Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Ropen - it's not what you might think.

Sometimes as I flick through my multiple mythological creatures guides one catches my eye. Today that was the Ropen.
Ropen by TheMorlock
Image Courtesy: The MorLock Deviant Art

This creature comes from Papuan New Guinea, and fits nicely into the Cryptid Pterodactyl box. As Western missionaries m journeyed into the wilds of Papuan New Guinea in the 1950's to convert the native people to Christianity, they began to hear stories of the Ropen and since then, the reports haven't stopped.

Described enormous leathery birds with a wingspan between 3 - 4 metres the Ropen were said to live in the caves among the islands of New Britain and Umboi. Only seen at night, they were said have a long tail that ended in a triangular/diamond shaped tip, a large beak complete with teeth, and razor sharp claws. Mostly a carrion eater, the Ropen was said to harass funeral goers often attempting to steal the corpse for its own consumption.

For all intents and purposes the descriptions of the Ropen fit that of a Pterodactyl, the ancient flying Jurassic era dinosaur.

 Belief in the Ropen has held strong, during the Second World War, several reports were made of the creatures and more recently Salem News Reporter, Terrance Aym reported in 2010 that he himself had seen a Ropen, and had footage of it.

Most modern reports of the creature report that it is bioluminescent and has a considerable glow at night.

Recently the television show Monster Quest, set out on a search to discover the creatures. Perhaps predictably, they found little evidence aside from multiple eye witnesses.

The Smithsonian Magazine has largely debunked the idea that the Ropen exists citing that the sightings are actually misidentifications of large Frigate birds or giant fruit bats, both of which can have large wingspans between 1 - 2.7 meters.

Eitherway, it's interesting to see that the belief in these pterodactyl like creatures is still going on strong, and if you have the time, there are plenty (and I do mean plenty) of strange videos on YouTube to support their 'existence'.

Enjoy your Sunday!