ANGKOR WAT STEGOSAURUS: Cambodian Hindu temple shows possible ancient knowledge of prehistoric life

Krong Siem Reap, CAMBODIA
VIJAY SHAH via Hawkfeed

If you visit the 800-year-old Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, you will be immediately be taken aback by the immense building and intricate carvings of deities and old Khmer kings of was once one of the most powerful and expansive empires in south-east Asia. However take a closer look, and you will notice something very peculiar among the images of soldiers, local wildlife, royalty and apsaras (sacred nymphs).

Via Hawkfeed

On one of the walls of the main temple at Ta Prohm, there is a carving of a lizard-like creature, stockily-built and four-legged with a series of small sails running along its back. To many modern observers, it resembles a stegosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period, some 155 to 150 million years ago in what is now the western United States and Portugal. Eight centuries later, it would be impossible to interview the carver of the main temple wall with its prehistoric embellishment, but this may be a sign that the ancient Khmer Hindus knew of the existence of dinosaurs, which were not fully understood in Europe until the archaeological discovery of dinosaur fossils that began in the 19th century. It is possible that they may have unearthed a dinosaur skeleton while constructing the temple and figured out what kind of dinosaur it was, before carving its supposed likeness into the temple wall of Ta Prohm as a sort of homage.

The story of the Khmer stone dinosaur has been noticed by various scientific, obscure discovery and religious websites, including Hawkfeed, which specialises in Indian and Hindu news stories and features and is the source for this article. The dinosaur has also attracted attention across the religious divide from Biblical proponents.

The Angkor Wat temple complex was built around 1140 CE by the emperor Suryavarman II and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Khmer people has previously come into with Indian traders who introduced them to Hinduism. The temple was also built as a show of imperial strength as the Khmer empire was making inroads against the neighbouring Thais. The Ta Prohm temple, where the carving is said to be found, was built by later king Jayavarman VII sometime in the late 12th century. The complex eventually fell into disrepair and was swallowed up by the surrounding jungle until, ironically, French archaeologists rediscovered it and it is now the world’s largest surviving religious monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet, at least judging by the mysterious stegosaurus carving, the Khmers may have themselves possessed advanced archaeological knowledge at the time.

While many have cited this as evidence that the ancients were far more advanced in scientific understanding than they are usually given credit for, and some Christian creationists have clung onto the idea that the Angkor Wat stegosaurus is proof that humanity and dinosaurs co-existed, therefore invalidating the theory of evolution, opponents say that in fact the stegosaurus is probably more likely a depiction of a rhinoceros or a chameleon with exaggerated features. A report by the Smithsonian Institute suggests that if viewed head-on, the carving does not appear prehistoric at all. As the report itself states “The head is large and appears to have large ears and a horn. The “plates” along the back more closely resemble leaves, and the sculpture is a better match for a boar or rhinoceros against a leafy background.” Leaves are a common motif as a background design on many of Angkor Wat’s stone carvings.

The Smithsonian also suggests that the carving may be have been added much more recently, perhaps by a visiting film crew or a local artisan with a strange sense of humour. Others have compared the carving to a baby Asian rhino or a local species of mountain lizard which both bear a strong resemblance to the carving. Nevertheless, the temple has become a source of pride for Cambodians, Hindus and humanity the world over, regardless of whether it was a stegosaurus on that wall or not.

 

SOURCES:
Resurging Hinduism, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/ResurgingHinduism/?fref=nf
“Shocking : Ancient Hindus Knew about Dinosaurs 800 years before Modern Science” – Hawkfeed http://hawkfeed.com/ancient-hindus-knew-about-dinosaurs-800-years-before-modern-science/
“Stegosaurus, Rhinoceros, or Hoax?” – Brian Switek, Smithsonian.com/Smithsonian Institution (12 March 2009) http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/stegosaurus-rhinoceros-or-hoax-40387948/?no-ist
“DINOSAUR OF TA PROHM” – ilbonito, Annetta Black, mrobscurity, wythe and Allison, Atlas Obscura http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/dinosaur-angkor-wat
“Stegosaurus Carving on a Cambodian Temple?” – Glen J. Kuban, Glen Kuban’s Web Sites http://www.paleo.cc/paluxy/stegosaur-claim.htm
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Shocking : Ancient Hindus Knew about Dinosaurs 800 years before Modern Science” – Hawkfeed http://hawkfeed.com/ancient-hindus-knew-about-dinosaurs-800-years-before-modern-science/
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OIL RIG SEA MONSTER: Experts solve two year old natural mystery

Biology experts have finally solved the mystery of an unknown giant sea ‘monster’ that was caught on video 5,000 ft (1.5 km) below a nearby oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to British tabloid paper Metro.

