Sunday, September 22, 2013

Other Other-worldly Creatures

I think I mentioned, many, many posts ago, that ghosts are not the only thing that pull my interest. I'm interested in all manner of strange things including the type of stories that fall under cryptozoology, or, as my non-believer friends put it, nonsense.

To that end, though, I will watch Destination Truth, MonsterQuest, and River Monsters. When I'm really lucky, I'll stumble across a cryptozoology piece being presented on the Smithsonian or History Channel. That's like hitting the jackpot for me. And it happened just last week.

Did anyone else see the hour-long show devoted to mermaids??? I'm still slightly freaked out about it, and also slightly jazzed. Because I LOVE this stuff.

The show featured footage and photographs, some of them obvious hoaxes, and others clearly inexplicable. The guest on the show was a former marine biologist for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) who had apparently come across the body of a being that could only be called a mermaid while working off the coast of South Africa. Although these half-human, half-fish beings are usually depicted in stories and movies as beautiful females with long, flowing hair and very comely features, the mermaids being discussed on this show had very little to do with the customary image, other than the tails. (And whoever dreamed up Abe Sapien for Hellboy must have seen some of this!)

If you are curious about seeing a creature that looks half alien, half fish, and makes underwater sounds that are even eerier than whale song, you might want to go to YouTube and look up things like "Mermaids The Body Found" or "Mermaids Cell Phone Video." The footage on these beings not only startled me, they still pop into mind even a week later, they're so strange.

And also glorious. For all the nonbelievers who refuse to admit even the possibility of other species whose existence we have not yet proven (mermaids, the yeti, the big black dog of England, etc), I can't help feeling that refusing to keep an open mind in this direction somehow makes the world a smaller and less wondrous place. And it also brings to mind that patent office administrator who announced back at the dawn of the twentieth century that patents were no longer needed because everything had already been invented.


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