Tag Archives: cryptid

Creature Feature: Emela-ntouka

Imagine, if you will, that you’re trekking through the swamps of the Congo. Now let’s go a step further and picture yourself hacking through the undergrowth with your trusty machete. You burst through the thick vegetation and find yourself behind a brownish-gray beast as large as an elephant with short, stumpy legs, but the tail is wrong. Elephants don’t have thick, heavy tails that drag on the ground. This thing does. When it swivels its head to give you a snort you immediately notice that the face is wrong too. What you’re seeing isn’t the face of an elephant, but something more reminiscent of a rhinoceros, complete with one long horn at the tip of its snout.

The animal you’ve just encountered has many names, but the one we’ll go with is the Emela-ntouka and you’ll be lucky to get away with your life. It’s name means “elephant killer”, which it purportedly does. It’s known to be a ferocious beast that will kill anything in its path. It is said that the pygmies fear this creature more than any other dangerous animal.

Part dinosaur, part hippopotamus, part elephant, part rhinoceros. Think of a semi-aquatic triceratops without the crest and only one horn and you’ll have a pretty accurate depiction of this giant most foul.

Emela-ntouka

The creature’s horn is a subject of major debate. It the horn is ivory, then technically it isn’t a horn at all. It’s a tusk. If the horn is bone then the creature is likely reptilian. However, the horn could also be made of keratin. Without a sample to study, classifying this thing is impossible. In reality though, does classifying it actually matter? In a way yes, but not in the grand scheme of “keep that horrid monster away from me” things.


Creature Feature: The wonderfully weird alux

Let’s add a bit of hijinks to this little weekly party, shall we?

This week I’ll be exploring the cryptid known as the alux, the plural of which is aluxob. These little tricksters live south of the border in Central America.

The aluxob are very small creatures, basically tiny humans that stand only about knee-high. Legend says that they are invisible but can take on physical form, usually to frighten humans or to congregate, but it could be for any number or reasons. When seen, they are usually dressed in traditional Mayan garb.

These beings are known for their tricks. They’re basically the Mexican version of leprechauns. Though they have that reputation, the aluxob don’t start out as tricksters.

The story goes that an alux is birthed when a farmer builds a tiny house on his property, usually in a corn field. The alux is bound in servitude to the farmer for seven years. It helps the crops grow, summons rain, and scares away animals and other intruders that would harm the harvest.

When the seven years comes to an end, it is of utmost importance that the farmer go to the tiny house and close all windows and doors to seal the alux inside.  Should the farmer fail to do so, the alux will run wild and become the prankster of legend.

There is a belief that on occasion an alux will approach a farmer and demand an offering. If the farmer denies the alux, he is bringing misfortune upon himself and his family. If he bends over backward for the creature, he will be protected and good luck will rain down upon him.

Also, if you haven’t spoken the name yet, don’t. There is a belief that to name them out loud is not a good thing. Doing so will summon an alux from its home to wreak havoc on your life. Sorry, guess I should have started with that. If one shows up at your door, do whatever it asks of you.