A Monstrous Hoax (And Anagrams)

flipper photo

The Flipper Photo

In 1972, Sir Peter Scott, a British naturalist and a member of Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau, partook on an expedition that produced the “Flipper Photo”. The photo was allegedly an evidence that prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Scott was so convinced about it that he even suggested a scientific name for the creature — Nessiteras Rhombopteryx (the Ness wonder with a diamond fin). He even had some staunch supporters who believed his claims though they were diminishing. However, this support declined even further when Nicholas Fairbairn, a Scottish member of Parliament, discovered that the proposed name was an anagram of “monster hoax by Sir Peter S.” which was used to lampoon Scott.

This begs the question whether the picture was only a hoax in the first place but Scott insisted that it was real. Dr. Robert Rhine, the leader of the above-mentioned expedition, defended Scott by saying that the scientific name can also be anagrammed to “Yes, both pix are monsters. R.” 


Nicholas Fairbairn,”Loch Ness Monster” (Letter to the Editor), New York Times, December 19, 1975

Tim Dinsdale, Loch Ness Monster, 1976

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

8 thoughts on “A Monstrous Hoax (And Anagrams)

    1. I have studied Logic (and Mathematical Logic) so I am familiar with that usage. While I won’t use the “modern usage” of “begs the question” in formal writing, I don’t think that it’s that big of a deal to use that usage on my blog as my blog’s tone is pretty informal. I think that this usage is common enough nowadays to classify it as informal usage.


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