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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 08/18/11

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SOME MORE TERRIFYING AND MYSTERIOUS CREATURES!!

   Here are ten of the most terrifying and bizarre creatures to ever, allegedly, walk the Earth. These creatures defy logic, inspire the imagination and generate fear. They are the subject of numerous movies, documentaries, books and even songs. They have become ingrained in our culture. Do these creatures really exist? Did they ever exist? Or are these merely hoaxes, or the result of over active imaginations? No matter what you believe, I think it is safe to say that the members of this list are the stuff of nightmares, and if encountered, even the most hardened individual would tremble with fear. So let’s open our minds to the incredible, and embark on a brief journey through a world teeming with cryptids. This is a follow up list to the Top 10 Bizarre Cryptids.



10. Dover Demon
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   This creature was sighted on three separate occasions in the town of Dover, Massachusetts, on April 21 and April 22, 1977. Due to its appearance, there’s speculation as to whether or not this creature was an alien, or the result of some sort of experiment i.e. a human or alien hybrid, while others suggest it came from another dimension. The Dover Demon’s features are as follows – a disproportionately large, watermelon shaped head, glowing orange eyes, long, thin arms and legs with slender fingers. It was said to be hairless, with rough, flesh-toned skin described as a tan color with the texture of sandpaper. The Dover Demon reportedly lacked facial features e.g. it had no nose, ears or mouth. It’s height was 3 feet, and it made a bloodcurdling noise that sounded like a hawk’s screech combined with a snake’s hiss.



9. Jersey Devil
Jersey



   This beast is said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, with tales beginning in the 1800s and continuing until the 20th century. The creature is usually described as a flying biped with hooves, wings like a bat and a head resembling a horse. The legend of this creature stems from a tale about “Mother Leeds’, a local witch who invoked the devil while giving birth to her 13th child. When the baby was born it immediately transformed into a demonic creature and flew off into the surrounding pine barrens. The Jersey Devil was blamed for many livestock killings, strange tracks and bizarre sounds. In the early 1900′s, scores of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see evidence of it’s arrival through strange tracks.



8. Flatwoods Monster
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   It is claimed that the Flatwoods Monster is some form of extraterrestrial, as this creature was spotted in the vicinity of a large UFO that either hovered above or rested on the ground in the town of Flatwoods, in Braxton County, West Virginia, on September 12, 1952. According to the reports, this creature was huge, at least 10 feet tall. its face gave off a reddish glow, and its body was green in colour. Its head was shaped like a heart or Ace of Spades, and out of this strangely shaped head bulged non-human eyes. The body is described as being shaped similar to a mans and dressed in some sort of dark clothing resembling a skirt. Reports ranged from the creature having no visible arms to short, stubby arms ending in long claw-like fingers.



7. Owlman
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   Mawnan, Cornwall, around the middle of 1976, is where you’d find the earliest Owlman reports. The first sighting took place on April 17, 1976, where the creature was spotted hovering above the Mawnan church tower. Oddly enough sightings up to August, 1978, all occurred within the vicinity of this church. Reports of the Owlman ceased altogether sometime in 1995. This cryptid looks like an owl (no surprise there, considering it is name), it is the size of a man, it has pointed ears, red eyes and black pincer-like claws. Its body bears some similarities to the more famous Mothman, in that it is described as having large wings and is a grayish color. Interestingly, there were many UFO reports, as well as accounts of animals behaving strangely in the surrounding area just prior to the Owlman sightings. Another similarity to the Mothman case.



6. Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
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   On a list like this the Lizard Man had to be high. This humanoid cryptid is said to inhabit the swampland areas in and around Lee County, South Carolina. The sightings began on June 29, 1988, with the most recent notable sighting in February, 2008. The creature is described as being 7 feet 2 inches tall, bipedal, has a strong build, green scaly skin and glowing red eyes. Reports state that the Lizard Man has three toes on each foot and three fingers on each hand. These fingers end in a circular pad that apparently enables the creature to stick to walls. As evidenced by the damage done to the vehicles of those unfortunate enough to encounter it, the creature also possesses incredible strength, clearly capable of ripping into a car. Pulling over in this area is a bad idea.



