Sunday, June 04, 2006

Have you ever heard of a humanzee? Neither had I until I discovered the exciting field of Cryptozoology. It is the study of creatures whose existence has not been proven. As you can imagine, Cryptozoologists aren't very well respected in the scientific community. Yet they continue undaunted in their pursuits of the Sasquatch, Nessie, and the Skunk Ape. Citing the fact that a prehistoric and believed-to-be-extinct Coelocanth was found off the coast of Madagascar as proof-of-concept, they pursue legends of living Pterosaurs in African swamps, and Sauropods in the Amazon rain forest.

How did I stumble across this fascinating branch of psuedo-science you ask? It started like this: I was at a Stake Conference at the Provo Tabernacle and my almost two year old daughter Exxxx threw her bottle over the balcony at one of the High Council (he politely threw it back by the way), then she tried to throw herself over as well, and nearly succeeded, so I took her outside and we walked around the building. On the South side of the building on a ledge about five feet up my eye caught a black shape about the size of a cell phone, but furry looking. It was covered in cobwebs and looked lifeless enough so I took a closer look and discovered that it was a small, rumpled bat.

I grabbed a stick from a nearby bush and brushed off the cobwebs. It didn't move. I poked it a little harder. It moved its head just the tiniest bit. "Exxxx, look at the bat!" I said.
"My Bat" she said as she tried to grab it.

Other passers-by were not as interested as Exxxx and I. Most women, I found, just walk faster when a strange man comes up to them and says, "Hey look, a bat!"

I did get some kids to look at it. They thought it was pretty cool. Each time I showed it to someone I poked it with a stick so it would move and the viewer would go "whoa." The bat started getting more alert and I got a pretty good look at its beady little eyes. It flapped it's wings a couple of times to swat the stick away, but mostly just tried to sleep.

I started to worry that after I left someone I had showed it to might try to hurt it. When my wife and boys came out at the end of conference I showed it to them and then used a couple of sticks to pick it up and move it. I only was able to take a couple of steps before the bat unfurled its wings and flew directly into the trunk of a nearby tree where it stuck like a furry black spitwad. It was cool to see. I don't know how they can do that and not hurt themselves.

Anyway, when we got home I googled "bats" and then somehow that led to "chupacabras" and then "loch ness" and so on. For a few days I was a regular armchair cryptozoologist.

My favorite "Cryptid" as they are called, was named Zana. She was a humanoid female discovered in or near Siberia in the 1800's. Some believe she was one of a group of surviving Neanderthals. She was covered with reddish hair all over her body, had unusually large breasts which she had to throw over her shoulders to run, was incredibly strong, resistant to cold, and didn't speak any known language. She was captured and kept in a cage for two years until she was sort-of domesticated. Then she was taught to grind grain and things and may have been treated more as livestock than anything else, aside from the fact that village men discovered that she liked to drink and when drunk she wasn't opposed to a little hanky panky. She gave birth to several children in this way. It is said that her children had unusual strength and strange personalities as well. One of them was exhumed for research according to one website.

So this brings us full circle. Have you ever heard of a Humanzee? This cryptid is a rumored cross between humans and chimps. As far as whether this is possible, Human and Chimpanzee DNA is so similar that to compare us as animals is apparently like comparing horses and donkeys. It is most likely possible. As for whether this is probable on the other hand, some would argue against it. But think of poor Zana, liquored up and seduced by the wiles of Siberian farmers. We humans as a species are pretty darn sleazy.

Recently scientists concluded that HIV began in an area of Cameroon where it spread from Chimps to humans. Chimps have a similar disease called SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) which is pretty harmless to them, but somehow it mutated and was passed to humans. There are a lot of ways this could have happened: Chimp being slaughtered, chimp throwing feces in someones face, chimp barbeque, etc. But maybe, just maybe, it started with a man and a chimp who loved each other very much and they got married and started a family of Humanzees.


~j. said...

Ahh...Brokeback Kong.

AzĂșcar said...

Personally, I find the gory details of slaughter and/or consumption of raw simian meat more disgusting than interspecies love.

Ok, that Russian story was crazy.

AzĂșcar said...

Also, how cool of the high councilman to throw the bottle back. I would have totally come over and looked at the bat (MY bat!)

I'm also glad it got away before anyone decided to start pulling off its wings (I am not casting aspertions in your direction, merely thinking through the many deacons that would have been on the premises.)

The Scooter Lounge said...

Brokeback Kong! That's it, the next summer blockbuster for sure.

spitzer said...

I just saw a movie with a Cryptozoology (incident at loch ness), but was disappointed when I found out that it was just another mockumentry, the crypto was hilarious regardless.
This is a comment about your entire page. Ditch the scholastic template j/k, lol, yhic (ya had it commin'). Actually I write in standard essay format all the time with out even recognizing it.

La Yen said...

Thanks to Zana, I now have "Do your ears hang low" in my head.