Ok, unless something really interesting comes up, I am now just going to list ALL of the dinosaurs that people claim to have seen in the Congo. Why? Because there are too many of them and almost all of them have the same origin. “The native pygmies say they have Creature X. Experts decide they are going to tramp around in the jungle to find it. Experts leave with nothing but a fun story at best, and part of their crew dead at worst.”
What do we have so far?
- The Duah/Ropen/Kongamato – A pterosaur like creature. Most likely a flying fox fruit bat or a frigatebird. Stories also found in Papau New Guinea.
Emela-ntouka – A ceratopsian herbavor with one horn. Most likely a rhino.
- Kasai Rex – A T-Rex like creature reported to have eaten a rhino. Most likely fake because the two pictures of the creature are obvious hoaxes. (like the one to the right)
- Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu– a moss-covered stegosaur. Most likely a rhino or a hippo.
- Mokele-Mbembe – reported to be either a Diplodocus or a Water God. Most likely a hippo. Over 200yrs of research and exploration has come up with no evidence that it exists. A successfull Kickstarter was funded 2012 to go find it, but was abandoned after they had been in the Congo for two days due to poor financial planning, lack of gear, theft, and proper permits.
So, what’s left?
- Ngoubou – another ceratopsian creature, this one with SIX horns on it’s head. While planning a future expedition to look for the Mokeli-Mbembe in 2000, William Gibbons was told about the Ngoubou by the local pygmie tribe. They swore the thing was not a rhino, but that it was conveniently hard to find and there was no evidence of what it looked like.
- Nguma-monene – A large, low-to-the-ground lizard with ridges on it’s back that likes to eat hippos… Oh, you mean a nile crocodile? They have been known to take down giraffes, hippos and elephants.
- Olitiau – Another flier with a 6-12, ft wingspan, black or brown in color, prominent teeth, and likes to fly out of caves at dusk… so, a bat then. A bat like the Flying Fox or the Hammer Headed Bat.
Eight. Eight different dinosaurs that all started off as legends that the local pygmies told explorers and ALL of them can be linked to real animals native to the land. Kinda sad really. I mean, in the golden age of exploration (ending after World War II) I can totally understand why scientists would listen to the natives and trek down into the jungles. We didn’t know much about our world back then and there really was so much awesome stuff to discover. But the 1980’s, 90’s, kickstarter funded research in the 2000’s w/out the use of an actual scientist on the team? What are people thinking?! Of course, I know what they are thinking. They are thinking that they are going to make a discovery that will either make them rich and famous, or fly in the face of all those people who don’t believe them. It’s ego that drives these people, not a quest for knowledge… and honestly, it makes me a little sad.
Muhuru – possibly a “cousin” to the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu, the Muhuru is a Stegosaurus or an Ankylosaur that reportedly lives in the jungles of Kenya. Though there are descriptions of this thing having an armored back and a clubbed tail, I can find no sources referencing explorers or scientists who have gone in search of it, let alone find actual evidence. My guess is that it is another native legend and nothing more.
Sirrush – Or Mushussu (meaning splended serpent) is the mythical creature depicted on the Ishtar Gate of the ancient city of Babylon. It has eagle claws, lion legs, and a dragon’s scaly body along with horns and a snake tongue.
So why is it on this list if it is mythical? In 1902 archaeologist Robert Koldewey (who discovered the gate) insisted that the Sirrush was real because the other animals depicted on the gate (lion, aurochs) were real. It took him till 1918 to decide what the creature was, an Iguanodon, because he thought the feet matched. Considering an Iguanodon is a biped while the Sirrush walks on all fours, I think it’s safe to say that he was wrong with his conclusion.
BUT, humans can be stubborn when they hit upon an idea and rather than just admit that it is a creature of legend, contemporary cryptozoologists have hypothosized that it could actually be the Mokele-Mbembe, the Diplodocus that people have been searching for in the jungles of the Congo for over 200yrs. They can’t admit that centuries have been spent searching for a creature that doesn’t exist. They have to EXPAND the legend into other cultures in order to fill the ever widening gaps that logic and reason are creating in their myth.
There is no proof or evidence or any sightings of a live Sirrush. No accounts of it still being alive, and nobody claiming to have seen one or found fossils.
:sigh: Ya know. I think talking about “real dinosaurs” got me depressed. Lake monsters always seem to capture something special in people’s minds. Almost child like. The idea that there could be strange monsters swimming the depth. Their mythology gets to that same part of the brain that believes in magic. So even though there are not creatures swimming in Loch Ness, it’s fun to pretend, and to look for that telltale hump when you are on the shore.
Dinosaurs are a different story. So much science has gone into them that the very idea of Veloceraptors or a Triceretops living to modern day is absolutely ridiculous. And yet, even in 2013 there are those that believe dinosaurs still live, even in the midst of amazing amounts of proof… and it is just sad.
Backers gave $29,000 to a Congo expedition that lacked the proper funds, supplies, expertise or scientists. Religious based explorers want to say that glowing Pterosaurs live in Papa New Guinea in order to make their claim that the Flood from Noah’s Ark is true. So far, the “dino” that had the most amount of credibility was the Hodag, and it was an admitted hoax.
I think I am definitely going to do something that is more uplifting next time. Sasquatch, Thunderbird, Mothman. Something that involves a little more than just “the natives say it exists”.