5. Bunyip
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   For those who grew up in Australasia (primarily Australia and NZ), the bunyip will be familiar. The bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. It has been described as a giant starfish that walks on land. Other common descriptions from 19th century newspaper accounts include a dog-like face, dark fur, a horse-like tail, flippers and walrus-like tusks or horns or a duck like bill. The very first use of the word to describe this Australian cryptid appeared in a newspaper in 1845:
“The Bunyip, then, is represented as uniting the characteristics of a bird and of an alligator. It has a head resembling an emu, with a long bill, at the extremity of which is a transverse projection on each side, with serrated edges like the bone of the stingray. Its body and legs partake of the nature of the alligator. The hind legs are remarkably thick and strong, and the fore legs are much longer, but still of great strength. The extremities are furnished with long claws, but the blacks say its usual method of killing its prey is by hugging it to death. When in the water it swims like a frog, and when on shore it walks on its hind legs with its head erect, in which position it measures twelve or thirteen feet in height.”



4. Sigbin
Sigbin



   The Sigbin is a creature from the Philippines said to come out at night to suck the blood of victims from their shadows (the Philippines has some amazingly bizarre cryptids as you can see on this list). It is said to walk backwards with its head lowered between its hind legs, and to have the ability to become invisible to other creatures, especially humans. It resembles a hornless goat, but has very large ears which it can clap like a pair of hands and a long, flexible tail that can be used as a whip. The Sigbin is said to emit a nauseating odor. Depending on region and storyteller, the sigbin resembles either a hornless goat, a reptilian crow or something vaguely along the lines of the Chupacabra. What is most common with all accounts is that its head hangs between its forelegs which are much shorter than its hindlegs. Whether because of physiology or because it makes the sigbin seem scarier, it is also known to crabwalk backwards. The sigbin also has a long whip-like tail that emit’s a foul stench and two grasshopper-like legs on its neck that enable it to jump far distances. They wander around at night in search of children to devour but they keep the hearts to make amulets. Most stories and sightings originate from the Cebu region. However, although it is some distance away, in 2005 scientists in Borneo discovered a “cat-fox-like carnivore” with hind legs longer than forelegs giving it an awkward gait and physical appearance that somewhat fits many of the descriptions of the sigbin (e.g. long tail, short forearms, can jump far distances, carnivorous). No conclusive evidence has been found yet to link the two together.



3. Canvey Island Monster
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   The Canvey Island Monster is the name given to an unusual creature whose carcass washed up on the shores of Canvey Island, England, in November, 1954. A second, more intact, carcass was discovered in August, 1955. The 1954 specimen was described as being 76cm (2.4ft) long with thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and gills. It was also described as having hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches – which appeared to be suited for bipedal locomotion – but no forelimbs. Its remains were cremated after a cursory inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. The 1955 specimen was described as being similar to the first but much larger, being 120cm (3.9 ft) long and weighing approximately 11.3kg (25lb). It was sufficiently fresh for its eyes, nostrils and teeth to be studied, though no official explanation was given at the time as to what it was or what happened to the carcass.




2. Pope Lick Monster
Sheepman



   In most accounts, the Pope Lick Monster (named after the Pope Lick Creek below the Pope Lick Train Trestle – shown above) appears as a human-goat hybrid with a grotesquely deformed body of a man. It has powerful, fur-covered goat legs, an alabaster-skinned face with an aquiline nose and wide set eyes. Short, sharp horns protrude from the forehead, nestled in long greasy hair that matched the color of the fur on the legs. Numerous urban legends exist about the creature’s origins and the methods it employs to claim its victims. According to some accounts, the creature uses either hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure trespassers onto the trestle to meet their death before an oncoming train. Other stories claim the monster jumps down from the trestle onto the roofs of cars passing beneath it. Yet other legends tell that it attacks its victims with a blood-stained axe.


1. Goatman
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     Described as a hybrid beast that bears a horrific mélange of both human and goat-like characteristics, this horned, hoofed, goat featured horror would seem to be a modern re-interpretation of the ancient satyrs found in Greek myths. Yet eyewitnesses claim that this fiend is not a figment from beyond mythology, but a living, breathing, flesh and blood creature, that is not to be trifled with. The first official report of this brute hails from 1957, when eyewitnesses reported seeing a hairy, horned monster in the areas of Forestville and Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County. Following that wave of sightings, the beast apparently decided to lay low until the summer of 1962, when the Goatman was accused of killing no less than fourteen people — twelve children and two accompanying adults — who were apparently hiking too close to its lair. The survivors, who, of course, remain unidentified, claimed that the Goatman violently hacked it’s victims to pieces with an axe, all the while emitting ghastly sounds only the “devil himself” would make.

RAKSHA BANDHAN FROM INDIA!



