Have You Seen This Crocodile?:
A cold-blooded serial killer is on the loose. His
name is Gustave. He's 20 feet long (6 meters), weighs 2,000 pounds (907
kilograms), and stands accused of devouring hundreds of people. Writer Michael
McRae and photographer Bobby Model travel to war-torn Burundi to confront the
man-eater.Patrice Faye is
standing on the west bank of Burundi's Rusizi River with binoculars raised to
"Quatre metres," the 52-year-old French expatriate says nonchalantly as
he sizes up a 13-foot-long (4-meter-long) Nile crocodile basking on a sandbar 50
yards (46 meters) away. It's a wiltingly hot day at the end of the dry season in
central Africa, and the muddy Rusizi, though diminished in height and volume, is
still racing toward its rendezvous with Lake Tanganyika, a mile downstream. Faye
has been studying Burundi's crocodiles for two decades and has seen countless
individuals of this size. The bull is about 25 years old and weighs roughly 500
pounds (227 kilograms)—just average for a young adult male of the species, yet
still capable of inflicting tremendous harm on man or beast.
This croc isn't the creature that Faye is looking for, however. Like Captain
Ahab, the self-taught naturalist is preoccupied with one monster in particular:
Gustave, the largest, most fabled crocodile in all of Africa—a demonic Loch Ness
Monster of incredible proportions and, according to legend, appetite. Gustave is
reputed to have devoured hundreds of villagers, snatching them from the banks of
the Rusizi and the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Faye estimates that
the massive croc measures 20 feet (6 meters) long, weighs one ton (907
kilograms), and is 60 years old (wild crocs, on average, live to age 45).
Trained herpetologists agree that Gustave could be that large and that he is
certainly one of the most infamous man-eaters of all time. But Faye's assertion
that Gustave kills for sport—knocking off villager after villager like some
killing machine—leaves skeptics clearing their throats...
The world's mightiest forest is not the Amazon rainforest. Neither is it the jungles of the Congo.It is found far north of the tropics, a cold, verdant wilderness consisting mainly of pine and Siberian larch (the most numerous tree on the planet). The Russian Taiga is a forest of almost unbelievable dimensions stretching from the borders of northern Europe in the west across the north of mother Russia to the Bering Sea in the east. Shot through with freezing swamps, it is almost entirely uninhabited. The Taiga covers an astounding seven million square kilometres. It is in the north east of Russia that the Taiga is the wildest and most illexplored in the icy abandoned region known as Siberia.
Here winter temperatures drop so low that they can shatter steel. The brief summers are haunted by clouds of blood hungry mosquitoes that will cover any warm blooded animal. Siberia consists not only of the Taiga but endless miles of swampy tundra and mountains and plateau were no man has ever set foot.In comparison the Amazon seems about as wild and untamed as a flower bed on a roundabout in sub-urban Dorset. It comes as no surprise that such an unknown land has produced reports of monsters. Such a vast area of the planet unspoilt is bound to be home to unknown species. But the stories that emanate from the Taiga and its environs seem altogether stranger than their analogueselsewhere. DRAGONS AND SERPENTS Giant reptiles seem the last creatures you would expect to be associated with freezing Siberia. However some of the most dramatic accounts of encounters with latter day dragons have taken place here. The most celebrated case was reported in the November 21st 1964 issue of Komsomol'skaya Pravada.. Moscow University mounted an geological expedition to explore the mineral deposits of the Kular Range and the surrounding districts. The expedition lasted from June to October and was headed by A.Kharchenkov, an engineer, V.Gomoharov, a post-graduate scientist, and six others. The team heard rumours of a monster inhabiting Lake Khaiyr. The lake is not large being some 600 meters by 500 meters. It is howeverconnected via. ...
Hairy hominids, serpentine beasts, and beings even more bizarre and inexplicable have been seen around the world for centuries. Here are 10 mystifying creatures that science has yet to explain.There are creatures that lurk out there in the dark, that haunt the isolated forests of the world, that hide in the icy depths of the deepest lakes. They appear unexpectedly and inexplicably, then vanish just as mysteriously, usually leaving witnesses dumbfounded, frightened and, unfortunately in most cases, without a shred of evidence.Yet the eyewitness stories of these creatures persist, haunting the darkness as well as our imaginations. Here, for your consideration (and in noparticular order) are the top 10 most mysterious, unexplained creatures of all time.
Some are more likely to really exist than others, but we'll leave that judgment up to you.
1. Bigfoot / Sasquatch / YetiThese hairy apemen are probably the most consistently witnessed unknown creatures in the world. Whether they are called Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Skunk Ape or Yowie, they have been seen in isolated woodlands and mountain areas in virtually every corner of the globe. And the descriptions - from the North American northwest to Florida to Australia - are remarkably consistent: * taller than an average man (seven to eight feet) * covered with long brown or auburn hair (or white hair in the case of the Yeti) * a strong, repugnantodor * large feet, as evidenced by castings of footprints * an aversion to man * a piercing, eerie howlThe vast number of sightings, many by highly reliable witnesses, gives Bigfoot, in my estimation, the best likelihood of being a real creature as yet unknown to science. But what is it? A missing link? Some ancient relative of humans that somehow has survived in the wilderness? An unknown species of ape?We may find out someday soon. Sightings seem to be on the increase as mankind encroaches deeper and deeper on the wilderness. And technology may aid in the search. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization recently announced its intention to place motion-triggered digital webcams in various areas of US forest where the hairy beast has been seen. This24-hour......
Of all the mystery primates in the world, none has attracted such attention in recent years as Sumatra’s orang-pendek (the name means "short man" in the local language).Reported since the days of the Dutch colonists and subject of remarkably consistent sightings in recent years – most notably by conservationist Debbie Martyr, who claimed to have seen the orang-pendek on more than one occasion – it may turn out to be a real creature as yet unknown to science.In 2003, a CFZ expedition set out in search of orang-pendek and another cryptid reported from the Sumatran jungle – the cigau (pronounced chi-gow), a bigcat described as smaller and stockier than a tiger, with a lion-like mane, golden fur and a short tail.
We had hoped that one of the hair samples we had brought back would prove to be from either the orang-pendek or the cigau.
Thomas’s tests, though, established that the smaller grey hairs turned
out to belong, as I’d suspected, to the Malayan tapir, while the longer
brown ones were from an Asian golden cat.
The 2004 expedition aimed
to explore the "lost valley" Debbie Martyr had told us about on our
previous visit. Situated beyond the lake of Gunung Tuju, it had never
been penetrated by Western explorers. Once again, along with Dr Chris
Clarke and Jon Hare, I prepared to head into the unknown.
Godzilla Bloom & Giant Snakes
Our firstdestination was
the village of Kersik Tua, and the house of Mr Subandi – a keen
naturalist and gracious host whom we had met the previous year. Mr
Subandi had uncovered some recent orang-pendek witnesses less than an
hour’s drive away in a village called Te Uik Air Putih.
By a remarkable stroke of
luck, a specimen of the Titan arum, the world’s largest flower (below),
and one that blossoms only once every 10 years, was blooming nearby –
an unmissable opportunity.
The village backed onto an
area called "the garden", cultivated land that is used for growing
crops but which merges with the jungle seamlessly and is, in some
areas, very overgrown. Due to the garden’s more open nature, one
usually encounters more wildlife here than in the jungle proper, and
this is where the T. arum was to befound.