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Giant Sea Centipedes- The Con Rit

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posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 10:51 PM
About time for a new cryptid to be introduced to the board. I was a little bored of traditional "sea serpents" and Bigfoot. Let's get refreshed.

Enter: The Con Rit. It means Centipede or Millipede in Vietnamese (2,3). It has been given the scientific name Cetioscolopendra aeliani by cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans under the assumption that it is an archaic whale (4).

Other Names (2):
Many-Finned Sea Serpent
Cetacean Centipede
Great Sea-Centipede

Physical Description: A sea serpent about 50 feet long and a few feet (probably 3 feet) wide, resembling a giant centipede or millipede with around 25 armored, jointed segments that measure approximately 2 feet by 3 feet. Each segment contains a pair of legs, each leg is about 2.5 feet long. The dorsal (back) side is brown, the ventral (belly) side is yellow. (1)
This creature has also been reported as serpentine with many fins, or something similar. (3)
A sighting near Algeria reported a length of 135 feet (5).

Location: Marine. Southeast Asia, especially around Vietnam. (1)


In Vietnamese folklore, the con rit is a revered water dragon, identified as the same segmented dragon that appears in the classic folklore book Chich-Quai. (1)

The Con Rit bears a striking resemblance to the Oriental dragons of ancient legend. Described as long, serpentine creatures with tough hides and many fins, faces bristling with tentacle-like whiskers, the dragons of Southeast Asia can be found in deep sea caverns and are usually benevolent. It is possible that such legends are based on ancient sightings of living con rits, and indeed it is said that a very con rit-like creature once swam up the Bay of Tonkin in ancient times. (4)

Initial research of the Con Rit was conducted by Dr. A. Krempf, director of the Oceanographic and Fisheries Service of Indo China, in the 1920’s. During his researcher Dr. Kremph interviewed an eyewitness who reportedly touched a beached Con Rit in 1883. (5)

Sightings: The majority of sightings occurred between 1883 and 1903.

Second Century AD-

In his book, On The Nature Of Animals, Greek military writer Aelian reported that these serpents were known to beach themselves. He went on to say that witness of the time reported that the creatures had lobster like tails and large hairy nostrils. (2)

1883, Hongay, Vietnam - Eyewitness Tran Van Con saw the headless carcass of a Con Rit wash upon shore in Hongay. He said it was 60 feet log by 3 feet wide and covered in 60cm hexagonal armoured segments throughout its length, with a 2'4" (70 cm) filament protruding from both sides of each segment (3, 4). "The creature was dark brown above and yellow on its underside, and when he touched it, it sounded metallic, much like the sound produced when tapping a horseshoe crab shell... The tail section was similar, but had two extra filaments coming from the bottom corners of the hexagon (3). It could be speculated that the filaments formed either end of a by then decomposed flap or fin (2). It was examined but tossed back due to the smell. At the time, scientists expected that the new species would be identified quickly but as the sightings decreased, this never happened. (1, 2)

1899, Cape Falcon, Algeria -

The crew of the HMS Narcissus spotted a giant creature near Cape Falcon in Algeria: The sailors reported sighting a sea monster that possessed an immense number of fins, and measured about 45 metres (150 feet) in length. The creature propelled itself forward with its fins with enough speed to keep pace with the ship. In all the sailors were able to observe it for about half an hour. (2)


  1. Prehistoric whale with armored plates, like a Zeuglodon (Basilosaurus) (Picture)(1, 4)
  2. Crustacean (Picture)(1)
  3. Gigantic isopod (Picture(4)
  4. New aquatic chilopoda (Picture) (4)
  5. Oarfish Picture(5)

Invertebrates are some of the most frequently discovered animals these days, and if a giant invertebrate were discovered, scientists would expect it to be an oceanic creature, since the ocean is the only place where mainstream scientists think giant undiscovered animals might still lurk. (1)

My Thoughts:
A discussion about aquatic centipedes has taken place at another ATS website (!) called, the American Tarantula Society. They've come to the conclusion that it might be common in some populations and possibly is a new evolutionary trait.

