The Orang Pendek is a small bipedal primate cryptid that reportedly lives on the island of Sumatra in the South Pacific. The creature has been identified as 30 to 60 inches tall and covered in grey to reddish brown fur. Orang Pendek is Indonesian for “short person”.
The Orang Pendek is thought to be mostly herbivorous, but like all bipedal cryptids and known primates, they are fiercely territorial.
What is interesting is the creature has been reported by not only local villagers and farmers, but Dutch colonists and Western scientists. Think of them like miniature Bigfoots.
The most recent sightings have been in central Sumatra in the Kerinci Seblat National Park. Have sightings of the Orang Pendek been misidentified Orangutans? Scientist Debbie Martyr conducted a 15 year field study on the creature in the early 1990’s and even reported seeing the creature.
It is not unheard of for new species of primates that are discovered. A new species of a large chimpanzee was discovered in the last few years in equatorial Africa. The locals referred to it as the “Bili Ape”. The Bili Ape is an approximately 6ft tall chimpanzee. But like all known modern primates except for humans) chimpanzees and orangutans use both arms and legs to move around.
Two recent discoveries that can change this are the discoveries of the Gigantopithecus in South East Asia and Homo floresiensis in Indonesia. Both discoveries have been either whole skulls (Homo floresiensis) or partial including jaw bones (Gigantopithecus). Both have the scientific community in controversy.
Why the controversy? It has to do if the creature is bipedal (walks on two legs like humans) or walks like known primates. How can scientists determine whether they are bipedal or not from partial skulls? It has to do with the jaw line and the spinal column that can determine if it walked upright or on all fours.
Is the Orang Pendek jst misidentified Orangutans? It certainly is possible and probable, but with the discoveries of the Gigantopithecus and Homo floresiensis…there could be non-human primates that were bipedal.