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June 28, 2006

Megophias Megophias


As of yet, only 2% of the ocean has been explored. And last year alone, over 13,000 previously undiscoverd new species were discovered. So what does one call an undiscovered species?

In 1892 Dr. Anthonid Cornelis Oudemans, director of the Dutch Royal Zoological Gardens at the Hague, published his definitive work on cryptozoology – long before cryptozoology was even a popular idea. Titled The Great Sea-Serpent, this comprehensive work not only describes some 150 sightings (dating back to the 16th century) but also presents various hoaxes and alternative theories.


Oudemans dared to name the Sea-serpent: Megophias megophias. He concluded that the infamous cryptid was something very much like an elongated seal. For this and his other varied conclusions, the reception of the volume was "respectful but cold."


But you can judge it for yourself... a PDF of Oudemans' The Great Sea-Serpent (illustrations and all) has been online for some time. Have fun!


Oudemans may have written the book on sea-serpents but it's Bernard Heuvelmans who is broadly recognized to have been the father of cryptozoology. In 1958 he wrote his ground-breaking volume entitled On the Track of Unknown Animals. But I'm much more interested in his 1968 volume, In the Wake of Sea-Serpents. Because I like the ocean. It's blue.  And mysterious. And I like the idea of undiscovered creatures in the ocean. And the book is fun to read (or browse through).

June 28, 2006 | Permalink


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» PDF of Oudemans' The Great Sea-Serpent from Boing Boing
Tinselman says: As of yet, only 2% of the ocean has been explored. And last year alone, over 13,000 previously undiscoverd new species were discovered. So what does one call an undiscovered species? In 1892 Dr. Anthonid Cornelis Oudemans, director of t... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2006 7:02:29 PM


Why don't the really awesome posts like this one get 65 comments? Robyn, maybe you should post an addition that says the Megophias Megophias killed lots of civilians in Peru or something...that would get people typing...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jun 29, 2006 6:32:51 AM

The Megophias Megophias killed lots of civilians in Peru? Why... we should boycott this creature and hunt it to extinction! That creature is obviously pure evil and doesn't deserve to live. Also, you can't argue with me because I am obviously right and there is no other way to see this issue!

I don't comment very often, but I do enjoy all the posts, regardless of how much other people comment.

Posted by: Joelson Carl | Jun 29, 2006 11:08:46 AM

I remember that the NSK WAR! WAR! WAR! post


....got a lot of comments compared to the beautiful lanterns posted the next day:


By the way, I just read this in the Wow-Magical Chronicle:

According to a spokesperson for the Republic of Tinselman Cryptozoo, the whereabouts of the Megophias Megophias at the time of the alleged civilian deaths in Peru has been accounted for. A cryptozooper reportedly witnessed the 114 year old specimen at the Infinite Expanse of Water enclosure, eliminating the serpent as a suspect. The cryptozookeeper, who wished not to be named (citing the sensitivity of the subject), added that killing civilians was "quite simply not the way with Megophias Megophias. She is peace-loving. Besides, even if she had wanted to kill Peruvians, it would take forever to traverse an infinite expanse of water like this."

Posted by: Mark | Jun 29, 2006 12:06:36 PM

Oh sure... I know this "spokesperson"... he's a drunk. And he'd report anything for his next "fix"... I saw the Megophias Megophias kill those people with my own eyes! It danced, and ate this one guys head, and there was blood and heavy sloshy sounds of entrails, and then for extremely bad measure, it played some Britney Spears and then ate everything in the fridge and didn't even chip in...



More like a mego-jerk-ass.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jun 29, 2006 12:16:37 PM

Hmm. Crytozoo? This is interesting. I like it. Cryptozoo! (And of course it's peace loving.) But only 114 years old? I'm disapointed.

Posted by: Robyn | Jun 29, 2006 12:17:58 PM

Dear readers,

It's not that I like people. I mean I do like people. I love people. But I didn't mean to eat them. I just can't help myself sometimes. I'm a very big creature and sometimes... well, I see a little boat, maybe a couple of people on a beach, maybe a small crowd... and it happens. And they're so beautiful and they're having so much fun together but... it's the hunger. I just can't help it. I try to hold back or turn away or tell myself I'm not hungry. I try imagine other things but suddenly... they're gone. I've eaten them. One big bite. They don't even see me coming.