For the record, the largest living centipede is Scolopendra gigantea ("also known as Peruvian giant yellowleg centipede and Amazonian giant centipede)", which can grow to over a foot long and has 21-23 segments (pretty close to around the 25-30 of the Con Rit).

The largest single millipede is an African Giant Black Millipede, and it is 15.2 inches. Picture

What do I think? I'm thinking Remipedia, even though they are teeny tiny, they might give us some clues. All myriapodes (centipedes, millipedes, relates) are terrestrial. But what the other ATS found about centipedes swimming... it could go both ways. It could go lots of ways.

Remipedia is a class of blind crustaceans found in coastal aquifers which contain saline groundwater, with populations identified in almost every ocean basin so far explored, including in Australia, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean.

The fact that there are segmented crustaceans like these, and that some centipedes are apparently able to be semi-aquatic, leads me to believe it's probably an invertebrate. I had that feeling from the start.

So, what do you think?

1. The Cryptid Zoo: Con Rit. Jamie Hall, 2006.
2. Con Rit- The Great Sea Centipede. Daniel Couzins, 2007
3. Con Rit
4. Con Rit. Andrew Coletti
5. Unknown Explorers- Con Rit

[edit on 8/28/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 11:00 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

So, what do you think?

I think any chick/girl/woman/female that likes dinosaurs and insects is groovy...and even better when they're bright.

Upside down pentagram for you!

Back on topic:

How interesting...

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 11:09 PM
reply to post by happygolucky

And I think any dude with Indiana Jones as his avatar is groovy, too.

Thank you for the compliments.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Well............I have NEVER heard of this before....I doubt many on ATS have, great job as usual Raven.
As far as what I think it is, based on your descriptions linked it surely seems that your postulate of Remipedia seems to fit, although it would be a very large one
. It is just CRAZY how little we know of the ocean, I mean we know more about the surface of the Moon than we do our OWN oceans. A personal thank you for bringing a TRULY ORIGINAL "Sea Monster" case to ATS' attention. Star and flag obviously...

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:14 AM
How bout a four foot tropical polychaete worm?

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:52 AM

While I don't hate them, millipedes and centipedes terrify me.

The thought of a giant, armored beasty in the fashion of a centipede traversing the world's waters functions as very effective nightmare fuel, thanks.

Despite how frightening it would be, I'd still find such a discovery quite intriguing, though. Thanks for the post. Hadn't really ever delved into the idea of something like this before.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 06:17 AM
Hi there Raven,

You said "Sightings: The majority of sightings occurred between 1883 and 1903."

Maybe these creatures normally live deep in the ocean floors,and are usually happy to stay down there-Some kind of eathquake event in the area may have dislodged some of them from their natural habitat and brought them up to the surface?

Heres a biggie in 1896,off the coast of Japan,which caused a tsunami:

I remeber when I was in Thailand,a guy rolled onto a 6 inch black millipede,which bit him on the forehead-His screams woke the whole village,and his whole head swelled up.
Imagine what one of those giant con rits could do...
They sound well creepy.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Threads like this is why the Crypto Forum is so valuable and your efforts have truely changed things here
So great job and what a FANTASTIC THREAD you have created. I have heard about these things and unfortuantely, their really is not much info on them anywhere. You did well in pulling in all your sources and research
I learned something that I did not know before which is the key to everything.


posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by Pauligirl

Except that polychaetes are soft bodied. Some secrete minerals but they generally decay very quickly. Since the eyewitness says that he "tapped on a segment and it sounded metallic, similar to a horseshoe crab shell" I tend to think that polychaetes are out of the question. The cuticle wouldn't preserve in that manner, as far as I know.

Being soft bodied, the fossil record of polychaetes is dominated by their fossilized jaws, known as scolecodonts, and the mineralized tubes that some of them secrete. However, their cuticle does have some preservation potential; it tends to survive for at least 30 days after a polychaete's death.[2] Although biomineralisation is usually necessary to preserve soft tissue after this time, the presence of polychaete muscle in the non-mineralised Burgess shale shows that this need not always be the case.[2] Their preservation potential is similar to that of jellyfish.[2]

For the life of me I cannot figure out what species of Polychaete "Barry" is. I'm thinking Eunicidae. I can't find a direct connection but I'm pretty sure, it's been found to terrorize aquariums in the past. They generally live under rocks. I can't think of one "swimming alongside a boat" and the preservation and external body anatomy just doesn't seem right.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

Dear member with the sweetest avatar:

Excellent thought! Thanks for the information. One of my sources, Daniel Couzins, also offered up this:

The Con Rit may live deep on the ocean floor, out of reach of mans’ watchful eye, only exposing itself when confused or ill (remember the whale in the Thames?).

