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Prehistoric Australian “Gentle Giant” Identified As A New Species

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Prehistoric Australian “Gentle Giant” Identified As A New Species
Photo Credit: www.nz.glbnews.com

Jocelyne LeBlancGuest Writer

A wombat-like marsupial that was as big as a bear and lived in Australia 25 million years ago during the late Oligocene Period has been identified as a new species. It’s called Mukupirna nambensis (from the Aboriginal words muku which means “bones” and pirna which means “big”) and it is one of the oldest Australian marsupials that have ever been discovered.

In fact, Mukupirna nambensis is the only genus and species of an entirely new family called Mukupirnidae which is part of the vombatiform taxonomic group that includes species such as koalas and wombats. “Koalas and wombats are amazing animals, but animals like Mukupirna show that their extinct relatives were even more extraordinary, and many of them were giants,” stated Dr. Robin Beck from the University of Salford and the lead author of the study.

Mukupirna nambensis is an ancient relative of wombats.

The well-preserved remains of its skull and partial skeleton were found in 1973 in the clay floor of Lake Pinpa which is a remote, dry salt lake that’s located east of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. The team was actually very lucky that the remains were found. “It was an extremely serendipitous discovery because in most years the surface of this dry lake is covered by sands blown or washed in from the surrounding hills,” explained Professor Michael Archer from the University of New South Wales and a co-author of the study. He went on to say, “But because of rare environmental conditions prior to our arrival that year, the fossil-rich clay deposits were fully exposed to view – and this unexpected view was breath-taking.”

The creature was at least three to five times bigger than modern wombats and close to the size of a panda as it weighed between 143 and 171 kilograms (315 to 377 pounds). Despite being large in size, the Mukupirna nambensis was a “gentle giant” as it more than likely ate nothing but plants. “It probably lived in an open forest environment without grasses, and developed teeth that would have allowed it to feed on sedges, roots, and tubers that it could have dug up with its powerful front legs,” said Dr. Beck.

Mukupirna nambensis was about the same size as a panda.

The team came up with that conclusion based on the analysis of 79 cranium and teeth samples on its 7.8-inch skull as well as 20 postcranial samples. Interestingly, the specialized molars that are able to continuously grow in modern wombats weren’t present in the Mukupirna nambensis. (Pictures can be seen here.)

In addition to the Mukupirna nambensis, researchers found more skeletal remains at the location. “On the surface, and just below we found skulls, teeth, bones and in some cases, articulated skeletons of many new and exotic kinds of mammals,” Professor Archer explained, adding, “As well, there were the teeth of extinct lungfish, skeletons of bony fish and the bones of many kinds of water birds including flamingos and ducks.” He finished off by stating, “It was an amazingly rich fossil deposit full of extinct animals that we’d never seen before.”

Recommended Articles by Jocelyne LeBlanc
About the Author

Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.

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Esoteric/Occult

Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell

Whether it’s ghastly demons or grisly execution scenes, this occultists’ tome and witchcraft manual remains as haunting today as it was in 1775.

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Compendium Of Demonology And Magic
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

Hybrid demons, cabalistic symbols, dancing skeletons, and dark spells of magic — these are only some of the occult elements that fill the pages of the mysterious 18th-century manuscript entitled Compendium Of Demonology And Magic. Though we may never know who created the book and why, there’s one thing we do know for certain: this book is not for the faint of heart.

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic

In 1775, someone — likely a worshipper of the occult — made it their business to compile a collection of astonishingly detailed illustrations of demons and magical rituals into one book. That book is now known as the Compendium Of Demonology And Magic.

Its original title was actually Compendium Rarissimum Totius Artis Magicae Sistematisatae Per Celeberrimos Artis Hujus Magistros, which roughly translates to “A Rare Summary Of The Entire Magical Art By The Most Famous Masters Of This Art.”

Written in a mixture of German and Latin, the 18th-century demonic guide opens with an eerie page adorned by skeletons and a warning that reads “noli me tangere,” meaning “do not touch me.”

Its pages contain remarkably vivid drawings depicting over 30 kinds of beastly creatures from Hell as shown in the gallery above.

Evidence of the occult has been found throughout history in different parts of the world.

The illustrations appear to be watercolour and are mostly drawn on white, brown, and grey-green paper. The figures themselves are extremely dark and disturbing in nature but nonetheless fascinating to look at.

Among the bizarre demons, you’ll find a giant red figure with black wings, large eyes, and snakes jutting out from its forehead. It’s caught mid-spring, coming out of the ground with smoke and fire as it feeds on a bloody meal of what appear to be human limbs.

