When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #58: Dinosaur Cryptozoology and Conspiracies

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https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

As you well know by now, I absolutely love dinosaurs. I think nearly every day how awesome it would be to see one in real life. Do you know how happy I would be if it turned out there was a living population of dinosaurs alive today inhabiting some remote part of the world? Heck, I would even accept concrete evidence of dinosaurs surviving up to recent times in human history. That would be equally as incredible!

But alas, such a dream is impossible, as dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, never to be seen again. All we have left to remember them are their fossils and their nerdy kids.

Why can’t you be cool like your parents?

But need not fear, for a quick search on the lovably paranoid Internet reveals that dinosaurs are actually still alive, living only in the darkest and most remote areas of the world. Not only that, but apparently dinosaurs and humans have always coexisted, and any evidence of this is shunned away by scientists because they are making too much money on their assertions that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago.

Wow, I can learn so much from the Internet! What else can I learn?

 

Vaccines cause autism?! I must spread the word!

Today, I am going to discuss the somewhat controversial subject of dinosaurs in cryptozoology and conspiracies. Dinosaurs are an interesting subject in cryptozoology and conspiracies, as creatures like them can’t help but hold a fair amount of mystery around them, and that mystery prompts speculation. And whenever speculation runs rampant…well, you know what happens.

 

Especially not the Internet.

For those of you who don’t know, cryptozoology is the study of creatures that are not officially acknowledged within the scientific community. These lost creatures, referred to as ‘cryptids’, supposedly live in remote areas of the world and are only ever seen by a few people in short glimpses. Eyewitness reports and local legends are compiled to create a probable look of the creature, and often times cryptozoologists will go exploring to either prove the creatures existence or to protect them from the outside world.

If you remember this show you know what I’m talking about.

I actually have a pretty big interest in cryptozoology, although I never really too it seriously. I was always more interested in the legends and sightings surrounding the creatures, although there is one famous cryptid that I would be lying if I said a small part of conscious didn’t hope and believe this creature exists.

 

It’s BIGFOOT!!!!!

Dinosaurs and other prehistoric show up surprisingly often in cryptozoology, with so many eyewitness accounts of creatures from deep wilderness that appear to look like the popular image of dinosaurs. I for one, consider it completely impossible for a dinosaur to survive up to modern times, but it is interesting to see where these reports come from.

Probably the most famous ‘living dinosaur’ is the Mokele-mbembe.

The Mokele-mbembe is often described as a sauropod like creature that inhabits the swamps and river-ways of The Congo Basin in Central Africa. There have been several expeditions to this area in order to find the creature, but all have come home empty handed (what a shocker). However, the Mokele mbembe certainly has a presence in the folklore of the people who inhabit the Congo. However, depending on the group of people, the description of the creature would change dramatically. Many skeptics think that the idea that this creature was a lost sauropod just came from explorers trying to fit the image of a brontosaur-like dinosaur into the descriptions of the native people. The most accepted explanation is that the folklore of the Mokele mbembe actually stems from a passed down memory of the rhinoceros, which no longer inhabits the region.

But Mokele-mbembe is far from the only dinosaur cryptid in the area. In fact, if these sightings are to be believed, Africa must be chock full of dinosaurs! Other dinosaur cryptids from the area include the Emela-ntouka, a supposed ‘elephant killer’ with one horn thought by some to be a lost ceratopsian.

Hey, how did this get here?

I have a strong feeling that this creature is another example of rhinoceros folk memory. Not only does the horn check out, but there are actually reports in modern times of elephants and rhinos fighting and killing each other. It also doesn’t help that ceratopsians have never inhabited Africa…

Other African dinosaur cryptids, such as the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu and the Muhuru, are said to look like stegosaurs.

While stegosaurs are known to have lived in Africa, this group of dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record in the Early Cretaceous period. If by some odd chance that some dinosaurs did survive the K/T extinction and have survived to modern times in the remote parts of the world, I would at least think that we would see those dinosaurs at the very end of the Cretaceous. The fact that people think that a stegosaur may still be alive today even though we know that they died off long before the end of the Mesozoic is just ridiculous to me, even more so than the other examples!

