Monday, July 16, 2007
Scientists Don't Know Everything
As you might suspect, I spend a great deal of time watching television shows that profile various members of the cryptid community—creatures, such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and Chupacabra that the scientific community contends are mere myths. To make the reporting seem fair and balanced, there’s always a skeptic or two thrown in for good measure. You don’t even need to hear them speak to know which side they’re on—you can always recognize a skeptic by the self-satisfied smirk on his face.
It’s silly, he’ll say, to think that there might be a large primate species that remains unknown to science. It’s ridiculous to wonder if animals long thought to be extinct might still inhabit remote forests. And anyone who thinks there could be something big lurking in Loch Ness should stop sniffing Wite-out.
That’s why I bring you the following news with a great deal of pleasure. The skeptics have been proven wrong once again. Another creature whose reputed existence was once ridiculed by scientists has been discovered. This time, it’s the giant, lion-eating chimps of the magic forest.
The people who inhabit the dense, virtually inaccessible forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo have long told stories of enormous apes that feed on lions and howl at the moon. Some suggested they were a cross between gorillas and chimpanzees. Others thought they might be a new species of primate. But many in the Western scientific community simply refused to acknowledge their existence.
Now, there’s undeniable proof. A team of scientists from the University of Amsterdam spent months living in a part of the Congo that’s so inaccessible and pristine that it’s known as the magic forest. There, they studied—and photographed—a previously unknown group of extraordinarily large chimps. And while the apes haven’t been heard howling at the moon, they do like to snack on a panther from time to time.
It just goes to show you. There are things out there that we don’t know about yet. And that's just the way I like it.
(Below: The creature that hid from science.)