BIGFOOT, NESSIE, MOTHMAN, even the dinosaur-like mokele-mbembe have become as familiar to us as wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. The difference is that the first group might still be hanging around out there somewhere.
There are many other crypto-creatures whose names might not be so familiar to you, however. And as we go through our list, you’ll notice that most of them share a trait in common: they have been reported by native tribes in remote, mostly unexplored parts of the world. This fact raises these possibilities as to the reality of their existence:
- They are merely folklore of the tribespeople.
- They are modern-day creatures known to science, but as yet unidentified.
- They are species as yet unknown to science.
- They are species known to science but thought to be extinct, such as creatures from the dinosaur era.
It’s that last possibility that whets our appetite, of course, because it certainly is feasible that a prehistoric animal could have survived in these dense, tropical areas, protected from human civilization.
The only way to find out which of these possibilities is true for any of these creatures is to mount expeditions to these isolated pockets of jungle and swamp and document evidence. Such expeditions have taken place, in some cases, but came up empty-handed. (Naturally, if they were successful, these creatures wouldn’t be listed in 5 Monsters You Never Heard Of – they’d be big news.)
If it existed at all, this swamp-dwelling monster may have only recently died out. Local tribes of the Apa Tani Valley and the Jiro Valley in northern Assam, India, claimed to have seen this large, crocodile-like monster many times over the years. They described it as measuring between 11 and 13 feet long with a long snout, four limbs, and 5-foot-long tail. Unlike a crocodile, however, the buru did not have scales, but rather was smooth with blue and white coloration. Natives testified that it would occasionally lift its head out of the water and let out a bellow that could be heard over great distances.
After many run-ins with the creature, the natives deliberately set out to destroy the creature by draining its swamp habitat. The last one may have died sometime in the early 1940s, although some natives believe it only retreated underground. An expedition sponsored by London’s Daily Mail in 1948 proved fruitless, although it came away convinced that the natives were quite sincere in their belief in its existence.
Cryptozoologist Dr. Karl Shukar, after examining all the available evidence, surmised that the buru might have been a species of giant lungfish.
Next page: Elephant killers and giant worms