I've very sorry. I'll try not to do it again (but I know I will).

Megophias Megophias

Posted by: Megophias Megophias | Jun 29, 2006 12:27:43 PM

Megophias, Megophias,

It eats because its unhappy,
and its unhappy because it eats...


Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jun 29, 2006 1:00:14 PM

"But only 114 years old? I'm disapointed."

Yeah, I was disappointed when I heard that too. This one's just a baby, hatched from an egg stolen by Dr. Anthonid Cornelis Oudemans himself (with help from some sailors employed by the Dutch East India company).

Apparently the older specimens in the I.E.W. enclosure - one of whom is known to have terrorised Buddhist monks during the Tang dynasty - were not considered suspects in the Peru investigations.

Posted by: Mark | Jun 29, 2006 3:40:39 PM

Clones! Megophias Megophia is a clone of the original, which was discovered in Cairo by Dr. Giovani Belzoni! Belzoni then transplanted the cloned creature to a secret societal space craft near the moon, which was piloted by none other than Samuel Clemens and Skeletor. Skeletor employed the creature to assassinate Clemens so that he could seize the 11 moderately oblong circles of power, so as to take over the headquarters of Britains ultra-secret Consular Squad, which is located in 30 St. Mary's Axe building, in London...

I swear, it's all true...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jun 29, 2006 4:02:55 PM

"So what does one call an undiscovered species?"

Peanut brittle.

"For this and his other varied conclusions, the reception of the volume was "respectful but cold.""

Can't blame 'em, really. Oudemans introduces animal with material based on hearsay and names it. (I met him once. He was _such_ an asshole.*)

Besides, it is well known now that Gamera could totally kick _Megophias megophias_ ass, if it had one.

Why is detailed extensively in Gregory S. Paul's 1988 book, Why Gamera Could Kick _Megophias megophias_ Ass If It Had One, but let's just point to the most obvious fact here: which creature has been featured in more feature films featuring Gamera?

There you have it. It's a scientific fact _on toast points_ that Gamera kicks ass.

* Okay, so that's a lie. I didn't actually meet him. But he probably would hog the punchbowl at parties. I mean, WTF is up with that? I wanted some _punch_!

Okay, in a fight, who would win? Dr. Anthonid Cornelis Oudemans or Edward Drinker Cope? My vote is Cope. The man could _remove his own teeth_.

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Jun 29, 2006 10:53:05 PM

Dear Megophias Megophias,

After reading your last letter to us, I feel I must say I have changed my opinion about you.

I now realize the horrible trials and tribulations you undergo as you battle against your incredible hunger. I see that you do not intend ill-will towards us humans.

Therefore, I retract my former comments, and I extend an offering of peace. I hope we can be friends.

Joelson Carl

Posted by: Joelson Carl | Jun 30, 2006 9:32:03 AM

NEVER! I shall not let this peace be! I shall eat Scotland, and perhaps even Norway! Nya-ha-ha!

Posted by: Megophias' Evil Twin | Jun 30, 2006 10:04:03 AM

Gamera! We need you!

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Jun 30, 2006 10:33:47 AM

"....got a lot of comments compared to the beautiful lanterns posted the next day..."

Some of us are more easily speechless with awe than others.

I have that weakness.

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Jun 30, 2006 2:41:57 PM

I know what you mean, Scott. Sometimes, when a fantastic post appears, I am often reluctant to comment too. Then I don't want to spoil something pristine and complete with my inane remarks.

Either that, or Robyn's taste in Architecture, Art Books, Cities Tinselistic
Criminology, Cryptozoology etc. is just too refined for the common, run-of-the-mill 'netizen'!

Posted by: Mark | Jul 1, 2006 9:25:12 AM

C'mon guys~! Commenting on everything, especially where one is not knowledgeable, is the cornerstone of our civilization! Where would be without the Monday Morning Quarterback? The Pseudo Scientist? Or the Loudmouth Jackass?
I'll tell you where...

Some Utopian society where the people are nice to each other and all things work together towards good.

