Nessie hunters convinced huge skeleton washed up on beach must be a relative

A Scots woman made discovered a huge washed up skeleton on a remote beach of South Uist and her sister took it to Twitter for answers.

Sharing the photo, which was taken by her sister and included her dog, Bonnie, Edinburgh-based Polly Burns wrote: "My sister has just moved to South Uist and has found this skeleton – anyone able to help with ID? Golden retriever provided for scale."

Theories quickly emerged about what animal could have left behind the mysterious bones could have been, with it receiving over 17,000 likes and 1,100 comments.

They ranged from the fantastic, with a cousin of Nessie or even a dinosaur being suggested, to the more mundane (and much more likely), with them being attributed to being the remains of a beached sperm whale.

Polly, who said she can't believe how quickly the post took off, explained: "I’m a marine scientist, and I suspected it was a whale but not an expert in them, so suggested to my sister I’d tweet it to see if I could find any answers through my network.

"I included my university lecturer on marine mammals Ben Wilson – but it ended up getting answers from so many more people than expected!

"I couldn’t believe how many people were seeing and engaging with it."

Responding to the post, one user joked: "OMG No! It's Nessie."

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While others added that it could be from a dinosaur or even a mysterious Kraken-like monster.

Someone else simply quipped: "IDK but it looks like the best dang day of that dog's life."

More sensible answers, such as it is the remains of a beached pilot whale were also mooted before a few locals pitched in to confirm that a sperm whale had indeed been stranded in that area last year.

Polly confirmed: "We now know it’s a sperm whale that was stranded last March. It’s great so many people are interested, it’s obviously sparked people’s imaginations!"

Speaking about the incredible photo, Polly's sister Hannah who recently moved to the island with her boyfriend Jon and their dog Bonnie, added: "We’ve only been living on the island for a few weeks and enjoying exploring.

"This was an unexpected find and a really exciting opportunity to learn about the natural history of the islands from locals."

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