The Loch Ness Monster and the Ominous Hole: Your Dreams Interpreted


This is the second installment of our ongoing attempts at dream interpretation. Today we take on monsters, boulders, and seemingly benign deep sea picnics: 

“I had a dream where me and some of my friends were having some kind of underwater picnic (breathing didn’t seem to be an issue) and we were really deep underwater hanging out on this rocky bed on all of these big ol’ boulders. And I don’t know what caused it, but a rock up above loosened and came bouncing down and I watched it really closely. Well, it fell down and fell right on top of this ominous looking hole at the bottom of the bed and I knew something was wrong and sure enough there’s this big ol rumbling that starts… and this huge, terrifying prehistoric loch ness fucking monster things comes flying out of that hole, dislodging the rock that fell on top of it.”

Dear Endangered Dreamer,

Can I offer you some herbal tea? Maybe a back massage? Some epsom salts? Because it sounds to me like you are encountering some undue (or maybe overdue) stress, in the form of a “prehistoric loch ness fucking monster.”

Let’s examine. At the start of your dream, you are having a picnic (good), underwater (maybe good; certainly impressive), without needing to breathe (great!) Water dreams are, in my experience, usually about powerful forces carrying or overwhelming the dreamer, but yours seems to be more about your own power. You’re deep in the water with your friends, hanging out on boulders, having the time of your life. So far so good.

  • Kay Neilsen

But then the trouble starts. You notice an ominous looking hole in the ocean floor (bad, very bad) and, above you, a rock dislodges from the watery depths. What initially seemed like a benign deep sea picnic now seems threatening. Good for you, though, ED, because you’re watching the bouncing boulders closely. Perhaps you don’t have a choice, or perhaps you somehow knew that this rockslide was imminent. The rock lodges in the hole — a temporary respite — and then the rumbling begins.

(Side note: I’m interested in this rumbling, mainly because it is a cinematic detail, and it is curious to me when dreams are cinematic. What use is foreshadowing in a dream? And yet, stress dreams are about nothing but foreshadowing — we notice a paperclip is out of place at the office and are suddenly aware of our own nakedness. Or an open door cues us that this is not just a regular house, but a NIGHTMARE HOUSE. Were they always like this? Cinema developed in close enough proximity to Freudian psychoanalysis that maybe we will never really know which came first: the cinematic chicken or the egg of the subconscious.)

What comes next in your dream is a terrifying prehistoric monster. Very, very, extremely bad, right? This is one shitshow of a picnic, ED. Rocks, monsters, the bottom of the sea....

...Except I am not so convinced. Here’s my read: I think that in the first movement of the dream, the picnic scene, things weren’t so great. You thought you were in repose, but you were actually drowning. The underwater boulders were crumbling around you. You watched closely. And then, wham!, LOCH NESS FUCKING MONSTER THING.

Don’t worry. You might be scared now, but a prehistoric monster is actually a great dream omen. It means you have some kind of unchecked power within that is ready to get out. It means that something primal is ready to free itself from the bottom of your ocean. It means that you shouldn’t try to cover up your holes with crumbling boulders.

  • Wallace Smith
Don’t try to tame that baby. Just ride it where it wants to take you. If I know my Nessy, she is probably headed for the surface. If you want guidance, you should look to fairytale-inspired early 20th century illustration; artists like Kay Neilsen and Wallace Smith. These guys were groovy with the subconscious dragons.

Happy hunting, xo, 


We here at Exhibit M are taking a stab at dream interpretation, with the help of art and anecdote. Do you wonder what your dreams are about? Send them to:

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