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Asia is a continent with a great variety of landscapes, countries and peoples so it isn’t a surprise that there are any number of creepy Asian cryptids that feature in stories across the region. Some of these are familiar and similar to creatures said to live in other parts of the world while others are very Asian and even very particular to certain cultures. But one thing is certain – they would all haunt your dreams if you met them!
The Yeren is a Chinese Wildman that lives in the forests of the central and southern areas of the country. By footprints, it is said to be over six and a half feet tall with footprints around 16 inches in length. A number of people have seen corpses claimed to be Yeren including a biologist in 1940 in the Gansu region and when hands and feet from a creature were found in the 1980s. Some believe it could be a surviving Gigantopithecus which lived in the region some 300,000 years ago.
The Kala Bandar may not strictly be an Asian cryptid but is certainly an interesting case of an unexplained creature. The name is Hindi for ‘black monkey’ and the creature was a man-like creature that appeared on the streets of New Delhi in 2001 and caused chaos. It was said to be wearing a metal helmet and have metal claws and three people died due to its exploits – one pregnant lady who fell down the stairs when frightened by it and two men who jumped to their deaths to escape it. No clear explanation seems to have been given for what it was.
The Orang-bati is endemic to the island of Seram and is something of a combination of a flying monkey and a bat with a real vicious streak – it raids villages and carried off children to eat. It is around five feet tall with black wings that looks like leather and blood coloured skin with a long, thin tail. One English missionary wrote an account of encounter one in 1987 while on the island while an episode of National Geographic in 2012 tried to capture one and almost managed.
Hibagon is the Japanese name for the creature known as Bigfoot around the world. It is found in the forests of Northern Hiroshima in the Mount Hiba area and has reddish brown fur, sometimes with patches of white. It is smaller than other similar species, around five feet tall and weighting around 180 pounds with glowing eyes and a more ape-like face than American Bigfoot creatures. Sightings were particular common during the 1970 to 1982 period and then tapered off, perhaps meaning the creature died.
Issie is a lake monster found in Lake Ikeda, an extinct volcano caldera that is filled with water. A number of witnesses reported seeing the creature, most famously in 1978 when around 20 people saw a large black creature gliding through the water. It was around 16 feet in length and had two humps. One witness, Yutaka Kawaji, chased it in a powerboat but lost the creature. Later that year, another witness caught a picture of it.
The Kappa is a water creature that has green coloured, scaly skin and webbed feet yet is also said to be humanoid. It has long, elastic arms and is known to pull people into pools of water to drowned them and eat their flesh. However, it isn’t the cleverest of Asian cryptids because it is also obsessed with cucumber – write your name and date on birth on one, feed it to the creature and it will never pursue you again. There are even remains on one said to have been killed in the early 1800s on display in the Miyakonojo Shimazu residence in Kyuushuu.
Tsuchinoko is a two to three foot long snake like creature that has large scales in rust or black shades and an orange belly. It has large, hypnotic eyes and a bulging midsection as well as either ears or horns on the head. This is a nasty type of Asian cryptid that can spit venom but isn’t naturally aggressive. It moves with an up and down movement unlike normal snakes and can swim well as well as being able to leap around six feet in the air. It makes a range of strange noises and is even said to mimic a human voice. There are two places with remains of these creatures, one in Mikata and another in the town of Yoshii.
The Almas is a Bigfoot type creature that is seen across the Mongolian Altai Mountains and into parts of Central Asia. It has been documented going back as far as the 15th century and is a very human type Bigfoot creature. It is covered with reddish brown hair and has a pronounced brow ridge and flat nose. The creatures are believed to live in caves in the mountains.
The Mongolian Death Worm may be one of the better known Asian cryptids and is known as the Olgoi-Khorkhoi in Mongolian. It is red in colour and anywhere from two to seven feet in length. It spits a corrosive yellow substance and can also emit an electrical pulse. It is said to rear up and spit the poison at victims, which kills them and it hunts both humans and livestock.
The Sigbin is a blood sucking creature that looks like a hornless goat with a long tail and long ears. It walks with its head lowered to its hind legs and has a really bad smell. It is said to hunt children, particularly during Holy Week in the country but powerful people can capture it and keep it as a pet, bringing them wealth and good luck.