As the title of today’s article makes it very clear, it’s all about some of the stranger – and bigger – creatures that are out there. We’ll begin with an offshoot of the Abominable Snowman. That’s right: there isn’t just one type of Yeti. Legend has it that there are three different kinds of of the monsters of the Himalayas. One of them is the Nyalmo. And, it’s huge. Bernard Heuvelmans, one of the most important figures within the field of cryptozoology said that during the course of his research into the Yeti of the Himalayas, he had learned of no less than three distinct kinds of creature that roamed the vast mountains. “This opinion,” said Heuvelmans, “was confirmed in 1957 by a Tibetan lama called Punyabayra, high priest of the monastery at Budnath, who spent four months in the high mountains and brought back the surprising but valuable information that the Tibetan mountain people knew three kinds of snowmen.”
There was the rimi, a man-beast of close to three meters in height that roamed the Barun Khola valley, in eastern Nepal, and which was specifically omnivorous. Then there was the rackshi bompo, a beast of roughly human proportions, and which Heuvelmans said “must be the Sherpas’ reddish yeh-teh or mi-teh which leaves the footprints 20 to 23 cm long that the Daily Mail expedition…found in such quantity.” Finally, there was the imposing and terrifying Nyalmo. Heuvelmans came straight to the point: “The nyalmo are real giants, between 4 and 5 m high, with enormous conical heads.” He continued: “They wander in parties among the eternal snows above 4000m. In such empty country it is hardly surprising that they should be carnivorous and even man-eating.”
Now, onto the matter of giant-sized spiders. For vast numbers of the human population spiders provoke a sense of creepiness and dread. Sometimes, for people with arachnophobia, outright terror. And that’s often as a result of an encounter with a small spider. Imagine, then, encountering a spider the size of a dog! You think it couldn’t happen? It’s time to think again. For decades, accounts have surfaced of giant-sized spiders, ones that easily rival anything conjured up by the world of Hollywood. The largest known spider is the South American bird-eating spider, which goes by the name of Theraphosa blondi. One particular specimen, a twelve-year-old named Rosi, has an impressive leg-span of just under twelve inches, making her the largest, living spider on record – ever. That does not mean nothing larger than Rosi exists. It simply means we haven’t formally classified it or them. But, more than a few people claim to have seen such things.
In 2001, English cryptozoologist Dr. Karl Shuker heard a fascinating story from explorer Bill Gibbons, who spent a great deal of time investigating reports of the Congo’s most famous monster, the long-necked Mokele M’Bembe. The story dates back to 1938 and the experiences of a pair of explorers, Reginald and Margurite Lloyd. While negotiating a jungle pathway in the heart of the Belgian Congo, they saw something very strange step out in front of them. Their first thoughts were: was it a small crouching person, or a similarly crouched monkey? To their eternal horror, it quickly became clear it was neither. What it actually was, was a gigantic spider, one that had legs which spanned four-feet! Reginald Lloyd, realizing the enormity of the situation – never mind the enormity of the creature – quickly reached for his camera. Unfortunately, the beast raced across the track and vanished into the undergrowth before he could capture what would, most assuredly, have been a priceless picture. The pair was in doubt about what they had encountered, however: a truly giant, eight-limb monstrosity. Moving on…
It’s a fact that all snakes can swim, which is something that has almost certainly led some lake monsters to be mistaken for huge snakes. And vice-versa. On many occasions, though, the witnesses were absolutely sure about what they had encountered: we’re talking about gigantic snakes. Let’s now take a look at some of the most astonishing cases on record. In 1868, a Frenchman named Raud made a truly extraordinary statement regarding a monstrous, near-dragon-like snake seen in the California countryside, earlier in that very same year, and which was estimated to have an overall length of around forty-feet. Despite the controversial nature of the story, it was supported by his friend and colleague, F.C. Buylick – both of whom were cutting wood and burning charcoal when the immense creature loomed into view. Raud, who broke off from the wood-cutting to pursue nothing more threatening than a hare, said the following of the beast, which appeared to dwell deep in the woods, swamps, and fields of the area:
“I had proceeded twenty-five yards, perhaps, when I emerged into an open space not to exceed thirty feet in diameter. As I entered it the hare dragged itself into the brush on the opposite side, and I quickened my steps in pursuit. Almost at the same instant I was startled by a loud, shrill, prolonged hiss, a sound that closely resembled the escape of steam from the cylinder of a locomotive when starting a heavy train. I stopped as suddenly as if my progress had been arrested by a rifle bullet, and looking toward the upper end of the plat my eyes encountered an object the recollection of which even now makes me shiver with horror. Coiled up not more than twenty feet from where I stood was an immense serpent – the most hideously frightful monster that ever confronted mortal man.”
The continent of Africa is the reported home of numerous unknown creatures and wild monsters. They range from Goliath-sized ape-men to lake-monsters and from dinosaur-like lizards to massive spiders. Africa is also the domain of more than a few large, winged, flying monsters. A wealth of such stories comes from the Bokaonde and Kaonde tribes of Zambia. It’s largely thanks to an early 20th century explorer, Frank H. Melland, that we know of the accounts of these immense and fearsome fliers. Melland’s sources in the tribes told him that the most feared of all the monsters of the skies was the Kongamato. Its name means “over-whelmer [sic] of boats.” The name is a very apt one, since it had the habit of swooping down on canoes and savagely attacking and killing those within. It was a huge beast that lived in, and hunted in, the Jiundu swamps, and which deeply terrified the people of the area. As for the appearance of the Kongamato, it looked somewhat like a bird – at first glance. That it utterly lacked feathers, however, and the fact that its red body was leathery-looking, was membranous, and had wings far more befitting those of a massive bat, suggests it was something else entirely. Interestingly, such giant bats have been seen on the island of Puerto Rico, too. Not only that, some researchers on the island suspect that the legendary Chupacabras are really huge bats – and that they hide out in the extensive caves that can be found on Puerto Rico. Definitely food for thought!