Definitely a possibility. Actually, more like a probability. It's a shame there haven't been any recent sightings, you would think maybe after the tsunami a few years back there may have been one.

I'm sure these guys could be dangerous. COULD. But if they're marine they may have evolved to filter feed. It's possible.

I keep saying to myself "Darn, darn, darn, why did the carcass have to be missing it's head?!"
Cryptozoology is difficult.

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:21 PM
jkrog, romantic, and myth:

Thank you and you are very welcome. Glad I brought something new to your attention, even if it is a bit terrifying.

Some personal notes:

Jkrog- Although I understand the point and agree, I suppose many ATS members would argue against "We know more about the moon than our own oceans." lol! Kind of funny.

Romantic- Why let this one "bug" you? There are so many things that are more terrifying in our oceans that we already KNOW about! I'd be more concerned with those for the time being... But I must say, I vastly prefer millipedes over centipedes. I don't like the legs on centipedes. Millipedes are actually pretty adorable. Keep in mind, my least favorite animals are possums, rats, and the primate family Hominidae.

Myth- Glad you liked the thread =) I know we had been chatting about cryptids and I couldn't pass this one up. So thanks for persuading me to inspire myself? Thank you for your compliments. I like how I organized this one. I might make it a new standard for myself...

posted on Aug, 30 2009 @ 07:46 AM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Its a bad shame the specimen didn't have its head.
There is some speculation that the find may have been decomposing when it was found:

Some sixteen years before the Cape Falcon sighting, in 1883, it is alleged that the headless corpse of a Con Rit was washed ashore in Hongay, Vietnam. Eyewitness Tran Van Con claimed the carcass to be 18 metres (60 feet) long by one metre (3 feet) wide and covered in 60cm hexagonal armoured segments throughout its length. The creature was dark brown above and yellow on its underside, and when he touched it, it sounded metallic, much like the sound produced when tapping a horseshoe crab shell. From both sides of every segment protruded two filaments of 70 cm in length. The tail section was similar, but had two extra filaments coming from the bottom corners of the hexagon. It could be speculated that the filaments formed either end of a by then decomposed flap or fin – a theory given greater plausibility since the carcass was later towed out to sea and dumped because of the stench it gave off!

If it was decomposing it could have maybe started life looking quite different to what washed up on the shore,maybe it was some kind of oarfish,although the 1 meter width sounds pretty big.
The "metallic" sound does not,however sound like any kind of fish I have come across!!
A real shame they ditched it at sea-they should have dried it out and kept it.

posted on Aug, 31 2009 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by ravenshadow13

Thanks. I now know more today than I did yesterday. The trick will be to remember it next week.

posted on Sep, 1 2009 @ 12:28 AM
reply to post by Silcone Synapse

I know! Armored segments... armored segments. So probably, if it was a fish, a prehistoric armored type fish. Either that or some carcass that got calcified somehow. The oarfish could be similar to what was "swimming alongside the boat" but I'm starting to feel like oarfish are becoming a much too common explanation for cryptids.

Nessie? Oarfish.
Con Rit? Oarfish
Champ? Oarfish
Bigfoot? Furry Oarfish.

Not exactly, but you get my point.

posted on Sep, 1 2009 @ 12:29 AM
reply to post by Pauligirl

You're very welcome. I suppose it would be easier if we spoke Vietnamese. Centipede = Centipede. Sometimes I find the names in other languages hard to remember myself. So I type them over and over again. That's how I learned Umdhlebi.

posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 01:19 PM
The first thing that came to my mind, considering it's segmented, large and aquatic was Dunkleosteus.

A 10 meter long prehistoric fish with an armoured head, and sharp blades for teeth


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