Two iconic monsters from ancient homelands.
Two monsters that have captured the hearts and imaginations of their country’s populations.
Two monsters more powerful than any animal or creature known to man.
The Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla.
But if they ever fought, who would win?
The Monster vs Monster genre has become increasingly popular in film, TV and comic books.
Godzilla vs King Kong was king of the box office, and a sequel is on its way.
But while Godzilla has had his share of battles on the big screen, Nessie has scarcely been challenged.
So we wanted to pit these two legends against each other to see how Nessie would contend against King of Monsters, Godzilla.
Let’s meet the challengers:
Loch Ness Monster v Godzilla
While Nessie’s height and scale has never been confirmed, our data team’s estimation based on recorded sightings puts her length at 15 to 20 feet long.
This means that Nessie pales in comparison to the size of Godzilla.
When Godzilla first debuted in 1954 he was more than 164ft tall. Since then, he has more than doubled in size with his latest cinematic outing putting him at almost staggering 400ft.
There’s no denying Godzilla is the outright winner when it comes to measuring up!
Size score: Loch Ness Monster 5, Godzilla 9
Godzilla’s powers include atomic breath, a powerful beam of radioactive energy he blasts from his mouth.
He has been unbeaten in battle against entire armies and monsters twice his size.
We don’t know for sure if Nessie has any supernatural powers but don’t count her out.
Plesiosaurs were marine creatures that had super strong jaws, strong enough to bite through shells of animals and could defend itself against other large water creatures.
If they faced off, Nessie could put up a fight especially if it was on home turf, but would she survive in a battle with Godzilla? Perhaps not.
Power score: 6 (Nessie) 10 (Godzilla).
There is no out running these monsters.
Both monsters’ visuals and abilities take inspiration from the early marine reptiles such as the Mesosaurus – one of the first creatures known to have lived in water but was able to go on land.
Godzilla can travel fast underwater and has used that ability against his enemies – including one of his biggest rivals, King Kong.
But on land, Godzilla’s size and weight works against him.
In films, Godzilla is depicted slowly trudging his way through cities.
Godzilla is not as fast on land as other monsters or prehistoric animals but then again, no other monster is as big as Godzilla.
Nessie is also able to do battle underwater and her size gives her an advantage here.
The plesiosaur was thought to be able to reach speeds of almost 6mph using its four flippers to flow through the water gracefully but with deadly intent if needed.
You see, while dinosaurs like T-rex ruled the land, plesiosaurs were thought to be the most dominating predator in the sea.
The plesiosaur was thought to act in a similar way as today’s great white sharks, using its speed and size to ambush its prey from all angles.
No evidence has emerged that the plesiosaur travelled on land, so we will never know how fast she could move on land until Nessie decides to emerge from Loch Ness.
Speed score: 7 (Nessie) 8 (Godzilla).
If Godzilla was real, he may have already been found – especially if he lived in Loch Ness. In the films, Godzilla is discovered not long after his awakening.
In his cinematic outings, Godzilla is found and attacked by all sorts of monsters and challengers.
This could be because of his size. No monster that big could stay hidden.
Thousands come from around to find proof of Nessie, but she has so far stayed hidden.
The fact that she has been able to lie undiscovered for possibly hundreds of years makes her stealthier than Godzilla.
Stealth score: 10 (Nessie) 3 (Godzilla).
But how do you even measure popularity?
Google search volumes show how much a subject or person is directly Googled on the world’s biggest search engine.
We can use this to measure who is more popular in different parts of the world.
Godzilla and Nessie are both widely searched in the US.
Our Atlantic cousins are big fans of both these monsters.
Data for the last year indicates Americans are much more consistently curious about Godzilla than Nessie. Perhaps they already know everything there is to know about Nessie and have no need to Google any further?
Godzilla is the obvious bigger box office hit. Since his debut in 1954 in the simply titled Godzilla film, the monster has appeared in 38 films.
Not only Japanese films but western remakes, TV shows and animation.
But Nessie isn’t a stranger to the big or small screen.
While having a smaller catalogue of films, Nessie is less of an action hero star as Godzilla and features in more family-friendly films and fantasy stories.
Click on the arrow to have a look through our movie timeline. How many have you seen?
Popularity score: 6 (Nessie) 7 (Godzilla).
Nessie and Godzilla are seen as more than just monsters but famous residents of their homelands which pull in massive amounts of tourism each year.
The Loch Ness Monster is the pride of the north of Scotland where she brings tourism to not only Loch Ness but the wider Highlands as well.
The intrigue and mystery around the Loch Ness Monster’s existence also brings tourists from afar with the hope of seeing the monster with their own eyes.
Godzilla is also a significant draw for Japan.
In 2015, Godzilla was named an official tourism ambassador and given official residency in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
The monster even has an official address – Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1.
He earned this achievement for bringing in tourism for Tokyo where his first film was set.
Money score: 9 (Nessie) 9 (Godzilla).
No matter their differences and similarities, these two giants have had a huge cultural impact.
Godzilla and the Loch Ness Monster are not simply monsters but symbols of tradition and are loved by adults and children alike, generation after generation.
Cultural importance score: 10 (Nessie) 10 (Godzilla)
Words by Brendan Duggan
Illustrations by Mhorvan Park
Scrollytelling and data visualisations by Lesley-Anne Kelly
SEO by Jamie Cameron