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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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD AND MATHIJS KROON: Mystery Animals In The Netherlands: Part One

Over the last few years a chap named Mathijs Kroon has been a source of information regarding strange animals and animal/monster folklore in the Netherlands. Maybe one day he’ll be interested in putting all his findings into a book, but for now I present the latest batch of unusual stories he has passed on to me:

The Snakeking

There are 3 species of snakes in the Netherlands;

smooth snake Coronella austriaca
common european adder Vipera berus
grass snake Natrix natrix

People believed they all have one king; the snakeking. In the province of Groningen he was known as woaterslang or otterslang

It was believed that he was much bigger and fatter than the other snakes and of lighter colour; white or yellow.

When he was threatened he whistled or shouted loudly and all the other snakes appeared, rolling like hula-hoops (they took their tails into their mouths) to protect their king.

You could only escape them by throwing a red piece of clothing or handkerchief. They would stop to shred it to pieces and then continue their journey. This distraction enabled any potential victim time to escape.

In the province of Drenthe the people believed that for every 1,000 snakes there exists a king. In the Friesland province the king snake is known as kroantsjeslang and wears a crown upon its head.

1 comment:

Andrew D. Gable said...

These snake-kings are present in Scandinavia, too and are mixed up with the whole serpentine dragon bit.