At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Tuesday 31 March 2020


While most of us are familiar with Noah and his Ark, Jewish legends grew up about both of them, legends that you won't find in the Bible.  Some pretty odd animals ended up accompanying Noah on the Ark's maiden voyage, according to these.

First of all, there were the abstractions, Falsehood and Misfortune.  How they managed to pass themselves off as animals is anybody's guess.

The re'em, a huge ox in Hebrew legend, also was preserved.  Legend said there were only two of these animals, a male and a female, on the earth at any time.  They lived at either end of the earth.  Every seventy years they met and the female killed the male.  Later, she would give birth to twins and die in the process.  The twins would be the next pair of re'ems, who would set off for their respective locations.

The re'em is in fact based on the aurochs.  We know this because the Akkadians also spoke of this beast as rimu and the identity of the aurochs with this is unquestioned.  Legend says that Noah took to of these following behind the Ark, as they were too big to clamber aboard.

Noah also took the giant Og on the Ark.  He had to sit on the roof.

There was also the Urshana (sometimes spelled Orsinia).  When all the animals were kicking up a fuss waiting to be fed, this amiable bird kept quiet, so as not to put pressure on Noah.  When Noah found this out, he blessed the bird, asking God to give it long life.

Again, legend informs us that when Noah was told to make the Ark, he was nonplussed.  He was not a shipwright.  Happily, God sent him the Book of Raziel, an artifact which contained more information than Wikipedia.  This contained the necessary instructions.  

The story of Noah is the kind of tale to which legends are bound to accrue.  As to whether an actual Flood literally occurred, that is a matter for the exegetes to study.

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