And that's no place I want to live...yeesh.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 1, 2006 9:34:06 AM

Adam's comment reminds me of a line from a movie:

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had 500 years of democracy, peace, and brotherly love and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

--Harry Lime (Orson Welles in "The Third Man")

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Jul 1, 2006 11:15:39 PM

Adam, are you telling us there is no room for reverential silence, or mute bewilderment, or even dumbfounded stupidity, in you Dystopia?

What happens when the topic isn't war?

Posted by: Mark | Jul 2, 2006 8:49:52 AM

I guess I'm just too used to watching Fox News and hating it...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 2, 2006 9:47:10 AM

Dear Robyn,

I simply love your blog! That post about the sea-serpent - it was so damned quaint I nearly commissioned an exclusive reality-docu-infomercial-cum-performance-art installation about it.

Here's a proposition:
1) I buy you out, earning you a tiny sum.*
2) We organise a clandestine meeting between Wilmey and F.O.X.O.T. (my super-secret Intelligence agency).
3) Wilmey spins us a tale about Megasomething Megawhatever being responsible for security threats in South America.

[you with me so far?]

4) We sell the intell on to the US Office of Dastardly Schemes.
5) US invades the Republic of Tinselman, for harbouring Aquatic Specimens of Mass Annihilation (ASMA).
6) Robyn, you can be embedded somewhere - in bed, for example - and cover the story from there, using an iPod.
7) Traffic to Tinselman blog skyrockets! I get even richer!!

* NB that's 'tiny', not 'tidy'

Well, what do you say?

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | Jul 2, 2006 9:37:23 PM

Rupert Murdoch?

Wasn't that the name of MacGyver's arch-enemy?


BE THAT AS IT MAY! I say you should never sell out Robyn! If there's any money to be made here, it shall be ours!!!*

*(By ours, I mean yours and mine as we write the epic novel of: "Megophias, Megophias: A Love Story"

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 3, 2006 8:00:22 AM

Do you mean to say you have never heard of ME?!
I'm only, like, the owner of Fox News and just about anything else you care to name. I'm not MacGyver's arch-enemy. I'm your arch-enemy: ("just too used to watching Fox News and hating it").
Actually, I'd be interested in negotiating for the rights to "Megophias, Megophias: A Love Story". I'd need to change the title, though - "Megophias Unhatched", followed by "Megophias: The Return", "Megophias Undead", and finally "Megophias Now".

You claim
"If there's any money to be made here, it shall be ours!!!"
- but that "If" really hinges on my owning this blog. Only I have the creative flare required to give this blog that 'mainstream-media-feel-good-corporate-sponsor chic' it so clearly needs.

Yours (no, MINE actually, all mine!),

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | Jul 3, 2006 8:28:49 AM

OH! OH! It's so on now!

When Robyn and I combine our Triangles of Power (of which there should be a third one around here somewhere, but probably Kylie Minogue took it, I think) Then you will fall!

Shatner, the NSK, LBJ, they all knew when to quit... YOU --> "Ruplestillskin Murdork" will learn to respect the awesome power which is TINSELMAN! (trademark, some rights reserved)

By the way... there's absolutely nothing wrong with "Megophias, Megophias: A Love Story" If Mark Twain were still alive, and not trapped in the Phantom Zone, he'd agree, that it is the best TITLE EVER WRITTEN BY MAN~ IN THIS UNIVERSE OR ANY OTHER...!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 3, 2006 8:47:27 AM

It is I who has the third Triangle of Power! And it is my F.O.X.O.T. agents who have Twain trapped in the Phantom Zone(TM). (As we speak they are waterboarding him until he comes up with a screenplay for Huckleberry Finn written entirely in early '90s hip-hop vernacular. He's not available right now to agree with your 'Love Story' idea.)

Soon I will have the other two Triangles. Then I can construct the Great Trapezoid, and all the Tinsel will be mine! No longer will I need Kylie's symbiotic empathy to communicate with the Power of the Triangles, so my agents can stop waterboarding her.

What's wrong with 'Megophias Now'? I thought it was quite clever.

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | Jul 3, 2006 9:50:32 AM

Dear Mr. Murdoch,

As the Khan of the Republic, I apologize if Minister Wilmey has unwisely offended you. Of course we're oh-so-thrilled to take you up on your offer (even though I'm sure I understand it). But hey... you're Rupert Murdoch! And the name alone just gives me the chills! Pure exhilaration! I've seen you're photo and it's just so obvious... you are a "man of power." The Khan approves of this. The Khan is cool with Rupey!