Another graphic demon depicted among the book’s artwork is a creature so grotesque and mismatched in its anatomy that it resembles a Frankenstein experiment from Hell.

This demon has fire jutting out of its ears, large fangs, a misshapen abdomen covered in spots, and hooved feet. But the most disturbing thing about this figure is what it is doing: birthing small dragon-like creatures.

In addition to the demonic drawings, the author also drew what appear to be visual instructions that may be used as a reference in performing the mystic rituals written in the book.

Some of these scenes could be related to necromancy, which is the act of communicating with the dead to read, and possibly control, the future. There are also a few pages of cabalistic symbols.

The book’s origins are obscure and its author remains unknown. But the misdated “year 1057” written on its cover suggests that whoever created the compendium was likely trying to pass it off as an ancient manuscript of sorts. The physical book is under the custody of the Wellcome Library in London, United Kingdom.

Historic Manuscripts Of The Occult
The Codex Gigas, otherwise known as the “Devil’s Bible.”

The Compendium Of Demonology And Magic, though entirely gripping in its vivid illustrations of satanic creatures, is not the only manuscript relating to witchcraft from earlier centuries.

In the 16th century, a Dutch doctor-turned-occult-practitioner named Johann Weyer published Pseudomonarchia Daemonum — known by its English title as the False Hierarchy of Demons — which was a similar compendium written in Latin. Its pages contained the names of 69 demons.

According to Weyer himself, he created the mystic book based on an earlier text about spirits and demons written by another practitioner, though it’s unclear what work he was referring to.

Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, which was not his first work on demonology, was declared by Sigmund Freud as “one of the ten most significant books of all time.”

Even older still is the Codex Gigas, the largest medieval manuscript in the world, measuring at a whopping 36 inches tall, 20 inches wide, and nearly nine inches thick. Historians believe it likely took over 20 years to complete the book.

Could it be any smaller when the entirety of its pages contains a multitude of texts from the Old Testament and New Testament to the Chronicle of Bohemia by Cosmas?

Illustration of the demon Buer, by Luis Breton. According to Weyer’s book, Buer is the president of Hell.

But most striking is perhaps the large demonic illustration that inexplicably sits in the middle of the massive book.

Due to its old age and the effects of war, the true origin of the Codex Gigas has been lost to history. But legend has it that the entire manuscript was written in a fortnight by a monk named Herman the Recluse who was nearly buried alive for breaking his vows.

To win back his freedom, the monk obliged to write a book containing all the world’s knowledge overnight.

Ironically, the monk summoned the devil to help him with the herculean task in exchange for his soul, which is how the odd drawing inside the book allegedly came to be. The historic relic, now called the “Devil’s Bible,” sits on display at the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm.

Unfortunately, the real stories behind some of these curious manuscripts will forever remain untold.

This article (Inside The 18th-Century ‘Compendium Of Demonology And Magic,’ An Illustrated Guide To Hell) was originally created for All That Interesting and is published here under Creative Commons.

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History

Strange Tales Of Giants In Arizona

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Giants
Photo Credit: www.smithsonianmag.com

Brent SwancerGuest Writer

Throughout history and cultures, one pervasive myth that infuses a great many is that of the idea of giants walking amongst us. It seems to be a common theme in the lore of many peoples, taking many shapes and forms, and there have at times even been supposed reports of finding the remains of these lumbering hulks. One such area of this phenomena has apparently popped up in the wilds of the U.S. state of Arizona, where there have been reports of uncovering remains and even having sighted living specimens of real giants for centuries.

In 1911, heavy rains flew through the wilds of Yavapai County, Arizona, and one of those hit was a farmer by the name of Peter Marx, who lived along Walnut Creek, at a place called Juniper. The rains were fierce, causing heavy floods that wrecked large portions of the area, and when Marx went out to survey the damage when it was all over, he found something very strange, indeed. There, poking up through the earth was what appeared to be an enormous bone, and as Marx dug it out it soon became apparent that it was what seemed to be a human leg bone. The thing was, it was reportedly far larger than that of any known human being, and things got even stranger as he continued to dig. He would soon find an array of other outsized bones, as well as an immense human skull far larger that the size of that of a normal man, and Marx would say of this skull and the accompanying bones.

