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The Congo River

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posted on May, 16 2010 @ 11:31 PM
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 750 feet.

"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 place.

"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.

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 12:25 AM
WELL, i would like to add something. i think that the most amazing animal on the face of the earth is found in the middle of the congo river. What animal would that be?


(OH GOODIE! I did a google search for bonobo chimpanzee and i am happy to say that one of my photographs of a bonobo is one of the 8 photos that are presented in google search results)

I actually don't really like this bonobo photo i took, but i am just happy that it is one of the first to come up:

Anyways, the bonobo chimpanzee, or pygmy chimpanzee, is a more human like member of the chimpanzee family.

They are ruled by females instead of males and are a much more peaceful animal than the common chimpanzees.

The cool thing about the bonobo chimpanzees are how human like they are. They are much more slender and tall than the common and tend to walk upright more often.
that photo is not by me.

Anyways, they are a fascinating animal and they are as close to humans as you can get.

The follow photos are all taken by myself at the Jacksonville Zoo

Bonobo drinking water - Here a bald bonobo drinks water.. looks very human like to me.

Bonobo sitting - A bonobo sitting on the dock of the bay! Watching the clouds..

Playful Bonobo - One of my favorite bonobo photos i have taken.. a young girl getting herself into a very funny position.

Bonobo Aerial Attack - young bonobo attacking another bonobo.. she did an amazing aerial attack

Bonobo Bodyguard - After a the aerial attack i posted above, the large bonobo came to guard the youngest bonobo. They are all sisters. You can see how well of a bodyguard they are.. she completly draped her body over the young one to keep the other one away. She literally walked on and over the young one, where ever the young one went the bodyguard was hovering right above her. This shows you how compassionate and caring they are.

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 09:33 AM
Even though my intention was to focus on river-based animals, I'm glad that you brought up these Bonobomonsters. I did briefly read about how the river separates them from some sort of Chimpmonsters. Like in the movie Congo, except Tim Curry isn't there to cause trouble. Looking back, this isn't like that movie at all. In fact I don't think they're monsters so let's just call them bonobos and chimps.

The very short tidbit I read about these animals (which I will never find least not right now since I desperately need water, coffee, and a greasy breakfast) seemed to emphasize how the two species are separated by the river. Do they not get along? Would I be remembering correctly if I said that I remember seeing a show about different groups of apes/chimps/you're the expert having big violent battles?

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by greatpiino

Sorry, i had a feeling that you were talking about river monsters but my love for the bonobos forced me to post about them...

Bonobo family cuddling

A quick video to introduce you to bonobos and chimpanzees. It includes bonobo sex, which is quite remarkable. Also touches on chimpanzees intelligence and pondering skills and their love for waterfalls, they often will perform rituals around them.

I will make a seperate thread later about the bonobos and chimpanzees, its about time i do that. Here is a little info on the Bonobos:

The Bonobo name is actually not the right name to call them, their official name is Pan Paniscus and their common name is Pygmy Chimpanzee.

So why do the Pygmy Chimpanzees differ from the Common Chimpanzee? It seems that around 1.5 - 2 million years ago the Congo river was created and divided the ancestors of these 2 groups of chimps. To the north of the Congo river you will find Common Chimpanzees and to the south of the great river you will find the Pygmy Chimps. Since Chimpanzees and bonobos are afraid of water and swimming they don't cross the Congo river. That is why there is a difference between the two.

The bonobos evolved into a different animal.

What are the two chimps main differences? The Pygmy Chimpanzee is a little smaller and more slender giving them a more human like appearance. They can walk upright more easily and have a few more human-like attributes.
The Bonobo females are the leaders of the community, which is the opposite of the common chimpanzees. Because of they are ruled by the females, there is far less fighting and surprisingly much more sex. They have sex to release stress and solve quarrels, with male on male and female on female sex is quite common.

To me, this makes the Chimpanzees a lot of fun to study and watch. One species is sexually active on a daily basis and rarely ever kills each other or has serious fights while the other (common Chimpanzee) does not have sex as much and seems to fight much more, even going so far as to kill individuals that are weak or that are from another tribe.


The common chimpanzee, on the other hand, are savage monsters. They are ruled by the Alpha male who is in charge of the group. They are large males who will constantly fight other males to see who is in charge of all the ladies. If a male tries to mate with another female, the Alpha male will get super pissed off and start to fight.

They are excellent hunters. Common chimpanzees will form hunting parties and set off to hunt monkeys. Watch this amazing video to see how the hunting party uses individual skills as a team to catch a monkey.. really really amazing!

The common chimps will also form patrol gangs to guard their territory. The alpha male makes the call to start forming the patrol group and another call to signal the start of the patrol. They walk single file and hunt down members of other tribes. Here is a great video showing this:

That is it for now.. i will save more for my thread! Sorry for hijacking!

[edit on 17-5-2010 by BeastMaster2012]

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 11:53 AM
The bonobos are welcome here. The waterfall stuff is very interesting. And of course, so is the promiscuous sex and the functions it serves. If you read between the lines, there's an inappropriate joke about a young biologist's motivation to closely study this animal Dian Fossey-style.

You should definitely start a thread on this topic, if for no other reason than because most people who click on this one won't even make through my first post, thus missing out on your content.

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 12:10 PM
The Congo is a crazy place I don't want to be anywhere near. That's why I live in northeastern US. Unlike the Africa & South America, there's nothing here that will kill you just by looking at it.

S&F This thread was great entertainment if nothing else.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 09:02 AM
reply to post by samureyed

I finally made my thread! here it is

Anyways i will get a little more on topic. The congo river is one of the longest rivers in the world and was connected to the nile river at one point! I agree, if there is going to be some kind of crazy river monster it will be in the congo (or the amazon). If one were really interested in finding a crazy river monster i would say ask the local tribesman if they have heard of any stories about monsters in the river. They would be the best source for leads.


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