Read this piece on CNN’s website yesterday about the discovery of 163 new animal and plant species in the greater Mekong region of southeast Asian which includes the countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Yunnan Province of China. The discoveries include the Limnonectes megastomias–a fanged frog with an appetite for other frogs, insects and birds:
The Musa rubinea, a wild banana known only to exist in the western Chinese province of Yunnan:
And the Laotian rock rat (the photo at top of this page), which was thought to have been extinct for 11 million years until being discovered in this area.
All in all, since 1997, 1,200 new species have been found here, many that cannot be found anywhere else.
I personally find this interesting because it reminds me of how much of our own world is still waiting to be discovered. There are still vast sections of our planet (both on land and under the ocean) that humans have yet to even begin to explore. It’s exciting to see what else may pop up unexpectedly.
When I was a kid, I was really into cryptozoology. The word is derived from the Greek and literally means “hidden animals.” Cryptozoologists study creatures that many might consider mythical; that there is no scientific proof for their existence. The most famous subjects of interest in the cryptozoological world include creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Growing up, I read all the books and collected all the newspaper and magazine clippings about any weird things I could find from kangaroos that mysteriously appeared in some small Midwest town to the Dover Demon:
I find it interesting that even when the evidence all but proves some of these mythical beasts are pure fiction, there are people who will continue to believe. Maybe there’s something inherent in us that needs to believe in the fantastical. Take the following story that ran on CNN a couple of weeks ago about an alleged Bigfoot creature caught on tape in Kentucky. Experts have examined the footage and have concluded it is a bird, but of course, there are those who aren’t buying that explanation. See for yourself:
I’m blogging about cryptozoology today as a way of preparing you, the readers, for what’s to come. In a few days, it will be October. October may be my favorite month because I love the start of autumn. I know people say that we don’t get real seasons here in L.A., and it’s true that we don’t have the pleasure of experiencing something this beautiful:
But I still love that feeling I get when I can feel that chill starting to creep in and mix with the air, or seeing the leaves on my parents’ street start to fall en masse. And I also love October because of Halloween, my favorite holiday.
So this is what I’m going to do in honor of Halloween because, frankly, I think the holiday should be celebrated all month long, not just on the 31st—I’m going to blog regularly throughout October on all subjects related to Halloween. So at least a couple of times each week, I’ll be writing about everything from cryptozoology to real-life supernatural stories (including some ones of my own) to recommendations for obscure but cool horror movies. I’m even going to turn over some of my regular features to the dark and macabre so get ready to learn how to survive a relationship with someone who’s possessed by the devil and to take a look at a real-life Asian American Original Offender who helped catch a cannibalistic serial killer who became the model for Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs.
And I’m going to do my best to scare the shit out of you. All month long. Wake me up when September ends ‘cause you won’t be getting much sleep in October. You have been warned.
Oh, and by the way, the word count of this blog is 666. Go ahead and count for yourself