Friday, January 31, 2014

Post Revamp: the Agogwe

There are literally dozens of cryptid hominins.  They hail from six of the seven continents-- only Antarctica lacks a rumored species.  From Australia, we hear of the Yowie.  Asia gives us the Xing-Xing, the Barmanou and the Yeren.  In North America we have Bigfoot and the Skunk Ape; South America has the Mapinguari.  Europe is represented by the Almas -- a Russian species that could be a Neanderthal.  And in Africa, we find the Agogwe.

This cryptid is not commonly seen -- my sources describe only three sightings.  All come from Europeans in the early 1900s, and all are fairly suspect.  The three witnesses, however, gave fairly uniform descriptions.  The Agogwe, they say, are about four feet tall.  They are covered in reddish hair, and have human-like feet with splayed big toes.  Their faces resemble chimps, but the Agogwe walk upright -- and move far more gracefully than an ape.

Bernard Heuvelmans, the father of cryptozoology, believed the Agogwe were relict Australopithecines.  These hominins lived in Africa three million years ago, and eventually developed into modern humans.  Their survival is unlikely, but the Agogwe well matches their description -- if Australopithecines did exist, this cryptid would look much like them.  Another possibility is that the Agogwe are misidentified chimps.  This is no more likely -- chimps can walk bipedally, but only for short distances, and they aren't red in color.  Besides, they live only in the jungle, and are familiar to Africa's native peoples.

A final theory is that these cryptids are gibbons.  In Africa, these lesser apes died out millions of years ago.  They still exist, however, in southeast Asia.  Gibbons do look like the Agogwe -- they're the same size, and share a high forehead.  But gibbons are extremely awkward walkers, with gangly arms that make them well-suited for tree-swinging.  They're also jungle-dwellers like the chimpanzee, and would never live on the savannah.  None of our current theories seem particularly probable; honestly, neither does the Agogwe's existence.  Could there be Australopiths surviving on the plains of Zimbabwe?  I'd love to believe so, but the odds are stacked against it.

Read more about the Agogwe:
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