Mysterious giant tracks appeared overnight on Friday (December 14) on Koh Mai Pai (Bamboo Island, just north of Phi Phi), emerging from the forest, going through the local school and then into the sea, leaving students, parents and teachers worrying that they were made by some enormous serpent.
The tracks consisted of a long line of pairs of circles, each circle 20 centimetres in diameter. Local experts estimated that the serpent that made the tracks must be at least 15 metres long.
Pannee Atwaree, a teacher at the school, said that the islanders’ fear was ratcheted up by theories that the appearance of the tracks might be an omen of the great disaster some have been predicting for next Friday (December 21) when the Mayan calendar – and possibiy the world – comes to an end.
Mrs Panee alerted Damrong Sinto, President of the Koh Panyee Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), who went to inspect the tracks, which emerged from the forested hill in front of the school, then wound through the school entrance, across the playing field, through the open ground floor of the school and out into the back, before disappearing into the waters of Phang Nga Bay.
Baan Koh Mai Pai village chief Anan Sansamuth noted that the night before they saw the trace, the sea level was very high. Around 11pm he heard some ducks quacking frantically, but though nothing of it.
He said some goats and ducks on the island had disappeared recently but villagers had thought they were eaten by a python – many years ago an eight-metre python weighing 70 kilos was caught on the island.
After surveyed the tracks, Mr Damrong ordered Mr Anan to run the island’s electricity generator all night and to prepare implements for catching or at least defending against the supposed serpent.
Mr Damrong and Koh Panyee OrBorTor officers, along with Bamboo Island civil defence volunteers, have also established a 24-hour watch until the mysterious animal is found.