What do you call a 135 foot aquatic armored, segmented creature with fin like protrusions coming off of it’s segments? If it is sighted in Southeast Asia of the coast of Vietnam you call it Con Rit which is Vietnamese for millipede.
It is said to be between 50 and 135 feet long with 2 to 3 foot armored segments the length of it’s body. Each segement has a pair of fin like appendages which it uses to propel itself through the water. The top part of the body is brown with the neck and underbelly being yellow. The tail is said to be like that of a lobster. There were numerous sightings over about a 20 year period.
The first sighting was said to be in 1883 when a dead specimen was found on a beach in Hongay, Along Bay, Vietnam by Tran Van Con. Mr Con claimed the creature to be 60 feet long with the head missing. It was said to be examined carefully but unidentified. The carcass was towed out to sea and dumped due to the stench.
In 1899, the HMS Narcissus was traveling near Cape Falcon Algeria when several members of the crew sighted a serpent like creature. It was said to be 135 feet long with numerous fins that it used to propel itself through the water at speeds fast enough to pace the ship. The sighting lasted about 30 minutes.
There are a few theories as to what this creature could be. Cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans suggested that it could be a relative of the archaic armored whales. This theory has come into question in recent years due to the fact that the existence of armored whales is now being questioned.
Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker suggests that it could be a form of undiscovered aquatic chilopoda which is the class that contains anthropods like centipedes and millipedes .
The most prevalent theory seems to be that it is a case of mistaken identity. The theory is that what is being seen are actually Oarfish. Oarfish are long snake like fish with fringe coming off of their backs. The Oarfish can reach up to 20 feet in length. They are rarely sighted due to the fact the only time they come to the surface is when they are sick or dying.
There are no modern sightings of the Con Rit. Some say this is the result of the Con Rit dying out in the early 1900s. Others suggest that the lack of sightings is due to the discovery of the Oarfish. Now people know that they are seeing a rarely seen deep sea fish and not some strange sea monster.
I tend to agree with the Oarfish theory. Although their descriptions do not match exactly, there are enough similarities to make it plausible. I can imagine someone back in the late 1800’s seeing a very large creature that had never been seen before and being so frightened that it would appear larger and much more menacing than it actually was.
Resource(s): Unknown Explorers – Con Rit. (n.d.). Con Rit Retrieved July 17, 2015.