The British tabloids are having fun today with two videos reportedly showing mythical creatures at play in otherwise ordinary settings.
In the first video, a large creature is seen crossing a river in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug region of Siberia. The Sun reports that a Russian government worker shot the video and claims it shows a Woolly mammoth, a creature whose heyday passed more than 10,000 years ago. And while this is almost certainly not an actual mammoth, there is some historical evidence to tantalize cryptozoologists. It turns out that some mammoths actually did survive beyond the extinction of their brethren, living on Wrangel Island off the coast of Siberia until about 3,500 years ago.
But if you watch the video closely, you will see that what is supposed to be the creature's trunk, or possibly its tusks, appears to be quite flaccid. Some viewers speculate that the furry creature in the video is nothing more than a bear carrying a large fish in its mouth. Others have surmised that it is an elephant, the mammoth's genetic cousin, lost in the woods.
For more legitimate Woolly mammoth goodness, check out this fascinating article on attempts to clone one. There are some who think scientists could successfully clone a mammoth in as little as five years.
Our second video has more arcane roots and makes an even more dubious claim.
In this video, an object can be seen slithering through the ice of the Jokulsa River in Iceland. If you believe everything you hear, this is definitive evidence of the Lagarfljot worm of local legend. As the Telegraph explains, the Lagarfljot has its roots in an old Icelandic myth. As the story goes, a man once attached the worm to a golden ring, hoping it would cause the ring to grow in size. But when he returned the following morning, it was the worm that had expanded to monstrous proportions. Leaving the ring attached to the worm, he threw it into the Jokulsa River, where it continued its exponential expansion.
Most likely it's nothing more than a piece of flotsam being pulled downstream by the current. After all, would even a mythic worm really be trudging through the ice on the surface of a frozen lake?
If you need a dose of real ET-on-earth type news, catch up on the Russian scientists who have successfully drilled down into an ancient Antarctic lake, which has existed undisturbed under two miles of ice for more than 20 million years. The very grounded speculation on Lake Vostok offers the potential of not only new discoveries here on Earth, but a better understanding of how extraterrestrial life may exist in the frozen lakes of places like Jupiter's moon Io.
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