Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ENTER THE NINGEN


As I'm sure many (if not most) of you are aware, the subject of cryptozoology is a particular favorite here at ICHQ, and when we aren't writing about metal, our minds tend to wander in that direction, or maybe just somewhere in between...
The search for undiscovered species is an endeavor clouded by hoax, misinformation, disinformation, and pseudoscience--perhaps this is why the Illogical mind is drawn to it so strongly. We are indeed a blog dedicated to belief in that which is downright foolish, hence the relatively young mythology of the "ningen" is fertile ground for us.

"Ningen" (a Japanese word literally meaning "human") refers to a particular type of of aquatic cryptid, usually reported as enormous (20-30 meters in length), white in color, whale-like, and in possession, strangely enough, of a human face, arms, and hands. The first popular ningen story came from a supposed Japanese government "whale researcher" on the pages of 2Channel, and while I can't find any proper English translation of said posting, the fallout appeared in several places, including the magazine Mu, Pink Tentacle, and our old favorite, Mysterious Universe.

Part of the charm of the ningen mythology is its relative newness, as the first report of the massive, blubbery beast surfaced in 2006-'07. The thought of such a girthy were-whale evading science so thoroughly for so long is indeed an enticing one, and although the ningen stays relatively low on the cryptid-visibility scale (as opposed to Bigfoot, the Montauk Monster, or even the Mongolian Death Worm), its supporters are inversely fervent, ensuring that its legend will survive...



Pretty sure this picture ain't Shopped.

Weird, human-faced sea creatures are definitely nothing new to the field of cryptozoology--Hell, bizarre anthropomorphism abounds in the ocean depths (even in the realms of provable science). Anyone else read that story on the one-eyed, albino shark last week? That shit was fucked up.
But the mythology of the ningen carries a strange humanism with it, beyond the outward appearance of the great beast. Or fish. Whatever. Something about the thought of a huge cetacean with a person's face gliding through the most remote depths of the Antarctic is haunting beyond message-board meme-ism, and I personally welcome the coming reign of our Ningen Overlords with open arms.





Left: There was a small uproar a couple years back when some folks claimed they saw what looked like a ningen in a Google Maps image off the coast of Namibia. To me, it kind of looks like some waves. But yeah, it's probably a ningen.

I'm not sure what percent of our readership can read/translate Japanese, but what little research I've done on the subject has turned up very little in English and a whole Hell of a lot in that particular language. I'm definitely interested in learning more about the subject, and I implore any readers who can supply further stories and/or information to do so. If not, hey, I guess I can just learn Japanese.

Thanks in advance.

6 comments:

Aegipan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aegipan said...

I concur, that story on the one-eyed, albino shark last week was fucked up!! By the way, National Geo had an excellent article on it with great yet disturbing pictures:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/pictures/111013-shark-albino-one-eyed-fetus/

God damn, that shit's creepy! ::shivers::

Judge Shredd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

So that's what's on the cover of the Noothgrush album. Mystery solved.

Anonymous said...

How does it breathe? Gills in its armpits?

Shelby Cobras said...

Whoa, Daniel. You just blew my fucking mind.