Rakhi: The Thread of Love

   In India, festivals are the celebration of togetherness, of being one of the family. Raksha Bandhan is one such festival that is all about affection, fraternity and sublime sentiments. It is also known as Raksha Bandhan which means a 'bond of protection'. This is an occasion to flourish love, care, affection and sacred feeling of brotherhood.
   Not a single festival in India is complete without the typical Indian festivities, the gatherings, celebrations, exchange of sweets and gifts, lots of noise, singing and dancing. Raksha Bandhan is a regional celebration to celebrate the sacred relation between brothers and sisters. Primarily, this festival belongs to north and western region of India but soon the world has started celebrating this festival with the same verse and spirit. Rakhi has become an integral part of those customs.





An insight of Rakhi Rituals
   On the day of Rakhi, sisters prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chawal, rakhi thread and sweets. The ritual begins with a prayer in front of God, then the sister ties Rakhi to her brother and wishes for his happiness and well-being. In turn, the brother acknowledge the love with a promise to stand by his sister through all the good and bad times.
   Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of their brothers amid chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on his forehead and pray for his well-being. She bestows him with gifts and blessings. In turn, brothers also wish her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return gift. The gift symbolizes the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and his pledge. The legends and the reference in history repeated, the significance of the festival is emphasized.




 
Unconditional Bond of Love
        Raksha bandhan has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for many years. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyle to make the celebration more elaborate and lively. This day has an inherent power that pulls the siblings together. The increasing distances evoke the desire to be together even more. All brothers and sisters try to reach out to each other on this auspicious day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, that erstwhile feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood calls for a massive celebration.
     For everyone, it is an opportunity to reunion and celebrate. People also share tasty dishes, wonderful sweets and exchange gifts. It is a time to share their past experiences also. For those who are not able to meet each other, rakhi cards and e-rakhis and rakhis through mails perform the part of communicating the rakhi messages. Hand made rakhis and self-made rakhi cards are just representation of the personal feelings of the siblings.






Traditions & Customs

    Raksha Bandhan is an occasion to celebrate the sacred bond of love and affection between siblings with lots of verve. Also known as Raksha Bandhan across the world, this festival is primarily a north Indian festival that is celebrated all brothers and sisters to express their deep emotions, love and affection.
On the day of Rakhi festival, the sister ties Rakhi on the wrist of her brother and both make prayer to God for the well being of each other. Sisters perform 'aarti' and put tilak on the forehead of her brother. In return, brothers make promise to take care of his sister under all circumstances. Usually, brothers gift something to the sister to mark the occasion. The mirth that surrounds the festival is unsurpassed. Amidst the merriment the rituals are also followed with great devotion.






Preparation of Rakhi Festival

    Generally, the fancy Rakhis and delicious sweets are prepared long before the Shravana Purnima. According to the Indian tradition, the family members get ready for the rituals early in the morning. They take a bath to purify mind and body before starting any preparations. Sisters prepare the puja thali which consists of roli, tilak, Rakhi threads, rice grains, aggarbattis (incense sticks), diyas and sweets. After offering the rituals to the deities of the family, the sister perform aarti of their brothers and ties Rakhi on their wrist. Then, they put kumkum powder on the forehead of their brother and offer sweets. All these rituals take place amid the chanting of the following mantras :



"Suraj shakhan chhodian, Mooli chhodia beej
Behen ne rakhi bandhi / Bhai tu chir jug jee"
,
Which means "The sun radiates its sunlight, the radish spreads its seeds,
I tie the rakhi to you O brother and wish that may you live long."
After her prayer for a long life for her brother, she says that she is tie the ever-protective Raksha to her brother's wrist and chants:

"Yena baddho Balee raajaa daanavendro mahaabalah
tena twaam anubadhnaami rakshe maa chala maa chala"


   This means," I tie you the rakhi that was tied to king Bali, the king of Demons,
O Rakhi I pray that you never falter in protecting your devotee.
   In return, brothers pampers and blesses the sisters and promises to protect her from all the evils of this world. He also present a token of his love and affection as a Rakhi gift. The rituals performed on Raksha Bandhan may differ from place to place but they carry the same aura throughout the globe.
Raksha Bandhan in History
    The traditional Hindu festival 'Raksha Bandhan' (knot of protection) was came into origin about 6000 years back when Aryans created first civilization - The Indus Valley Civilization. With many languages and cultures, the traditional method to Rakhi festival celebration differs from place to place across India. Following are some historical evidences of Raksha Bandhan celebration from the Indian history.









