Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Walking with A Dinosaur

Author: Rhianna Bogard

Dinosaurs: animals that fuel the imaginations of millions of people all around the world. The obsession with dinosaurs even inspires pop-culture with movie such as the Jurassic Park series or urban legends like the Loch Ness Monster. There is even a rumor that a dinosaur still lives in the Congo River Basin called the Mokele-Mbembe. The Mokele-Mbembe which most popularly translates from Lingala to “the one who stops the flow of the river” is a supposed sauropod (formerly known as brontosauruses) that roams Africa.

The rumored dinosaur is said to live, hunt, and reproduce in or around the Congo River Basin, more specifically Lake Tele, located in the Republic of Congo. With color ranging from a red based brown to grey, these creatures are said to be between the size of a Hippopotamus to an Elephant with a reported length of anywhere from 16 to 32 feet (5 to 10 meters). They are said to create burrows along the river bank where they would sleep, hide or raise young. According to Unexplained Mysteries the Mokele-Mbembe are quiet creatures that spend a lot of time in the water. There are reports that the Mokele-Mbembe follows a plant-based diet, however, they are extremely territorial and will kill trespassers, specifically hippopotamuses, on site.

Heavy speculation surrounds whether the Mokele-Mbembe is real especially with such lack of definitive evidence. Most believers claim that the size of the Congo River Basin, over 1.5 million miles, is the main reason for such lack of evidence. Many theories circulate about the origins of the rumor of the Mokele-Mbembe including one which states the creature is a ghost spirit. Authors of Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero claim that the Mokele-Mbembe and the rumors surrounding it have been pushed by the wide spread popularity of dinosaurs and fanatics from the creationist movement. The large popularity of dinosaurs during the early 20th century gave life to the first wide spread rumors about the cryptid and since the hype about dinosaurs has yet to die down the rumor thrived. It still inspires people to go searching for the creature today.

The reality of an animal this size living and thriving, is that they would need a large breeding population to be sustained. Even though the Congo River Basin is huge with the numbers needed to sustain the population as well as size of the animal there is an extremely slim to none chance humans would not have found them by now. The existence and searches for this creature is heavily supported by creationist. The existence of the Mokele-Mbembe would greatly support their ideals that man walked with the dinosaurs and evolution didn’t happen. Many searches for the creature have been led by creationist and therefore may not be purely for scientific research. All in all, with no sustainable evidence of any kind, it is hard to believe the Mokele-Mbembe is out there. However, maybe just maybe there is a dinosaur hiding from the world in the vast jungle, keeping the hopes and dreams of children everywhere alive.

Work Cited      
 Loxton, Daniel, and Donald R. Prothero. “Abominable Science! : Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and  Other Famous Cryptids.” Pp.260-295. Academic Search Premier. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=d49e0785-932b-4535-a869d2d8a539f9e4%40sessionmgr4008&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN =619706&db=nlebk     

Corbell 2025, Lorieli.”Stevens dinosaur” Youtube.com, 2 Mar. 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-0Tj1OEm8M       

“Painting of Mokele-Mbembe.” Mingren,wu. “Mokele-mbembe: A Legendary Water-Dwelling Creature of the Congo River.” Ancient Origins, 18 Feb. 2016, https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/mokele-mbembe-legendary-water-dwelling-creature-congo-river-005375   

Unexplained Mysteries. “The Mokele Mbembe: A Real-Life Dinosaur Living in The Congo?” Youtube.com, 26 Jul 2018.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS6hsrxaZRM.     

Links for further research   
Mokele-Mbembe: the search for a living dinosaur  
The source is an online article which mentions the origins of the Mokele-Mbembe and provides detailed information about the modern searches for this creature 

This video provides an in-depth history of the Mokele-Mbembe.     

Mokele Mbembe!   
http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=bf3a93f3-c6ac-4433-bc8abfc818614fcb%40sessionmgr102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN= 79787557&db=aph. 
This source is an article that dives into the existence of the Mokele Mbembe.   

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