So whatever... we'll give you what you want but you have to give us what we want. After you buy us out, I remain in complete control. I have the last word on everything. I remain _the Khan_. You, on the otherhand, have zero control of the blog (or maybe I make you a Minister or something... is this good?).

Also... I'm warning you ahead of time... the Khan and his minsters are more powerful than you can begin to imagine!!! (ha!) Keep an eye on that media empire of yours... Before you know it we may sneak up behind you and use it for our own tinselistic purposes!

Khan Miller

Posted by: Robyn | Jul 3, 2006 10:09:10 AM

You have the Third Triangle of Power?????
FrankenVader Voice: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

Alright, this calls for extreme measures. Robyn, isn't it about time the Sub-Mayor got an elected sidekick to help assist him in battles against extreme Super villains? A.K.A.: Murdoch.

I was thinking a hot celebrity assistant; someone along the lines of a Charisma Carpenter, Jessica Alba, or Anne Hathaway...

Whatcha think Robyn? Use your Khanly powers and throw me a bone!

WHAT DO YOU THINK LOYAL BLOG READERS!? *points finger into fictional blog crowd* Should I have help against my arch nemesis: Murdoch???

Tune in tomorrow, or at this rate, 5 minutes, for the answer...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 3, 2006 10:10:46 AM

Dear Readers and Khan,

No one asked me about the Murdoch person. Why doesn't anyone ever ask me?

He does not sound nice to me... but maybe he's just hungry. Maybe he can't help it. Oh well... it won't make him feel any better.

I'd like to meet him. I'd like to have a friend.

Megophias Megophias

Posted by: Megophias Megophias | Jul 3, 2006 10:20:09 AM

YES! Megophias, Megophias,

This is an excellent idea...
Meet this Murdoch person...
Go "hungry".... go to him, VERY hungry...

and in exchange,
I will give you the people of... eh, let's say... Holland.... nobody ever goes there anyway...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 3, 2006 10:32:35 AM

Dear Mr. Wilmer,

Why do you keep putting a comma between "Megophias" and "Megophias"? Can you not see that nobody else does that, and THE Megophias Megophias even signs his name without a comma between the two words?

I am a bit perplexed. If you have a valid reason for this seemingly awful comma usage, please inform me.

Thank you,

Joelson Carl

PS - I vote that you can take on your arch nemesis Murdoch by yourself. Just make sure that if he dies Fox News will remain on air - I enjoy watching on occasion.

Posted by: Joelson Carl | Jul 3, 2006 11:46:19 AM

Dear Joelson, Carl

Having been in the military for some years in my youth, I got used to writing names backwards according to an identification roster.

Wilmer, Adam
Miller, Robyn

So on, so forth,

Though Megophias, Megophias, is probably not the marvelous, maneating creatures name, I will call it such...

When the creature identifies itself as: "Bill Walters, from Ohio"

I will still call it: Megophias, Megophias...

Though this probably does not make sense, it is my way, its what I do...

And thank you for you vote of confidence, but having Jessica Alba as my secretary wouldn't kill any of us, especially me...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 3, 2006 12:01:35 PM

Dear Khan Miller,

Apologies accepted! I have considered your offer. Full ownership of Tinselman blog, but zero creative control.... I become a minister or something..... WOW! You sure know how to tempt a man of power such as myself. As I said to the "The Hollywood Reporter" in November 23, 2005:

"My ventures in media are not as important to me as spreading my personal political beliefs"*

So here's a peace offer: You give make me a minister, and I'll call off the US invasion of the Republic of Tinselman. (Although it would have been one hell of a good story).

I'd like to write more, but I have a meeting with Megophias [,] Megophias to attend.


[* Quote acknowledgements: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch]

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | Jul 3, 2006 10:41:13 PM


Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 4, 2006 8:03:12 AM

Awww, where's Nessy when you need her? If Megophias Megophias is really just creating havoc by being that hungry all the time, maybe Nessy can clear the whole thing up by introducing him to her all-new, people-free, Nutri-something or other diet, and thereby reduce Megophias' caloric intake to only two sapiens a week.

