Posts tagged “Our Weird World

Our Weird World: Dinosaurs

A spiked, breathing, living thing you didn’t expect to ever see is glimpsed for a moment in the foliage…

We’re branching out this post with accounts of creatures thought long dead.

I’ll admit, my title is misleading. Dinosaurs are hardly cryptids. We know they were alive at some point in the past. We find bones and nests and plenty of evidence that dinosaurs were animals that once walked the earth and have long been gone.

Maybe.

Dinosaurs, probably because we don’t see them anymore, offer a chance to imagine a different world than the one here. While most predators (bears, big cats, wolves, etc.) can certainly be quite fearsome, dinosaurs seem to be on another level. Traditionally, they’ve been depicted as completely reptilian creatures with claws and teeth and massive feet and tough, leathery hides. Somehow, in not being able to be photographed, dinosaurs seem tougher, something just a little bit alien.

So what if you saw one, or thought you did?

This appears to be the case in parts of Africa.

Sightings of Mokele-Mbembe (which is herbivorous), Kongamato (something like a pterosaur), and other unexpected creatures invite speculation and legends. It’s exciting to imagine that something we thought we might not get the opportunity to see might still be alive.

Except for the difficult part.

Not being able to find these dinosaurs and conclusively prove that they are hanging out in different parts of the world, left alone and simply undiscovered. Maybe they were seen at one time. Maybe now they’re really gone.

Could they have simply died out? Possibly, since being so rarely sighted might mean that numbers are few and not rising.

Could Mokele-Mbembe be real, or real at one time recently?

Maybe.

But where are these creatures? Are they in hiding? Is there someone hiding them? Maybe they’re just shy.

Maybe they’re just legends.

But it’s awfully fun to think they’re real.

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A New Feature: Cryptids

Just a short announcement here. Every so often, I’m going to have a post featuring a different cryptid.

Bigfoot, Nessie, Mokele-Mbembe…I’m gonna do my best to feature these legends and profile some others. Trust me. There are plenty.

Look for the new feature in my next post!


Our Weird World: The Etruscans

We’re headed abroad on this beautiful Friday as we check out the Etruscans.

I like studying ancient history, but more than that, I like the mysterious stuff. You know, the legends about Atlantis, Flood stories, and the oddities that ancient people left behind when they died out or, in some cases, vanished. I’ve even written a post about that, concerning the Moon-eyed People and a few North American mythologies.

Standing out in the crowd of relatively mysterious ancient people are the Etruscans.

Now, they’re a little different. They didn’t disappear mysteriously; rather, they assimilated into the Roman culture. That isn’t weird, because it’s happened a lot in history. Tuscany takes its name from Tusci, which is what the Romans called the Etruscans. Etruscan words are a part of the Latin alphabet. The Etruscans are pre-Roman and share some deities with the Greeks. None of that is out of the ordinary. We can say where they went and what happened to them.

The real weirdness comes when you realize that the Etruscans seem to have appeared mysteriously.

And, even for the time in which they lived, they don’t seem to have fit in. Their language is markedly different from either Greek or Roman (when Anglicized). Their name for themselves was Rasenna, which later became Rasna. We don’t even know what that means, and no one can read the language anymore, which was itself pretty unique, in the Tyrsenian language group.  

The knowledge actually gained about the Etruscans is only from tombs and the stuff in them. It’s somewhat apparent that, as far as families go, who your mom was had as much importance as who your dad was. It was fine for women to associate with mixed company. The root difference between the Etruscan culture and the Roman culture is just so marked.

So who were they? what were they like? Perhaps the Etruscans were completely boring, but the fact that we simply do not know is what makes them all the more fascinating.

And that is why mysteries make our world even more interesting.