Thursday, January 23, 2014

Post Revamp: the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu

Dr. Roy Mackal was one of the most famous cryptozoologists of the 20th century.  A biologist at the Univeristy of Chicago, he was also vice-president of the International Society for Cryptozoology and a long-time researcher of the Loch Ness Monster.  Later in his cryptozoological career, he developed a strong interest in the Mokele-Mbembe-- launching two African expeditions in order to find it.  Dr. Mackal never located the creature, but he brought back tales of several other cryptids from the Congo.  One of them was the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu.

Like virtually every Congolese cryptid, this animal has long been associated with a dinosaur.  In this case, it's often claimed as a relict stegosaur of some kind-- perhaps a Kentrosaurus.  Why?  Its name, rather aptly, means "the animal with planks growing out of its back."  The Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu is semiaquatic, and its full body has never been seen-- locals have only caught glimpses of its back, which is covered in tall plates.

The case of Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu reminds me of the Emela-Ntouka.  Both are claimed to be dinosaurs, although the dinosaurs in question could not live underwater.  Furthermore, neither was found in Africa.  How could a North American reptile end up in a Congolese swamp?  If it exists, Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu is probably a reptile-- few other creatures have notable back-plates.  But this animal is surely not prehistoric.

Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu is more likely an undiscovered crocodile.  These reptiles have platelike scales on their backs-- though they're not as large as this purported cryptid's.  Crocodiles are also native to the Congo, and spend much of their time underwater.  We don't have much information on Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu, but what we do know sounds crocodilian to me.

Read more about the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu:
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