The legendary monsters series continues with some scary stories from Africa. There are so many nations and discrete communities in Africa that the problem here was not finding the legendary stories, but whittling down the list to a manageable number.
The Inkanyamba is a huge carnivorous eel-like animal in the legends of the Zulu and Xhosa people of South Africa. The ancient legends say Inkanyambas can control the weather. They are said to have fins and/or flippers and grow to tremendous size. There are actually freshwater eels abundant in South Africa that grow to around six feet long, but that pales in comparison to the stories of the Inkanyamba.
A flying monster called Kongamato in Zambia, Angola, and Congo is described as a flying reptile we may recognize as a pterosaur. It was first described in English by explorer Frank Welland in 1932, although local legend goes back much further. This cryptid lives in rivers and swamps and has a huge wingspan, but no feathers. A similar creature goes by other names in other parts of Africa. Theories on Kongomato sightings range from bad lighting to the possibility that an unknown species may exist in inaccessible places. Of course, the image is familiar to us thanks to Hollywood.
The Impundulu or Lightning Bird is a supernatural bird from Pondo, Zulu, and Xhosa folklore. The South African bird is as big as a human and can summon lightning and storms, hence the name. The bird is sometimes a shape shifter that can appear as a human, and sometimes said to be a supernatural familiar that guards a witch or witch doctor. It will attack people and drink their blood. However, parts of the Impundulu or its eggs have medicinal powers. Image by DeviantART member Amadoodles.
The Adze is a vampire in the legends of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo. It takes the form of a firefly, but if you capture one, it will revert to human appearance. This can be dangerous in itself, because in its human form the adze may attack and eat your organs, but it can be defeated. However, in the insect form, the adze will suck your blood while you sleep and spread disease, which is a possible explanation for malarial outbreaks. Its preferred victims are young children. The victim of an adze becomes a witch who is possessed by the adze’s spirit.
5. Bili Ape
There are plenty of legends of mysterious unknown ape species in Africa. Many of these cryptids are described as something between a chimpanzee and a gorilla. A ghost ape fitting this description is called Ufiti in Malawi. In other areas it became known as the Bondo Mystery Ape, leading to speculation that there was an unknown species waiting to be discovered. Reports led researchers to believe it was a large chimpanzee species that behaved more like gorillas. Various expeditions tried to find this species in Central Africa since skulls were found near the village of Bili in 1908. In the 21st century, evidence of a large subspecies of chimpanzee was found and the apes were later observed in the Bili forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now called the Bili Ape, they are classified as a subspecies of chimp.
The Gbahali is a reptilian creature of Liberia, resembling a crocodile. It grows to 30 feet long, has a snout shorter than a croc’s, and somewhat longer legs. Although this species is not confirmed by science, it is not considered a legendary monster among Liberian hunters, but a real creature they have caught and eaten. It is possible, however, that descriptions are exaggerated. Witnesses were shown a picture of the extinct animal Postosuchus, and they recognized it as the Gbahali. Image by Nobu Tamura.
7. Ninki Nanka
Ninki Nanka is a monster that lives in the Gambia River in Gambia. It is a dragon-like creature with the body of a crocodile, the head of a horse (with horns) and a long neck like a giraffe. And it’s huge – 30 to 50 feet long! An expedition in 2006 yielded an object said to be a scale from the monster, but it turned out to be non-biological – possibly a piece of celluloid film.
The Popobawa is a fairly recent manifestation reported in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The creature is a demon who appears as a normal human by day, and a one-eyed, bat-winged monster at night. The Popobawa attacks and sodomizes both men and women in the dark of night, and is particularly vicious to those who don’t believe in him. Attacks were first reported in 1965 on the island of Pemba. Reports of attacks come every few years, with a large number in 1995 attributed to mass hysteria. Some think that the attacks of the Popobawa can be traced to “waking dreams” or “night terrors,” in which the person experiences hallucinations somewhere in between lucidity and sleep. The name Popobawa in Swahili translates to “bat wing.”
