Atlantic Cities examines legendary mythological creatures of our country’s metropolises, including the horned Goatman rumored to hide in Ft. Worth’s Lake Worth and the tiny red dwarf blamed for all of Detroit’s historical woes. Most of these reveal more about our collective psyche and fears rather than what is actually secretly living in our midst — although a notable exception is the mole people (lower left) living below the surface of New York, who turned out to be very real, if elusive.
Tag Archives | Monsters
Imagine if our ancestors hadn’t stumbled upon Australia, and the continent were still populated with its magically large fauna of thousands of years ago. UPI writes:
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Human hunting caused the extinction of ancient giant animals, or “megafauna,” in Australia about 40,000 years ago, scientists say. A study has put the blame for the extinction of 600-pound kangaroos and birds twice the size of modern emus on humans rather than on climate change as was once thought.
“The debate really should be over now,” John Alroy, from Macquarie University in Sydney, said. “Hunting did it, end of story.” The researchers studied fungi found in the dung of large herbivores in cores of sediment from a fossilized swamp in Queensland dating back 130,000 years.
The study shows numbers of megafauna species were stable until 40,000 years ago despite two periods of climate change, the researchers said, suggesting newly arrived humans hunted the animals to extinction.
Via Zapato Productions intradimensional, a century ago, at least one major newspaper reported on a flavor-of-the-moment theory, attributed to scientists at California’s Lick Observatory, that Mars contained a giant, sentient eye:
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An artist’s rendition of the eye of Mars. It’s not a metaphorical depiction. What you see is exactly what the theory claimed: “A vast eye, upon a flexible, transparent neck raises itself high above the surface of Mars and can watch the growth of its vegetable body upon any part of the surface.” Its “vegetable body” is a Mars-hugging super-organism of intelligent vegetable life that creeps along the cracks left in the drying Martian surface.
The Martian Eye theory was put forward as an explanation for the shifting white patches just perceptible to telescopes, which less paranoid minds ascribed to mere seasonal snow. The illustration comes from an article about this startling new theory printed in the Oct. 13, 1912, Sunday magazine section of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Wondering what creature will inherit the earth after the fall of man in 2012? Well, take a peek at our future masters. Someone tweeted this photo of a gigantic rat, supposedly caught inside a Foot Locker store in the Bronx. Similarly sized rats were spotted in Brooklyn last year (with some photographic evidence as well). Via Gothamist:
John Farrier writes on Neatorama:
Allegedly, this is a picture of a Godzilla-shaped Christmas tree that appeared in the Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall.
Within minutes, it destroyed the mall.
So, in retrospect, it was a really bad idea …
It sounds completly crazy. But it’s what a group of paleontologists are claiming — the first sentient beings on Earth to create art may not have been humans, but monstrously large, tentacled sea creatures called “kraken” who lived 200 million years ago and possibly arranged bones in geometric, decorative patterns. io9 explains further:
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For decades, paleontologists have puzzled over a fossil collection of nine Triassic icthyosaurs (Shonisaurus popularis) discovered in Nevada’s Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. Researchers initially thought that this strange grouping of 45-foot-long marine reptiles had either died en masse from a poisonous plankton bloom or had become stranded in shallow water.
But recent geological analysis of the fossil site indicates that the park was deep underwater when these shonisaurs swam the prehistoric seas. So why were their bones laid in such a bizarre pattern? A new theory suggests that a 100-foot-long cephalopod arranged these bones as a self-portrait after drowning the reptiles.
The existence of a giant, apelike monster, alternately known as Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, Sasquatch, et cetera, has long been scoffed at and dismissed as a hoax. However, an international team of scientists say the mythical beast is real and roaming the furthest reaches of Russia. Via TIME:
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Scientists and yeti enthusiasts believe there may finally be solid evidence that the apelike creature roams the vast Siberian tundra.
A team of a dozen-plus experts from as far afield as Canada and Sweden have proclaimed themselves 95% certain of the mythical animal’s existence after a daylong conference in the town of Tashtagol in the Kemerovo region, some 2,000 miles east of Moscow. In recent years, locals there have reported sightings of the yeti, also known as the abominable snowman.
The Kemerovo government announced on Oct. 10 that a two-day expedition the previous weekend to the region’s Azassky cave and Karatag peak “collected irrefutable evidence” of yetis’ existence on the wintry plateau.
Possibly the largest ever captured alive, the beast is believed to have eaten two people, weights a ton, and is estimated to be 50 years old. Apparently having never watched King Kong, villagers plan to make it the star attraction of a tourist-geared theme park. The Guardian reports:
Villagers and veteran hunters ensnared the saltwater crocodile over the weekend after a three-week hunt in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province, where terrified villagers have reported at least one deadly attack.
Elorde said he planned to make the captured crocodile “the biggest star” in an ecotourism park to be built to increase villagers’ and tourists’ awareness of the vital role the dreaded reptiles play in the ecosystem.
Can the search for monsters and mystery creatures please become a reputable branch of science? Scientific American has a report on a meeting of experts who take the matter very seriously. Maybe they can investigate my mother-in-law (*slide whistle*):
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The meeting was chaired by Henry Gee. Henry explained how the discovery of Homo floresiensis led him to take seriously the idea that “perhaps stories of other human-like creatures might be founded on grains of truth” (Gee 2004).
Dr. Michael Woodley showed how species discovery curves for large marine animals generally seem to match the numbers of undiscovered species purported to exist on the basis of circumstantial accounts. In discussing several key ‘Cadborosaurus’ and long-necked seal accounts, Michael also explained how – since most cryptozoological claims are published in the ‘grey literature’ – they escape evaluation, even when this is deserved or even required.
If cryptozoology is imagined as the investigation of ‘target’ animals whose existence is supported by circumstantial and/or anecdotal evidence (eyewitness accounts forming the bulk of such evidence), then one might argue (as I have) that cryptozoology is practised far and wide by ‘ordinary’, technically qualified biologists.