Ningen mystery sea creature
Possible Ningen sighting
‘Ningen’ humanoid sea creatures of the Antarctic
Over the past few years, rumors have circulated in Japan about the existence of gigantic humanoid life-forms inhabiting the icy waters of the Antarctic.
The ocean’s vast, mysterious depths are full of enigmatic oddities that have never seen the light of day, but while there are few who would deny that the seas are teeming with as yet undiscovered life-forms, most would be reticent to admit that there are any truly gargantuan species waiting to be found in the fathomless deep… Nevertheless, it would seem that the inscrutable Ningen is just such a creature.
The “Ningen” — which translates as “human” in Japanese — was so dubbed by the Pacific fishermen who claimed to have seen the colossal creature in the 1990s. These professional anglers were astounded by the size of this monster and even more shocked by this ostensibly albino beast’s distinctly humanoid form.
These so-called “Ningen” are said to be completely white in color with an estimated length of 20 to 30 meters (between 60 and 90-feet). Eyewitnesses describe them as having a human-like shape (vaguely resembles the head, torso and appendages of a human being), often with legs, arms, and even five-fingered hands and has been described as being a humongous, “blubbery, whale-like creature,” whose smooth, pale form sometimes having fins or a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only visible facial features are the eyes and mouth.
These beasts have supposedly been seen in the Pacific, Antarctic and Atlantic Oceans, and are always described as being extraordinarily large with a whitish complexion. Many observers have also reported that these animals have no distinct facial features save for two, huge eyes and a mouth-like slit. According to most accounts, these creatures are primarily nocturnal and tend to thrive in frigid, arctic waters.
Initial reports of these marine animals were said to have emanated from the tail end of the 20th Century, which is strange considering how many centuries mariners have been traversing the world’s seas with nary a mention of these bizarre and purportedly gigantic beasts, but before we try and figure out what these things actually are, let’s take a look at what little history we have regarding these captivating creatures.
A LEGEND IS BORN:
While the first known reports of theses mammoth monstrosities are apparently untraceable; it is accepted that the Ningen did not gain any real notoriety until a description of these creatures appeared online in a popular Japanese forum known as 2channel. The individual posting claimed to have been working on a “government whale research vessel,” when one of these creatures rose up from the depths.
According to the account, the anonymous crew member — along with fellow researchers — scrambled up onto the deck to catch a glimpse of what they initially thought was a “foreign submarine” floating on the horizon. However, as the research vessel approached the object it became evident that they were not dealing with a machine-tooled structure,but a living, breathing, behemoth. The crew stared in awe at this biological anomaly until it submerged moments later.
There are persistent rumors that suggest that members of this research team managed to snap a series of extraordinary photos of the “thing” during their brief encounter, but these images were allegedly suppressed in order to spare the government funded research team the shame — and financial ruin — of being associated with this unusual event.
It goes without saying that as soon as this account was published online word of this enigma spread across the globe and a genuine pop culture phenomenon was born. In November of 2007, the buzz surrounding these mystery monsters, and the accompanying photographs, was so intense that the editors of Japan’s “Mu” magazine decided to publish an article regarding this perplexing puzzle.
Mu, much like “Fate Magazine,” is a periodical that is dedicated to the dissemination of information regarding all manner of paranormal phenomena and their article about the Ningen proved to be a huge hit. The author of the piece speculated that these as yet unidentified creatures were likely indigenous to the icy waters of the southern oceans. Mu even displayed a Google Maps image of what was evidently a Ningen swimming in the South Atlantic off the coast of Namibia (second image).
Soon after the article was published a mini-deluge of accounts, photos and grainy video footage flooded the web, but most agree that these unverified reports and images constitute little in the way of real evidence. None of this, however, has dissuaded those who believe that Ningen are corporeal life-forms from speculating that the Japanese government is actually taking these sightings very seriously and amassing a huge body of evidence regarding their existence.
WHAT COULD THEY BE?
One of the more popular theories regarding the identity of these varmints is that they might be an unclassified species of ray.
Skates and rays, for instance, have nostrils and mouths that look like a face. In fact, they look so “human” that they are often mistaken or sold as devils or extraterrestrials — and Japanese fishers know that for centuries.
Could the Ningen be an unknown species of giant, albino ray?
I suppose that it is not entirely beyond the realm of possibility to surmise that an odd species of huge, ray-like fish might be naturally camouflaged to blend in with the floating icebergs and other frozen debris that infest its frigid home.
Some scientists have speculated that human beings have managed to chronicle a mere 20% of all the species living in the world’s oceans. Considering this fact, the chances that large, unknown marine creatures could escape detection — especially if they primarily exist below the ice — improves dramatically.
I’ll be the first to admit that tales of the Ningen have all the vaguely untraceable earmarks of a seafarer’s “fishing tale” combined with the urban myth making abilities of internet pranksters. Add to this mixture a few clever Photoshop artisans and we have the makings of a grand ol’ oceanic legend in the vein of the Flying Dutchman or the carnivorous kraken.
It bears mentioning, however, that — after generations of folklore regarding creatures such as the kraken were vociferously maligned by the academics of the day — modern scientists were finally able to confirm the existence of colossal, whale battling squid in the briny deep. So while most, if not all, of the purported photos of the Ningen are probably fakes and the stories backing them up are just as likely fables, this does not completely rule out the possibility that the genesis of this legend might be a genuine biological entity.
Be they real or prank, Ningen continue to be an intriguing enigma, and until a carcass washes ashore on some isolated beach or is found frozen in an arctic glacier, that’s likely how they will likely remain.