I was watching the episode of the show River Monsters where he fished on the Congo. If you haven't seen the show, it basically follows the efforts of
a talented angler who attempts to catch particularly large or dangerous fish. He went through some tidbits about the river, which got me thinking
about the river's capability to sustain a population of large, previously undiscovered cryptids. I decided to look into it a little more out of
curiosity. I wasn't planning on starting a thread about it, but right now I'm fairly intoxicated as a result of this afternoon's Boston Celtics
game. I'm not drunk enough to collapse into bed without brushing my teeth, but drunk enough to be entertained by a task I would otherwise be too lazy
to undertake; thus, I give you this thread.
A few disclaimers: Don't get your hopes up. I'm not an expert on...anything. Except for being handsome and dropping incredible one-liners. All of
this info is from a quick Google search. Feel free to correct me on any mistakes or misconceptions, don't worry about hurting my feelings and making
me cry (not quite drunk enough for that either). That being said, it's go time, snitches.
Here are some basics: the river is really friggin huge. It's almost 3,000 miles long. It's also the deepest river in the world, at times as deep as
"So greatpiino, a river that big is like a limitless playground for giant monsters, right?"
I'm not so sure about that, voice in my head. It looks like it's broken up by a few stretches of very rough rapids. The first is called the 'Gates
of Hell.' It's somewhere south of some lake named Tanganyika and runs about 75 miles. I don't think any giant monsters are relaxing in those
rapids, but I'm not really a rapid expert (except for rapidly making any room I'm in awesome...there's your first incredible one-liner). After the
'Gates of Hell,' which I maintain is an overly dramatic name for a section of a river, the Congo stretches through a tropical rainforest, crosses
the equator a couple of times, then turns into another stretch of rapids. This stretch is called Stanley Falls and spans about 60 miles.
Now comes a very long (1000 miles), very wide (9-15 miles) portion of the river that cuts through some more rainforest. I think this would be a pretty
logical place for some large animal to hang out. There's even a section where the flow becomes very slow. It's called Stanley pool.
"Excuse me greatpiino, but who the crap is this Stanley guy and why are parts of this river named after him? Did he invent the Congo River?"
I don't know, but I'm not sure how one can even 'invent' a river. Turns out that thousands of high school teachers across America are wrong, as I
now have proof that there is, in fact, a such thing as a stupid question. Ask someone less lazy than I am to look that up because I'M NOT DOING IT. I
really just wanna get this done before I start getting a headache so I don't have time to get sidetracked. I'm having a hard time focusing as it is.
All I can think about is finishing this increasingly long and time-consuming debacle of a thread so I can fall asleep watching 1979 kungfu classic
Fearless Hyena, the best movie that Jackie Chan ever has and ever will make. Yes, I've seen Drunken Master and love it very much. Yes, my statement
still stands. Look, now I'm sidetracked anyway. Probably should have just Googled this Stanley dude, but I'm not going back to that. Moving on...
So now that we know how big it is, let's get to what the fish situation is like there. A thriving ecosystem would seem to be a necessity. A giant
predator would presumably have a Michael Phelps caliber appetite (second incredible one-liner, this time with mixed messages). There are LOTS of fish
here, despite overfishing and habitat destruction. In fact, there are several million different species of fish in the Congo River.
"Is that true, greatpiino? That doesn't really sound right."
No, it's not true. The actual number is a little under 700. Still a lot though. There are two annual rainy seasons during which fish mate. Lots of
tasty little fish feeding lots of tasty bigger fish. And some of them get really big, like 6 feet long and a couple hundred pounds. But nets and
hooked lines can only reach down so far. I see no reason why the deeper portions wouldn't be able to hide as well as feed a large predator. If you
see a reason to think otherwise, keep it to yourself. I kid, do share.
"So greatpiino, do you think it's likely that a large cryptid lives here?"
Voice in my head that I've been using as a tool to make this more readable, I feel like at this point in the thread we're good friends now, so just
call me "great." Formalities are for malities (third one-liner, this one not so incredible but still amusing to me). To answer the question, I think
this is as good a place as any for something like that. A huge, dynamic, biodiverse river that's surrounded by thousands of square miles of equally
dynamic and biodiverse jungle? That sure sounds like a more plausible place than a cold lake that's stagnant and fishless in comparison to this
"Come on now great, don't hate on Nessie and Champ. We love them, we're not ready to let them go!"
Hey, I call it how I see it. There's no one cashing in on tourist dollars in the Congo. In general, there's not much to gain from fabricating a
story about a cryptid in these parts. But let's not get into that. Instead, let's quickly go through some of the popular cryptids of this area.
Emphasis on quickly because I'm running out of steam like someone farted in the sauna (fourth incredible one-liner, requires a little more thought).
I'm not gonna go into great detail on these. I'm not even gonna give you links. There are plenty of threads here on the subject. Maybe someone else
will be kind enough to search for them. Not me, though.
::Jerry Seinfeld voice:: What's the deal with this mokele-mbembe, huh? A brontosaurus living in the jungle that relaxes underwater, only coming out
at night? Sounds a little shady, maybe he's dealing drugs? Something, something, something, JURASSIC NARC! There's a joke there somewhere, it's up
to you to put it together. Anway, as for this dinosaur type thing that I'm glad I can type instead of pronounce, I don't see why not. It should find
plenty of pools and slow-moving water to hang out in. What does it eat? Doesn't matter. Fish on the right, fresh veggies on the left, and I heard
there's a Panera Bread in the city of Kinshasa, if that's your thing. I, personally, find those establishments pretentious.*
Now the emela-ntouka. Once again, more syllables than I'm comfortable with. This one is some sort of rhinoceros that likes shallow water. So maybe
more suited to the river basin area or a tributary. Like most cryptids, emela-ntouka is supposedly very shy. So much so that he does all his shopping
online, and accumulates several eHarmony matches but never has the courage to meet them in person (the one-liners are becoming increasingly mediocre,
which means it's almost Jackie Chan time).
There are more cryptids that supposedly hang out around there. YOU look for them (I mean online, I don't recommend strapping on your hiking boots and
knee-high socks and shooting over to Africa just because you misunderstood me). Here's my conclusion. It's very anti-climactic, but if you've read
this far then you probably weren't expecting much anyway. The Congo River, specifically the section that's in the middle of the rainforest, is the
most likely place in the world to find what you cryptoheads are looking for. Even moreso than the Amazon. I'm basing that on the fact that I made a
thread on the former, but not on the latter.
"Well greatpiino, this thread has been very...something. You obviously didn't accomplish nearly as much as you expected to when you began. In fact,
you didn't accomplish much at all, you sort of just talked in circles with a few random facts thrown in. But for some reason, I'm glad you did it.
Totally worth it."
Thank you, thank you very much for those kind yet clearly disapointed compliments. It's all over now. It's time for me to drift away while enjoying
my favorite kungfu movie. Classic kungfu, before Hollywood took it and threw it into a blender. I'll leave you with a map, some links that I looked
at to get my info from, and then a quote. Don't forget to add what you will.
Some random Congo stuff
Congo River wikipedia
WWF info on fishies
There is always something new coming out of Africa.
Herodotus, fifth century B.C.
*I didn't really mean it when I said that Panera Bread restaurants are pretentious. I was just trying to crack wise, it's what I do. I've never
been inside a Panera Bread, and I'm not even sure if I used the word pretentious correctly.