrefutable proof of the legend’s existence, the eye-witness accounts of the Carlingford Lough locals have him convinced.
“I believe the witnesses that I have met who have seen these creatures sometimes with legs, sometimes without, sometimes eel like,” he told the Irish Mirror.
“I do believe that we can find them in nature and in some mist, Ireland is very misty as you know.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by this business of the horse eels a very common tradition particularly along the West Coast of Ireland where I spoke to witnesses there and it was fascinating.”
Intrigued at the potential for a close encounter of an altogether different kind, Shine accepted an offer from Lough Ferry Company to investigate the phenomenon.
“I’m semi-sceptical but I vindicated these eye witnesses instead of impugning them,” he said.
“Strange things are seen, sometimes the horse eels are seen as very big indeed and sometimes they come ashore.”
Though he has yet to lay eyes on any mythical beasts, it would appear Shine is in the right place – Carlingford Lough has a reputation for sightings of the strange and unusual – it’s been the home of several real-life leprechauns, after all.
Will Shine or any subsequent sightseer confirm the stories and make the myth a reality? Stranger things have happened.