In all acts of creation, from cooking, to writing, to manifestation of life on a different existential plane, there is such a thing as way-too-damn-much.
Too much salt will rapidly transform a dish from delicious to indigestible. Too much exposition in a novel takes a reader out of the world and away from the characters. Too many comparisons in an opening paragraph can detract from the effectiveness of the paragraph in a blog post, and of course, too much power and intelligence in a single creature can be a very bad thing.
As we know, everyone makes mistakes, even the gods. A costly mistake of the ancient South African gods was the monstrosity known as the Grootslang.
It is one of the most interesting and terrifying cryptids in all of African folklore. This chimera like creature is a unique combination of a giant snake and an elephant, with a massive serpentine body, upwards of 100 feet long, and the head of an elephant. The mere sight of a one would terrify you. What makes the Grootslang utterly horrifying, however, is its intelligence.
This creature is equipped with the speed, power, and durability of a giant snake, but its elephant head also contains an elephant’s mind, which, as we all know, is among the most intelligent minds around. It is said that when the gods realized what they had done, they split the two creatures in two. Thus, in Africa, we have elephants, and we have snakes. Again, even the gods make mistakes . . .
In their purging of the Grootslangs, the gods overlooked at least one, and that monstrosity still exists today.
Grootslangs feed on elephants. They lure elephants into their lairs by appearing as members of the herd. Once they have elephants deep in the earth, they coil around them and devour them whole. Their primary prey is elephants! How metal is that?
Perhaps the ivory trade is not all that is to blame for them being on the critically endangered list in Africa? Let’s be real, it’s mostly the ivory trade, but this is super creepy, right!?
Today, the Grootslang is said to lurk in the Richtersveld region of South Africa. It supposedly covets gems and treasures, lives in a bottomless cave full of diamonds and allows its human trespassers to go free, if they can bargain a priceless gift for their lives. This creature is relatively obscure, but there are some fun articles on it around the internet if you care to learn more.
So what do you think? Is the Grootslang truly lurking in the subterranean depths of a South African cave? Do you know of some awesome African cryptids who could give this mighty beast a run for its money? Let me know on the contacts page or in the comments!
Thanks for reading!