While the above animals at least have a presence in African culture, some sightings of dinosaurs in Africa have been proven to be nothing more than fabricated stories created by attention seekers. The Kasai Rex (a supposed large theropod dinosaur living in East Africa) for example is almost universally maligned and disregarded for it’s supposed ‘evidence’.

OMG, it looks sooooo real!

Yeah, if an actual large theropod dinosaur lived in Africa I think we would be seeing a lot more rhinos and buffaloes with giant bite marks taken out of them.

The problem with a lot of the descriptions of these cryptids is that they match an old view of what we believed dinosaurs looked like, which has become more and more obsolete with every knew discovery. It’s hard to take a lot of these seriously because scientists now know dinosaurs looked nothing like our classic depictions, which is the look a lot of these sightings seem to have.

There have been other dinosaur sightings from outside of Africa, such as the Arica Monster in Chile and the Burrunjor from Australia. However, these particular sightings don’t seem to hold a lot of water either, and quickly loose merit when put under scrutiny. Really, pretty much all modern dinosaur sightings tend to fall apart when you look at them skeptically. With the technology we have these days, it would be incredibly difficult for such large creatures to hide from people on land. Satellite and heat sensing technology can detect large creatures over huge stretches of land. For such creatures to be hiding in our modern world would be very much impossible.

However, some may ask:

“What about the ocean?”

Yes, the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers are very popular with people looking for lost creatures, especially since large bodies of water are extremely difficult to explore. Since large portions of the world’s oceans remain undocumented, this habitat seems most fit for harboring large species of unknown creatures.

Which makes it strange that most ‘reports’ of prehistoric sea creatures seem to happen in lakes instead.

There is no shortage of supposed plesiosaurs seen in lakes all over the world, with the most famous of the bunch being Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

Reports of a plesiosaur-like creature inhabiting this infamous Scottish lake have enticed many a cryptozoologist, and Nessie may in fact be the most famous cryptid after Bigfoot. Just how a 65 million year old sea reptile found itself in a frigid inland body of water is anyone’s guess. Still, all supposed ‘evidence’ of the creature falls apart pretty quickly, especially since all of it’s most famous photographs have been proven to be hoaxes.

 

I can see how this iconic image could have fooled people, but looking at it now it just seems ridiculous. Just look at those waves and ripples! You can tell this is just a small figurine!

I seriously can’t believe how anyone can take this image seriously. It doesn’t look like a real animal, it looks like freakin’ Barney! You can even see it smiling!

As you can tell, I personally think The Loch Ness Monster isn’t real. Nothing about it makes sense, from the photographs to the eyewitness accounts to the explanations of how it got to inland Scotland in the first place.

Oh yeah, and plesiosaur heads can’t bend that way.

That really is one of my major gripes about these supposed plesiosaur sightings. They are all seen with that classic plesiosaur head posture with the neck craning out of the water like a swan, when in reality the neck was very stiff and could only move from side to side. All these sightings depict old, outdated images of what we used to think these creatures were like, and they don’t represent anything that we know about them now. To me that really makes these sightings loose credibility.

Pterosaurs are another popular subject in cryptozoology, with reports of such creatures coming from all corners of the globe. Africa and South East Asia have several sightings under their belt, but a surprising amount have come from the American West.

There have been several supposed photographs of cowboys from the old west gathered around killed pterosaurs.

These images, which have fooled many a believer, are obvious fakes to anyone who knows their pterosaur anatomy. I mean, come on! The third one has freakin’ bat wings!!!!! And they all display looks of what the public conscious thinks a pteordactly looks like, and not what we actually know about them.

I personally think it’s nearly impossible for such large creatures to exist unknown in this modern day and age, especially ones that have been extinct for millions of years.

But what if dinosaur didn’t live millions of years ago, but only a few thousand?

Like I’ve said before, I think it is very douchey to criticize someone for having religious beliefs. I grew up in a religious family and most of my current friends are religiously inclined. However, what I don’t condone is extremism on either side. Just like I think it’s wrong for scientifically minded people to call all religious people stupid, I think it’s wrong for people to do terrible and/or ridiculous things in the name of their faith. My family and friends may be religious, but none of them take the Genesis account completely literally and think the earth was actually created in 6 24 hour days. With that line of thinking brings out a weird, weird conclusion:

Dinosaurs and man lived together.

