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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

DALE DRINNON: A Note On Nagas

Nagas are snake-like creatures from the legends of India, and the term is applied to merfolk and Weresnakes as well. In this case, the use of the term in question is as in 'Monster Water-serpent.'

The Naga-Sea-monsters and Freshwater-monsters are reported from all over the orient and in many cases they are distinctly parallel to Chinese dragons. On the other hand, Chinese legend also recognises monster serpents as distinct from the dragons, and so those are more like the limbless Nagas. The Nyans of Burma are likewise merely another local form of Nagas.

The point I am making here is that the reports do NOT describe big snakes; they do not undulate in the serpentine side-to-side manner. They are in fact the same as the more northerly sea-serpents and supposedly undulate up-and-down, producing the 'String-of-buoys' effect, reported as anywhere from several yards to a few hundred feet long. Doubtless this is the effect of waves in a wake (and because of that it has nothing to do with whatever creature might be making the wake, or tell us anything about what its shape might be under the water)

The same 'Giant Serpent' reports are worldwide in the tropics: one article in Fate magazine stated that the immense legendary South American Water-monster Serpent Siucuriju Gigante was also reported in Africa, the Phillipines, and in Australia. And so the same types of reports are indeed all over the southern regions. But they are all actually the same as the more northerly sea-serpents, and the terms should be understood as synonymous. Sea-serpents are world-wide. and their characteristic reported form is the result of a wave action, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the shape of any creature that might be making the waves in its wake. As a matter of fact there is very good documentation that several different animals can create the effect, as well as boats and sometimes natural waves that are not even generated by a live animal at all.

In other words, the names 'sea-serpent', 'naga', 'Sucuriju Gigante', or whatever, do not name any specific animal species, they are all describing an illusion created by a standing wave action and only INTERPRETED as being the body of a long animal undulating vertically on the surface.

1 comment:

Richard Freeman said...

I specificaly asked naga witnesses about undulation on my 2000 expedition. All said the animal was like a huge snake and flexed with a side to side motion like a snake. One man got close enought to see the irridecent scales. Also an abbot and his monks saw one on land, underneath a temple.