There are a lot of creatures and monsters that are a part of our folklore, and even though they have never been proven to exist, thousands still believe in their existence. One of these creatures is the African Loch Ness monster, also known as Mokele-mbembe.
Africa Loch Ness monster
The Mokele-mbembe is said to be a massive reptile-like creature with a long tail and a long neck. The creature is also said to be a herbivore, and that it roars aggressively if humans approach it. Some people say that it has a single horn that it uses to kill elephants.
A lot of Western explorers over the years have been consumed by the tantalizing idea that they could see the creature in the flesh, but so far there is no concrete evidence that the creature is even real.
There have been more than 50 expeditions in Brazzaville, the north of Congo, but there is no evidence gathered except for the massive claw-shaped footprint that was recorded by a French missionary in 1776 and by a dozen other people since. The only photographic images of the creature have been fuzzy, so they still prove nothing.
But when it comes to eyewitness reports, there is no shortage. One local told BBC that he was on a boat on the river when he saw the Mokele-mbembe. He said that the creature began to chase them and it rose out of the water. A community development worker, Paul Ohlin, spent more than 10 years living with the Bayaka in Congo and the Central African Republic. He said that people who live in the area believe the creature's existence.
According to Ohlin, when people are sitting around the campfire talking, they talk about the Mokele-mbembe, it is something that is a reality in everyday life. He emphasizes that the locals have a spiritual connection and mystical relationship with the creature, the way that the locals see the world is different from how others see the world. In Ohlin's view, eyewitness reports should still not be taken seriously.
According to Adam Davis, a British man who spends his time and money traveling the world and looking for undocumented species, he has twice gone to Africa on the trail of the Mokele-mbembe and that people should not dismiss tribal accounts, as it is a part of their culture.
Is the Mokele-mbembe real?
Cryptozoology is a field of science that extends beyond the realm of mainstream stories and animals, and although a lot of people do not take it seriously, we should still not dismiss the fact that creatures like the Mokele-mbembe could be real. Believers have pointed out that most animals that were once dismissed by science have turned out to be real.
One example is the okapi, a cloven-hoofed mammal with stripes on its legs just like a zebra. Okapis live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, just east of Congo-Brazzaville.
According to Bill Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia, Mokele-mbembe can be put in the same category as the Loch Ness Monster. He said that there is the likelihood that the creature really exists but the chances are small. However, what we can learn from science is to never say never.