Grootslang is an Afrikaans word meaning “great snake.” The monster of that name lives in a cave called the Wonder Hole in the Richtersveld area of South Africa. The story is that the original Grootslang was found to be too powerful, so the gods subdivided the animal into two species: the elephant and the snake. However, a Grootslang or two escaped this fate and reproduced. The monster can grow up to 60 feet long. Supposedly, its cave is full of diamonds, but no one knows for sure because the Grootslang guards it well. The Grootslang pictured was featured on the Cartoon Network series The Secret Saturdays.
The Mokèlé-mbèmbé is a cryptid resembling a dinosaur from the Congo River region. The name means “one who stops the flow of rivers” referring to its size. Dozens of expeditions have sought to find this huge creature, but come back with only secondhand accounts and mysterious footprints. The 1995 1985 Disney film Baby is based on the legend of the Mokèlé-mbèmbé.
A Tikoloshe (or Tokoloshe) is an evil-spirited gremlin in Zulu mythology. A shaman may send a Tikoloshe to vex his enemies, causing anything from harmless fright to illness or death. Tikoloshes are described as short hairy humanoid figures that can render themselves invisible by swallowing a pebble – all the better to sneak up on their victims. Photograph by Toanke.
Footprints of a Sweets-Loving Bigfoot Found in North Carolina
“Mostly like candy, cookies, they love peanut brittle, chocolate, peanut butter sandwiches. They don’t like apples and bananas.”
If you’re one of those Bigfoot experts who’s been telling Bigfoot expert wannabes and wannasees to hang bags of apples from trees to attract them, meet Vicky Cook – the North Carolina woman who has not only seen Bigfoot, she has the grainy video and plaster footprint casts to prove it … and she says her Tar Heel Bigfoot neighbors prefer sweets to healthy snacks. Or is that just what she stocks in her cupboards?
“I think I’ve counted about eight different sized prints. This is a juvenile, but look at how long it is. That’s a big … big print.”
In her interview with Charlotte’s WCNC, Vicky Cook showed she’s more than just your average Bigfoot spotter by holding up plaster casts of the footprints she says she’s found in her Shelby yard since March. Shelby is a western suburb of Charlotte near the southern border with South Carolina. She also showed the reporter her dark and grainy video (watch it here) of what she claimed is at least one of the creatures that may have made one or more of the footprints.
“It went in front of my camera. we screamed we didn’t know what it was, though that thing was tall!”
That “we” indicates there’s at least one other witness (unless she’s implying that the Bigfoot screamed when it saw her scream – a great movie scene but probably not what she meant) but no one else appeared in the interview. Vicky also swears it’s not a bear she’s dealing with. Well, then … what is it?
“Sometimes I think this can’t be real.”
We know the feeling, Vicky, especially if you live in North or South Carolina. Neither one of those states made the recent Top 8 States to See Bigfoot list, despite the fact that both have many sightings. The Bigfoot 911 investigation group is in Marion, about 45 minutes north of Shelby, which also hosts the annual WNC Bigfoot Festival – the “the biggest Bigfoot Festival in eastern USA.” John Bruner is involved in both and has himself reported seeing a “large bipedal animal covered in hair” in the area in 2017. While those plus the 90+ other Bigfoot sightings in North Carolina (mostly in the Uwharrie National Forest to the east) warrants a festival and a big-city reporter visiting Shelby, does it prove Vicky has a family of Bigfoot eating her candy and cookies?
“Any scientific expert will tell you me and the ‘Squatch like the same things.”
James ‘Bobo’ Fay – Bigfoot caller and cast member of “Finding Bigfoot” – said in an interview that they eat what humans eat, including cooked foods and especially bacon. While they’re eat apples and berries, he says he puts leftover donuts out for them too.
Maybe Vicky should work out a deal with Dunkin’. Then again, maybe Bigfoot should cut out the middleperson and make its own deal.