People with this belief have tried to dig up evidence to support their claim. And no, not just from the Bible. They actually try to find archaeological evidence that shows humans and dinosaurs lived together. The things they have come up with are…entertaining.

One of the more popular arguments supporters of this idea lie to point out is the idea that dragon legends from all over the world are actually true life accounts of dinosaurs and man coexisting (never mind that most depictions of dragons look nothing like actual dinosaurs).

 

This infamous Babylonian depiction of a dragon like creature is sometimes interpreted as an illustration of a dinosaur. The argument often states that since the creature is depicted in association with a bull and a lion, the creature isn’t depicted as a mythological beast but instead as an actual animal that the people saw (never mind that the creature seems to have traits of several creatures including a snakes head and forked tongue, a lions paws, and an eagle’s talons; or the fact that the creature doesn’t resemble a dinosaur in any way, or the fact that ancient people often held mythological beasts with the same respect as they would powerful living animals).

There are other artifacts that supposedly depict dinosaurs. One such stone carving seems to depict what looks like a Stegosaurus.

 

Yes, of course it’s a Stegosaurus, a dinosaur that is well known to the mainstream populace but is actually quite rare with relatively little fossil material. And of course Stegosaurus was found on the complete opposite side of the world where it’s fossils were found. And of course it brings to mind old school depictions of the creature that we now know are out of date!!!

 

This image from a Mayan painting brings to mind classic depictions of a raptor dinosaur, and I have to admit when I first saw it the image caught my attention. But there is still one major problem. Raptors had feathers. Show me a legend of a feathered saurian creature and then I’ll…wait, don’t the Aztecs have the legend of the Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent?

 

Oh no, I think I may have given these guys some fodder.

In Glenn Rose Texas, there is an infamous dinosaur track way with very well preserved theropod and sauropod footprints. I live in North Texas, and I visited the area several times when I was younger. It is truly an amazing place. But then some knucklehead decided he wanted to be an attention hog and decided to show off some proof of dinosaur and human interaction in footprint form.

There’s an entire creation museum in the area with this freakin’ thing as it’s main draw! Now, nayone who has ever seen an actual dinosaur footprint can tell that this thing is fake, but remember that this is Texas we’re talking about. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love living in Texas. I love the hospitality, the delicious southern food, and the great cities and landscapes. But I’ll be the first to tell you that Texas should be officially renamed Crazy Town. The fact that this obvious fake got so much attention proves it.

However, one of the biggest pieces of evidence supporters of this idea like to bring up are the Inca Stone dinosaurs.

I’m just going to say that these stones are completely and hilariously fake. The dinosaurs shown, once again, reflect old school ideas of what we used to think dinosaurs looked like (and of course, only famous dinosaurs are shown). As much of an obvious hoax this may be, it is still the source of evidence so many creationists latch on to. The fact that we can’t date the stones and prove that they are recent only adds fuel to the fire.

If you go online and only go on the websites that support this ideology, you may be tempted to believe that some of the evidence presented may be legit. However, the entire movement completely neglects well known fundamental scientific principles, not just unproven ‘theories’. Really, this whole movement is damaging. It paints scientifically minded people as morally corrupt and also offends religious belief as a whole by making people think all religious inclined people are science deniers when many simply just want to live a wholesome life. It gives everyone involved a bad name.

Still, people are going to believe what they want to believe. People will continue to say dinosaurs lived with people, dinosaurs may still be alive today, and that Obama is the son of the Antichrist or some crap like that. I look at this kind of stuff and get a little chuckle out of it, but I’m still going to admit something. As much as I think all the claims I’ve pointed out are ridiculous, I secretly hope they are true. Why?

Because I just want to see some freakin’ dinosaurs!!!!!

Join me next time as I take a look at Jurassic Park action figures!

All of them. From all movies. Even Jurassic World. I’m going to be here a while. 