Rani Karnawati and Emperor Humayun

   The story of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun is the most significant evidence in the history. During the medieval era, Rajputs were fighting Muslim invasions. Rakhi at that time meant a spiritual binding and protection of sisters was foremost. When Rani Karnawati the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, she sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor touched by the gesture started off with his troops without wasting any time.

Alexander The Great and King Puru

   The oldest reference to the festival of rakhi goes back to 300 B.C. at the time when Alexander invaded India. It is said that the great conqueror, King Alexander of Macedonia was shaken by the fury of the Indian king Puru in his first attempt. Upset by this, Alexander's wife, who had heard of the Rakhi festival, approached King Puru. King Puru accepted her as his sister and when the opportunity came during the war, he refrained from Alexander.







Lord Krishna and Draupathi

   In order to protect the good people, Lord Krishna killed the evil King Shishupal. Krishna was hurt during the war and left with bleeding finger. Seeing this, Draupathi had torn a strip of cloth from her sari and tied around his wrist to stop the bleeding. Lord Krishna, realizing her affections and concern about him, declared himself bounded by her sisterly love. He promised her to repay this debt whenever she need in future. Many years later, when the pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna helped her divinely elongating the saari so that they could not remove it.

King Bali and Goddess Lakshmi

   The demon king Mahabali was a great devotee of lord Vishnu. Because of his immense devotion, Vishnu has taken the task of protecting bali's Kingdom leaving his normal place in Vikundam. Goddess lakshmi - the wife of lord Vishnu - has became sad because of this as she wanted lord Vishnu along with her. So she went to Bali and discussed as a Brahmin woman and taken refuge in his palace. On Shravana purnima, she tied Rakhi on King Bali's wrist. Goddess Lakshmi ord Vishnu to accompany her to vaikuntam. Due to this festival is also called Baleva as Bali Raja's devotion to the Lord vishnu. It is said that since that day it has become a tradition to invite sisters on sravan pournima to tie sacred thread of Rakhi or Raksha bandan.






Rakhi Celebrations

   In India, Rakhi celebrations are about strengthening the bond of love between brothers and sisters and fostering brotherhood. This festival is not a ritual, custom and tradition that can change over time but its style of celebration has become contemporary. Since ages, Raksha Bandhan is being celebrated in the same way. All the traditions are followed with the same enthusiasm. The gaieties have only blown up to a larger scale. Rakhi festival is the celebration of the chaste bond of love amongst the siblings.
     Everyone start preparing for this festival much in advance. About a month before the commencement of raksha bandhan, you can see fancy and colorful rakhis in every market. Ladies start shopping for rakhi and rakhi gifts quite early. They shop for new clothes and beautiful rakhi gifts specially the one that have to be sent to their brothers staying far. Almost every shop, be it sweet shops, garment shops, gift shops, or any other shop, all are flooded with attractive rakhi gifts to attract people.





   The celebration of Rakhi, in India, is well known for its carnival spirit and strengthening the bond of love between brothers and sisters. In fact, India is globally known for its colorful festivals and ever-green tradition. Celebrated with different rituals, family get-together and sweets, Raksha Bandhan is about sentiments, love and enjoyment. Like any other festival, rakhi has its unique significance.
   On the day of Rakhi festival, the festivity of this auspicious day begin by the day break. After taking bath early morning, people get ready by wearing new clothes and gather for worshiping. After invoking the the blessings of the Gods, the sister performs brother’s arti, puts tika and chawal on his forehead and ties Rakhi amongst chanting of mantras. Sisters whole heartedly give sweets to their brothers to eat which in turns add more sweetness in the Raksha Bandhan celebration and pray for their well being. In return, brothers pamper their sisters and present beautiful gifts to lure them. They also promise to take care of her and stand by her side in any circumstances.







   After performing all these rituals, the whole family reunion to enjoy and have fun. Then all of them share the delicious food, tasty sweets, gifts, music and dance. It is a day to remember all the memorable time spent together for those who, for any reason, are far away from their family. Emotions can also be expressed through e-mails, e-cards, rakhi greeting cards and rakhi through Internet. The overflowing emotions of siblings cannot be stopped on this day.
   Rabindra Nath Tagore started gathering of people like 'Rakhi Mahotsavas' in Shantiniketan to propogate the feeling of brotherhood among people. He believed that the this will invoke trust and feeling of peaceful coexistence. Raksha Bandhan, for them, is a way to harmonize the relationship of humanity. The tradition continues as people started tying rakhis to the neighbor and friends.