Source: Mysterious Universe
Loch Ness monster study results ‘surprising’
Image Credit: CC 2.0 Dave Conner
Is there a monster lurking in the depths of Loch Ness ?
A recent effort to trawl Loch Ness for potential ‘monster’ DNA has reportedly yielded some interesting results.
The study, which was led by New Zealand scientist Professor Neil Gemmell, aimed to use DNA sampling techniques to find out whether there was any scientific basis for the monster legend.
Now at last, almost a year after the DNA samples were collected, Prof Gemmell and his team have almost finished the analysis and will be announcing the full results at a conference next month.
From the findings released so far, the team has managed to identify the DNA of 15 different species of fish and a whopping 3,000 species of bacteria, among other things.
Part of the study also involved investigating the validity of various monster hypotheses such as whether or not the creature could be a prehistoric reptile, a sturgeon or a giant catfish.
“Is there anything deeply mysterious ?” said Gemmell. “Hmm. It depends what you believe. Is there anything startling? There are a few things that are a bit surprising.”
“We’ve tested each one of the main monster hypotheses and three of them we can probably say aren’t right and one of them might be.”
Only You, Smokey and Bigfoot Can Prevent Forest Fires
There was a time not many years ago when Smokey Bear was on television more often that Yogi Bear, or even Yogi Berra. Smokey Bear (no ‘the’ – that was added for a song) first appeared in 1944 as part of a public service adverting campaign for the U.S. Forest Service to call attention to the danger of forest fires. Smokey’s finger-pointing “Remember… Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires“ image was an immediate hit. Seventy-five years later, we still have Smokey and unfortunately, still have forest fires and wildfires. That’s why the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) announced this week that Smokey is getting some help from another furry fire fearer – Bigfoot.
“We are introducing a well-known Pacific Northwest mystery into our wildfire prevention marketing, known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Bigfoot is a protector of the wilderness and his “home”, and we are encouraging residents to take action to prevent wildfires.”
Starting in June, OSFM will use images of Bigfoot participating in outdoor activities on social media platforms to help raise the alert levels of Oregon residents and tourists, especially those living in or visiting Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI) areas – zones of transition between wildland (unoccupied land) and human development.
“We hope our Bigfoot campaign will draw attention and create a bigger ‘footprint’ of wildfire prevention efforts around the state. We want people to believe in fire safety, whether you are camping, visiting Oregon or recreating.”
While State Fire Marshal Jim Walker had a little Bigfoot pun fun in an interview with KTVZ, the fire prevention campaign is serious business in a state with so much forest land, so many homes very close to woodlands and an ever-increasing risk of fires due to drought, water shortages and carelessness.
“We’ve created images and education materials showing Bigfoot outdoors, protecting his wilderness ‘home.’ By preventing wildfires in Bigfoot’s home, we can help residents protect their homes and our communities.”
You may have noticed that ‘Bigfoot’s home’ was not in quotes. A recent survey of the top states in the U.S. for spotting Bigfoot listed Oregon at #7, close behind its Pacific Northwest neighbors – Washington and California. Do residents believe in Bigfoot? Being associated with Smokey may help. Many people believed Smokey was real long before 1950 when the U.S. Forest Service found a five-pound, three month old American black bear cub that survived a wildfire in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico and named it Smokey. Smokey was eventually taken to the National Zoo in Washington DC where he received millions of visitors and 13,000 letters a week until he died in 1976. The plaque at his grave reads, “This is the resting place of the first living Smokey Bear … the living symbol of wildfire prevention and wildlife conservation.”
Can Smokey help Bigfoot’s popularity? Let’s hope it doesn’t take putting a baby Sasquatch in harm’s way to do it. In the meantime, watch for fire-fighting Bigfoot on social media (#BelieveInFireSafety), on T-shirts and on Oregon billboards.
And remember … only you, Smokey and Bigfoot can prevent forest fires.
Source: Mysterious Universe
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