Loch Ness Monster* Found in Legendary Scottish Lake (*Not the Actual One)

After decades of speculation and searching, a team of researchers have finally found Scotland’s legendary Loch Ness monster, the BBC reports. Well, kind of.

An underwater robot recently discovered a 30-foot model of the legendary lake beast that was once used in the 1970 Billy Wilder movie The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. The prop sank during filming in 1969, allegedly because its buoyant humps were removed at the behest of the director.

For nearly 50 years, the fake monster sat at the bottom of Loch Ness. It was finally recovered thanks to Norwegian surveillance company Kongsberg Maritime, which teamed up with VisitScotland and Nessie-focused research group The Loch Ness Project to survey the lake’s bottom.

The expedition, dubbed "Operation Groundtruth," used an underwater robot called Munin to map the lake's depths using sonar and camera equipment. Munin ended up capturing images that matched the measurements and shape of the Nessie model near the place it originally sank.

"We have found a monster, but not the one many people might have expected,” Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Project told the BBC.

The robot made some other interesting finds. It detected a 27-foot-long shipwreck, and it also disproved a recent claim that the lake’s bottom had a "Nessie trench" large enough to conceal a massive monster.

Despite these new findings, Loch Ness's depths will always hold an allure, Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said in a statement. “No matter how state-of-the-art the equipment is, and no matter what it may reveal, there will always be a sense of mystery and the unknown around what really lies beneath Loch Ness."

That's good news for Scotland's bottom line: According to The New York Times, VisitScotland reports that Nessie is worth roughly $85 million to the country's economy.

[h/t BBC]

Banner image courtesy of Visit Scotland.

The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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