Posted by: Alli | Jul 4, 2006 8:15:51 AM

Dear Rupey,

I'm having second thoughts on this whole U.S. invasion of the Republic of Tinselman. This is interesting business. Can you really arrange this sort of thing? Wow! This is good! It makes a frickin' great story!!! The U.S. invades the Republic of Tinselman? Everyone wins! This is a no loose situation.

Okay Rupey, we'll do it. But we need more conditions. We want Wilmey in charge of a major conservative news puplication where he can begin to spin stories in the Republic's favor. This will also bring in more profit for you.

Also... if the U.S. invades the Republic of Tinselman, the advantages to you personally, Murdoch, are gigantic. You'll be able to report on this invasion (from a pro-U.S., anti-RoT point of view) and, in so doing, your vast media empire will make billions! The deal is, of course, you share 1/16th of your pure profits with the RoT, to be dispersed equally amoung the citizens! But you still get the majority of the money!!! While we're the one's who must suffer! So... I don't think it's right that you should buy us out... you'll be doing well enough. But I will put you on the board of directors.

Think tank... think tank. What does the Republic of Tinselman think tank think? Of all this?

Khan Robyn Miller

Posted by: Robyn | Jul 4, 2006 1:07:13 PM


Normally, I'm opposed to war, and all that... but to be the head of a conservative war news publication? I'll DO IT!!! And gladly so...

I know the first thing I'll report on too...

The US/RoT War and its inadvertent effect on Wombat Literacy.

Pulitzer Baby~!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 4, 2006 1:58:58 PM

---"What does the Republic of Tinselman think tank think?"

I'm thinking TANKS, lots of 'em!

The sight of so many tanks rolling through the tinsel-lined streets, scattering the flower-throwing citizens in their wake. The occasional roar of escaped Cryptozoo exhibits - unwittingly bombed into freedom -and now roaming the residential streets.

Long Live the Khan!

Posted by: Mark | Jul 4, 2006 5:50:16 PM

Dear Khan Miller,

Apologies for the delay in replying: I have been busy searching for Megophias, Megophias, with whom I have fallen irrevocably in love (*sigh*).

To the business side of things - I can see, sir, that you are a man of action. . . yes, of course I can arrange a US invasion of RoT! It'll be a cakewalk. Initially, as you understand, I will have to print anti RoT editorials, compare you to past dictators (eg. Genghis Khan), inflate your aquatic specimen capabilities etc. etc. As far as Wilmey and his militant tabloid is concerned, I'm counting on him to do his best mad fundamentalist impression here. (An eyepatch would not go amiss.)

But I would like to negotiate one further point. You have requested that I forgo full ownership of this blog in favour a position on the board of directors, on the grounds that my present media empire will thrive on this war. However, this overlooks two factors:

1) the falling price of war news due to over-supply
2) my future ambition to become a minister of RoT.

Re. point (1), I have a come up with a concept which promises to distinguish this war from all others. (And one which may appeal to you): The Republic of Tinselman defeats the US invaders, decisively, in less than a week.

Re. point (2), obviously it is in my political interest as future minister that RoT wins the war.

I should point out that Fox News will be humiliated by this outcome and I will need to find new work. So I could shift allegiances and take ownership of tinselman.typepad.com, which by then will receive more hits than google.*

All proftis, I assure you, WILL BE ALLOCATED TO YOUR PERSONAL BUDGET, O KHAN. You're the creative one, I trust you completely.

Yours sincerely,

*In fact, I predict the day when people will have to search your website just to find google

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch | Jul 5, 2006 9:38:59 PM

Robyn, just tell me how and when you want me to distribute the stories and I'm there...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 6, 2006 7:53:47 AM


Brilliant! I'll start.


Posted by: Robyn | Jul 7, 2006 12:15:16 PM

There! We have 40 comments! C'mon guys, 15 more and we've proved we can talk just as long about nothing as we can about atomic death rays!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Jul 8, 2006 9:34:36 AM

I apologize for my lack of comments on "nothing." I was out of town for the weekend.

So when does this US invasion of the RoT begin?

Posted by: Joelson Carl | Jul 9, 2006 4:55:59 PM

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