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9 thoughts on “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #58: Dinosaur Cryptozoology and Conspiracies

  1. I will admit that I did find the Aztec thing a little interesting, but I don’t believe any of that sort of stuff. It’s mostly interesting because, given what we know about dromaeosaurids being covered in feathers, it can be relatively easy to look at a dromaeosaur and associate it with a feathered serpent. Perhaps one in the current era could come to speculate that any possible candidate for a dromaeosaur Quetzalcoatl would belong to the subfamily Unenlagiinae.
    While it may sound irrelevant and silly, sometimes I wonder if people in past human civilizations could have accidentally conceived the idea of creatures that existed outside of their knowable context. The relevance in that statement only relates to me once having a dream where I was an unknown orange dromaeosaurid in a small, 3 member hunting group wandering about a densely foggy arboreal forest when an unknown ceratopsian, similar in shape to protoceratops, approached us. We challenged it and began to attack and weaken it only for a carnotosaurus or similar animal to headbutt us and our target in the middle of the hunt. We attempted to fight back, but failed as my two companions decided to give up on the abelisaurid in favor of the limping ceratopsian… while I was left clawing holes in the carnotaurus’s shoulder. It responded by grabbing my long tail in its mouth, repositioning my body so that it had a better grip on me, and then flinging me side to side like a rag doll before tossing me to the floor; causing me to black out and assumedly die.
    Looking up at that last paragraph, it seems like I went into more detail than was necessary, but I’ll leave it. Anyways, I’ll just end this by saying that dream was what lead me to do a search of animals that fit the description of the animals in my dream. That’s when I discovered Unenlagiinae for myself. The carnotosaurus was obvious, and I used that as the base for my search, though I did have a look at other abelisaurids to see if their were any other short faced, tiny armed, horned theropod dinosaurs. I quickly landed my internet search to animals in Argentina around 68 to 82 million years ago; with the most likely candidate for my dromaeosaurid being Neuquenraptor. The closest I could come to the ceratopsian however was notoceratops, unfortunately (Only one fossil ever found; a mandible, and it was lost a long time ago).

    I should probably apologize for posting that wall of text… (Implying apology.)

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    1. Nah, I just thought it was an interesting coincidence. Still, I have found that most people who believe dinosaurs once lived with man are also feathered dinosaur deniers, so the Quetzalcoatl parallel probably wouldn’t mean anything to them. .

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      1. What if perhaps the Aztecs discovered feathered dinosaur fossils? I’ve heard similar hypotheses about the cockatrice (which could very well have been inspired by small feathery raptor fossils, being basically a rooster/dragon hybrid).

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  2. Funny how you stated Mokele Mbembe being stemmed from a rhinoceros given there’s some cryptid-enthusiasts that speculate Mokele might be a surviving indricothere. And given they both have long necks along with the fact rhinos like to swim, I’m leaning more to this than the sauropod hypothesis.

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  3. Hey, have you heard of this crazy woman at a museum on evolution. It’s hilarious how she reacts to it. For example, she questions how scientists know feet formed, and yet she claims to have seen a dragon skull( Which was actually a dracorex skull). I banged my head against my window many times from how idiotic she was.

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    1. Oh God, I remember her–she laughed at the scientists and claimed they were contradicting themselves when they told her Dracorex wasn’t a dragon and then told her that the name meant “Dragon King of Hogwarts”, yet by her same logic that MUST mean that Hogwarts exists.
      Also, it would mean T. rex was an actual monarch, Quetzalcoatlus is a literal deity and Deinocheirus is nothing but a giant pair of hands. Well okay, that last one was true for fifty or so years, but that’s beside the point.

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  4. Bigfoot’s the most believable cryptid because it’s one of the few that actually seems like an animal and not some kind of monster.
    I remember being really excited when I first heard of the Kongamato due to it being the first extant pterosaur cryptid I had ever heard of, but lately I’ve been thinking that its description sounds more like some kind of giant, territorial bat.
    I’ve also been wondering about the possibility of Mokele Mbembe being a giant, flightless waterbird. Because if that turns out to be true, then it would turn out that MM really IS a dinosaur, just not the kind we were expecting!

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  5. OOH I almost forgot! Dinosaur Guy, have you heard of the Partridge Creek Beast? It’s allegedly a cryptid that resembled a giant theropod (possibly a ceratosaur, due to having a horn on its nose), but the really shocking thing is that it was described as having a coat of “fur” or something like that all over its body–most likely something similar to protofeathers. While we should certainly remain skeptical, this is probably the only dinosaur cryptid I’ve heard of that was even alluded to being feathered (though the alleged footprints also imply tail dragging).

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