In the six-and-a-half minute long video, which began as an inspection of the oil rig’s moorings, a strange gelatinous object is seen falling from the top of the cameraman’s view and then floats to the right of the screen. At first appearances it appears to resemble a large lump of seaweed or a plastic carrier bag, both of course unlikely due to their floating nature in bodies of water. The formless creature then disappears into the darkness of the Gulf’s waters. After a minute, the animal reappears and takes centre stage in front of the camera, revealing its entire form as though putting on a show. It then billows out, occupying nearly all the visible area. The mysterious organism remains in frame for more than five minutes before eventually slipping out of sight.

(c) Twitter via HNGN

Marine biologists pored over the footage, shot in 2012, and also consulted historical records and scientific files in their bid to determine the species of the monster, which had some similarities to jellyfish, but has no tentacles, fins or even a head.

Biologists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Centre finally wrapped up the mystery by announcing that the Gulf monster was none other than a ‘placental jellyfish’, which they determined from observing the creature’s gonads in the video and the markings on its ‘sail’. The species can grow up to two feet wide and is normally found in the cooler waters of the north Atlantic, suggesting the Gulf monster may have been a stray washed into the area by strong currents.

The species is known by its Latin nameDeepstaria Reticulum” and is rarely sighted. This may also be the first time a jellyfish of this species has ever been caught on film. Also known as the “Deepstaria Enigmatica” it is “thought to be one of the largest invertebrate predators in the deep sea ecosystem,” according to the BBC. However its long, “paddle-like” arms do not have stinging tentacles like other jellyfish. The jellyfish has been seen by humans a total of 114 times since it was discovered by scientists 110 years ago, researchers told the BBC.

It belongs to the coelenterate (jellyfish) family Ulmaridae, and was first scientifically described in academic journals in 1967.  The bell of this species is thin and wide and resembles a translucent, undulating sheet or lava lamp as the animal moves. Its surface is similar in visual texture and colour to that of an onion’s skin. They are usually found in Antarctic and near-Antarctic seas but have been spotted in waters near the United Kingdom, at depths of 829 to 1830 metres.

SOURCES:
Metro, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK
“Experts finally end two-year mystery of giant sea monster caught on camera” – Simon Farr, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (19 June 2014) http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/19/experts-finally-end-two-year-mystery-of-giant-sea-monster-caught-on-camera-4768748/
“Strange underwater sea creature caught on camera in the Gulf of Mexico (video)” – Annika Toernqvist, SFGate Science/Hearst Newspapers/Hearst Communications, Inc. (18 June 2014) http://blog.sfgate.com/science/2014/06/18/strange-underwater-sea-creature-caught-on-camera-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-video/#24361101=0
“Unknown Blob-Like Sea Creature Captured On Camera In Gulf Of Mexico (VIDEO)” –  Oulimata Ba, HNGN Headlines & Global News (18 June 2014) http://www.hngn.com/articles/34103/20140618/unknown-blob-sea-creature-filmed-underwater-camera-video.htm
“Deepstaria enigmatica” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepstaria_enigmatica
IMAGE CREDIT:
“Unknown Blob-Like Sea Creature Captured On Camera In Gulf Of Mexico (VIDEO)” –  Oulimata Ba, HNGN Headlines & Global News (18 June 2014) http://www.hngn.com/articles/34103/20140618/unknown-blob-sea-creature-filmed-underwater-camera-video.htm
VIDEO CREDIT:
“Massive Unidentified Sea Monster Caught on Video Off Oil-Rig” – Disclosure TV, YouTube GB (19 September 2013) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJwGpZ38JHE