Crocodiles are supposed to eat hippos, buffaloes and everything else that gets within range of their massive mouths, right? That’s why two recent stories about what appear to be a half-crocodile-half-hippo and a half-crocodile-half-buffalo have crocodile fans wondering if they’re half crocked themselves. Are crocodiles becoming lovers, not fighters?
A Scottish tourist named Harvey Robertson was on vacation recently on the west coast of Greece south of Albania. While on a boat in a sea cave, he was taking pictures of the water and noticed later that one of the photos showed a creature stranger than his homeland’s’ famous Loch Ness monster. Harvey and most who view the photo say it looks like a half-crocodile-half-hippo with a little dolphin thrown in. What is it?
If this combination sounds familiar, it’s close to the form of Ammit, the female demon in Egyptian mythology with the head of a crocodile and body of a hippo and a lion. No wonder she was known as the Devourer of the Dead and the Eater of Hearts. A more famous crocodile hybrid is Sobek, the Egyptian deity depicted as a human with a crocodile head and known as the god of fertility – which might explain all of these Egyptian crocodile hybrids.
However, it doesn’t explain the half-crocodile-half-buffalo found earlier this month in High Rock, Thailand. This creature also had a crocodile head and scaly skin covering the buffalo half as well. Local villagers put the creature on display as a way to bring them good luck. They may think it resembles the Hindu god Makara, which sometimes is depicted as a half-mammal-half-crocodile, or the Nuga, a half-human-half-crocodile creature that some Papua New Guineans believe they descended from.
Taking a closer look, the creature in Thailand may be a calf born with a severe skin disorder while the one in Greece could be a deformed dolphin or whale. Those are obviously the theories of people who already have good luck or don’t need to scare away the dead.