Evidence Of The Orang Pendek, Sumatra’s Apeman Cryptid

sad imprison orangutan hand in the zoo hope for help and freedom

Deep in the jungles of the Westernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago, lies the home of one of the world’s most elusive cryptids with the greatest likelihood of legitimacy. The Orang Pendek, Sumatra’s famed cryptozoological wonder, is a small, bipedal primate seen by natives and foreign researchers alike.

Orang Pendek Sightings

In the Indonesian language, Orang Pendek translates to “short person,” and it is believed to be an undiscovered primate species, that could potentially be of the homo genus. Over the years there have been a plethora of Orang Pendek sightings by travelers, locals, and researchers who have come in search of the cryptid, or stumbled upon it by chance.

The most common characteristics confirmed by these numerous sightings depict the Orang Pendek standing between 30 and 60 inches in height, or about 2½ to 5 feet tall. These creatures are described as being covered in golden, brown, or grey hair and are bipedal, walking erect in the same manner as humans. But what’s even more bizarre is that they are said to have human-like facial features, differing in appearance from most monkeys.

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This human visage has led some to believe these beings could be a lost cousin of humans, sharing a common ancestor. One archeological research group found the remains of a small human-like species in the area, reporting their findings as Homo floresiensis, nicknamed the real-life Hobbit – could this be Sumatra’s cryptid?

According to local Indonesians, the Orang Pendek is an intelligent creature with an uncanny ability to avoid detection while watching humans, causing Sumatrans to fear the creature and its clandestine nature. During one native’s encounter, he said the creature put its arms in the air to make itself look bigger and more threatening – a classic ape intimidation instinct. Other encounters have reported similar signs of aggression, though it’s unclear whether one of these creatures has ever attacked.

One of the most famous researchers in search of the Orang Pendek is a former British journalist, Debbie Martyr. While investigating the cryptid in 1994, Martyr sighted the Orang Pendek herself in the jungles of Sumatra. Unfortunately, she was unable to snap a photo in time but knows that she witnessed a bipedal primate, unlike anything she had ever seen before.

Another sighting came from a former military helicopter pilot, who spotted the creature while flying through Kerinci Seblat National Park – the epicenter of Orang Pendek sightings. There he said he witnessed the cryptid in a tree and flew closer to get a better look. He said the head was shaped differently than a human’s and had more of an ape-like structure, but the face was distinctly humanoid.

Orang Pendek Evidence

Though there is a dearth of definitive Orang Pendek pictures, there has been one video that stands out above the rest. In it, a small pygmy-like being darted out of the woods in front of a group of dirt-bikers. The creature runs off into the jungle, just before one biker catches up to it, capturing just a few seconds of fleeting footage of the elusive cryptid.

The creature falls over, before picking up a long staff and running off, appearing to be wearing nothing but a loincloth. This creature appears to be the size of a small human, though height is hard to judge due to the varying angles of footage.

But the creature in question appears less hairy than one might imagine when comparing it to the majority of descriptions of a hirsute Orang Pendek. In the video, the creature appears to have very little hair on its back, adding to the possibility that it could be a hoax.

Another researcher tracking the Orang Pendek is a man by the name of Adam Davies. Davies made a plaster cast of what he believes is the creature’s footprint that he stumbled upon in the jungles of Western Sumatra.

What he found was that the cast matched descriptions of the Orang Pendek having a divergent toe, much like monkeys. But there was one striking difference: the toes weren’t long like monkeys, rather they were short and wide like humans.

Orang Pendek photo

A model of Orang Pendek

Researchers like Richard Freeman have been exploring areas like Western Sumatra for years, photographing species that have never been documented before. According to Freeman, he’s taken images of up to 60 never-before-seen species, making the chance that an unknown species of primate exists there relatively high.

Cynics have said that sightings of the creature are just misconstrued sightings of orangutans, but there have been a number of confounding factors to dispel this skepticism, namely that orangutans have never been spotted in that area of Sumatra. Orangutans also use their arms and knuckles for balance when they walk, not moving fully upright, like most claim to see Orang Pendek in its stride.

For now, the Orang Pendek remains at large, but with all of the evidence of its existence, as is, it seems that these researchers may find definitive evidence soon. Could this bizarre species shed light on some of our ancient, primitive ancestors, or possibly the ever-elusive bigfoot?

The Ningen; Japanese Mermaid or Arctic Cryptid?

Cryptozoologists have been on the hunt for prehistoric maritime creatures like Nessie, Champy, and Tessie for decades, if not centuries. And a recent discovery of an 80 million-year-old shark species has likely fueled the interest of seekers still hoping to make a discovery. But there is one creature that has recently joined the ranks of these elusive cryptids, that remains unbeknownst to many: the Ningen.

The Ningen, A Japanese Mermaid?

What started off as an anecdote posted in a popular Japanese online forum, has now led to a multitude of sightings and alleged video evidence of an aquatic, humanoid fish, said to be roughly the size of a whale. The Ningen, which translates literally to ‘human,’ is a 20-30 meter-long, bulbous creature that was originally spotted by a Japanese research vessel, off the coast of Antarctica.

Ningen fish

The creature is described as having a pale white, human-like figure with a torso, appendages, and fingers like ours, but with a mermaid-esque tail. It is also described as having minimal facial features with a small slitted mouth and two vacuous eyes.

The Ningen sea creature has been spotted primarily at night and in colder waters, leading some to believe that it has been hiding in the Arctic, beneath the ice. Some say that it may be a previously undiscovered species of albino ray, though the description of those who have encountered it is distinctly different.

There are several lackluster videos and questionable photos circulating the internet that purport to show the Ningen sea creature in its natural environment, but like most cryptids, none provide definitive proof. Though that hasn’t warranted an abandonment of the search for this amphibious wraith. Why would it? Scientists continue to discover multitudes of new marine species in the depths of the ocean on a regular basis.

ningen sea creature

Over the past decade, a number of hydrothermal vents have been discovered in the arctic depths. In these frigid waters, new and bizarre lifeforms, like the Yeti crab, have been discovered clustering around these vents. Some scientists have theorized that hydrothermal vents are where life originated on Earth in its nascent phases some 4.6 billion years ago.

While the Ningen sea creature remains an anecdotal tale among Japanese sailors and fisherman, there is rumor that the Japanese government is taking reports of the Ningen seriously, amassing a trove of putative accounts. It has also been rumored that photographic evidence of the Ningen was captured by the sailors of the original story, but the Japanese government destroyed the evidence so as not to draw attention and controversy.


Some have speculated that the Japanese government may be involved in a cover-up of the Ningen, due to a rare chemical compound it may produce that is either medicinal or highly venomous and able to be weaponized. Stories have been told of men in black threatening anyone who purports to have seen the Ningen sea creature or anyone attempting to expose its existence; though this is all unconfirmed hearsay. And while the story of the Ningen didn’t necessarily attract significant international attention, Mu Magazine,a Japanese publication specializing in the paranormal, created a serious buzz in Japan. Soon a plethora of stories, sightings, and alleged photographic evidence was made public

The original sighting by Japanese fishermen notes that the crew saw what they at first believed to be a foreign submarine, but upon further examination was clearly a living, breathing entity.

It’s unclear whether there are any cryptozoologists currently pursuing the Ningen, as its location would require a well-funded expedition with crew members knowledgeable of arctic territory. And though the Ningen cryptid might seem like another contrived hoax, told amongst sailors with too much free time, one mustn’t forget the maritime tale of the Kraken, that turned out to be based on a real creature: the giant squid. 

Will we ever know if the Ningen sea creature is real?

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