It’s a big day in Scotland, as August 22nd marks the anniversary of the first-ever sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. That was way back in 565 A.D. — which probably means that Loch Ness had their first souvenir shop running by 566 A.D.

The slithering creature known as “Nessie” has been a real tourist boom for all of the Scottish highlands. Of course, Loch Ness is a pretty strong draw by itself being the second largest loch (what Americans would call a “lake”) in the country. In fact, with its deepest point an impressive 755 feet down, Loch Ness is Scotland’s largest loch if you measure by volume. That’s deep enough to hold more water than the combined lakes of Britain. That’s also why it’s been feasible to imagine that there’s a giant sea serpent hanging out at the bottom, even if nobody’s ever managed to get a decent picture of the thing.

Loch Ness is a beautiful place, too, although some travelers tend to be weary of it as a tourist trap. And to be honest, there’s no getting around the truth of that. But hey, we’ve been known to stop at roadside attractions from time to time so to us, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional tourist trap. Check out these pics as we salute Nessie with a look at the many trinkets and toys that have spawned in her (or his) wake. We have t-shirts, toys, and some things that are a little more unexpected — but nobody ever expects the Loch Ness Monster, now do they?

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