Mokole-Mbembe – A History of the Mystery

Mokole Mbembe – The One Who Stops the Flow of Rivers

The Congo River at sunset, Democratic Republic of the Congo“The Congo River at sunset, Democratic Republic of the Congo” by water.alternatives is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This week on Cryptids Decrypted, John and I are talking about a fascinating myth from the Congo River Basin, Mokole Mbembe (pronounced M’Kay-lay Bem-bay, we think). This beautiful beast of legend is a modern-day sauropod that hates rhinos, allegedly scared all the hippos out of the region, and despite being a vegetarian, has a killing streak. Mokele Mbembe’s myth comes from the early 1900s when discovery and display of dinosaur bones was at a fever pitch. At the time, many people still believed Africa to be a ‘dark continent, because that’s how Europeans viewed a lot of things they hadn’t mapped yet. Taking the natural combination of an unexplored land and the public fascination with giant lizards of a bygone era, Carl Hagenbeck cashed in.

That’s right, this guy…

By this point, Hagenbeck was already famous for displaying large wild animals at zoos across Europe, so dabbling in myths was the next logical step. In his book, Beasts and Men, he discussed sightings from the Congo region of a large, dragon-like creature. Unsurprisingly, these tenuous eye-witness reports fueled public speculation, and before long, the cryptozoology community believed there were living dinosaurs hiding in the jungles of Africa.

Over a century later is where we, the crack team of Cryptids Decrypted, come in to discuss whether there’s any truth to this myth. Sure, we might get a little off topic and call on Rob Lowe to come on our podcast from time-to-time, but what else are you going to listen to on your commute? Please don’t say other, better podcasts…

The episode is live now on most streaming platforms, links can be found below. Remember, if you enjoy, share it with your friends and leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts (it’s the only network with ratings).

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