The Land of Mokele-mbembe

Posted in Africa | September 7, 2010 | Comment Now

The People’s Republic of Congo, in Africa, has and is dotted with what can be best described as hot and humid areas that get dominated by streams, forests and swampy areas.

Of these several swamps, there is but one swamp which is undoubtedly the largest swamp area in the world – the Likouala Swamp. The size of this swamp is about 55,000 square miles and it is said to be larger than the whole of Florida. The Government of Africa has declared this swamp as being 80% unexplored. The scientific community of the world has given this region the status of being an entirely different planet.

In Rewind Mode:

In the year 1776, French missionaries were passing through the forests of Congo and they reportedly found huge footprints which resembled clawed prints which were around three feet in circumference. The feet were said to be spaced at around 7 feet apart from each other. This would have to mean that the animal had to be around the size of an elephant.  These were perhaps the first official reports of this huge animal that is today rumored to be residing in the swamps of Congo.

In the year 1913, a German explorer came across stories that involved the name of a certain ‘Mokele-mbembe’ which was said to be described to him in such a manner that it resembled the description of a sauropod dinosaur. Sauropods were said to be the giants among the dinosaurs and were known to average at about 70 feet or 21 meters and at the hips, they were known to stand at about 15 feet or 4.8 meters tall.

About the Mokele-mbembe:

The name Mokele-mbembe is a word from the Lingala language, and it could be used to denote a variety of things. This word is commonly used to define ‘the one who stops the flow of rivers’; but it could also mean ‘the one who eats the tops of the palm trees’. It could also translate to ‘half beast and half god’. Regardless of what it means, this name is used for this animal which is probably a species that is unknown to the outside world.

Characteristic Features:
All the people who have described the Mokele-mbembe in the past have described it as being a huge, gigantic animal possessing a lock neck and an equally long tail. It is said to have rounded shaped feet which have three claws. The only other animal which has been known to possess such characteristics was the sauropod dinosaur.

The Mokele-mbembe is said to be living in the swamps which are adjacent to the Likouala swamp regions.  It is rumored that this animal takes the lakes as a crossing path when it has to traverse from one river to the other.

The Size:
The body size of most of the specimens seen is known to be around the 16 to 32 feet range. The neck is said to be between the length of 5 feet to 10 feet and that is how long the tail will also be.

According to the Pygmies, who are the natives of this region, the Mokele-mbembe is known to survive on the Malombo plant; and since it lives only on plants, it can be categorized as an herbivore.

Summarizing the Facts:
  • There is a region in Congo wherein lies a swampy region that is larger than the entire state of Florida. This entire area/site has been declared by government officials as being 80% unexplored.
  • The pygmies, who are the natives of this region, have described this animal to be roughly around the same size of a current day elephant and they say it possesses a thin and long neck; and they call this animal the Mokele-mbembe.
  • Almost all the expeditions that have been carried out to this region have proven to be unsuccessful. People have, time and again, reported sightings of the animal; but the world is yet to see some sort of proof for this in the form of photographs or video footage.
  • Unusual footprints have been discovered in this region. The footprints are known to be around 3 feet in circumference and are known to bear claws on the tips of the toes. This footprint does not match that of any known species of the world.

Until more is known about the area, these facts will deserve more consideration. It makes us wonder sometimes, as to what great animals lay in this world of ours; a world which till date has so many mysteries that need to be unfolded.

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