The skull is of such an abnormal size that if the average man of this day placed it over his head, he still could find room to move it backwards and forwards or up and down with ease, without disturbing his natural position. From measurements taken from the skull, a number 10 hat would be required to fit it. The teeth, several of which are still imbedded in the jawbone, substantiate the immense size of the head. They are fully one third larger than those of the men today and present more the appearance of tusks than molars of the human family. As to the bones, there is no disputing the fact that the owner was symmetrically formed, of immense size and herculean strength. The thigh and lower limbs indicate at least twice the size of the average man of today. The bones of this monstrous human may have represented a race of men or a single individual. At any rate, the skeleton of the man in my possession is sufficiently complete so that the dimensions, which are astounding, may be accurately ascertained.

Marx continued his impromptu dig of the site, and would curiously unearth a wide range of ancient artifacts as well, including stone hooks to hold garments together, stone axes and butcher knives, pottery, and most oddly what appeared to be metal arrowheads and spears. This was considered to be very odd, as the Natives of the region would have used stone, and would not have had metallic weaponry. At the time, this remarkable discovery was featured heavily in the newspapers, curiosity seekers poured in to see the giant remains, and there was purportedly interest shown by the Smithsonian Institute. However, in the end, Marx would not let anyone take away the remains to be analysed, and stalled any attempt by the Smithsonian to appraise them because he said he was still deciding what to do with the skull and bones. After this, the whereabouts of these alleged bones become unknown, and frustratingly no one knows what happened to them in the end.

Interestingly, a very similar set of remains was allegedly found in 1913 at Sycamore Creek, Arizona, where road construction workers dug up the remains of a humanoid that would have stood over 8 feet tall in life, surrounded by ancient beads that were thought to date back to the Toltec Period. The report even makes a direct comparison between these and those found by Marx. Once again, the remains just seem to have sort of disappeared, leaving us with nothing to go on other than some news reports from the era, and we are left to wonder if such giant humanoids once roamed the wilds of Arizona. One very interesting point worth considering is that there are apparently historical sightings of actual living giants coming from in the region. According to PrescottAZHistory, one report of this came from the expedition of the great New World explorer Coronado, who was on a voyage up the coast past Sonora, Mexico, which borders Arizona. The record of this, written by a chronicler of the voyage, Pedro de Castaneda, which tells of a captain Hemando de Alarcon, who went off to bring supplies for soldiers up the coast, but soon contact with Alarcon’s ships was lost and a Don Rodrigo Maldonado was sent out to find out what had happened to Alarcon. Although he was unable to find the ships he sought, he apparently came back with a captive Indian who was so tall that the tallest explorer only came up to his chest. The report continues:

Soon after this, while still trying to establish contact with Alarcon, Captain Melchior Diaz came across another tribe of giants. Taking twenty-five of his most efficient men and some guides, Diaz struck out toward the north and west in search of the seacoast and the ships. After going about 150 leagues they came to a province of exceedingly tall and strong men–like giants. They live in large straw cabins built underground like smoke houses, with only the straw roof above ground. They enter these at one end and come out at the other. More than a hundred persons, old and young, sleep in one cabin. When they carry anything, they can take a load of more than three or four hundredweight on their heads. Once when our men wished to fetch a log for the fire, and six men were unable to carry it, one of these Indians is reported to have come and raised it in his arms, put it on his head alone, and carried it very easily.

In the end we are left with only historical reports and very little in the way of actual physical evidence, so we are left to ask ourselves. Did giants ever roam the wilds of Arizona? It all fits into other similar reports from all over the world, so what are we dealing with here? Were these just misunderstandings and hoaxes. Or did giants truly once roam the earth? We may never know for sure.

Recommended Articles by Brent Swancer
About the Author

Is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He’s written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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History

First Ever Fully-Preserved Adult Cave Bear Found Frozen In Siberia

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First Ever Fully-Preserved Adult Cave Bear Found Frozen In Siberia
Photo Credit: Getty

Paul SeaburnGuest Writer

Move over, woolly mammoths – there’s another creature that may join you in the Ancient Animals Cloned From Frozen DNA Theme Park. Researchers in Siberia have confirmed that a frozen creature found poking out of the melting permafrost on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island is an adult cave bear that once roamed the area between 22,000 and 39,500 years ago. This is the first frozen adult cave bear ever found and it’s a big deal.

“It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place including even its nose. Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This find is of great importance for the whole world.”

Scientist Lena Grigorieva, one of Russia’s leading experts on extinct Ice Age species, would like to take credit for discovering the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) but she admits to The Siberian Times that the frozen carcass was found by reindeer herders on the largest of the Lyakhovsky Islands, part of the New Siberian Islands archipelago between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea in northern Russia. Fortunately, the herders contacted them immediately and the cave bear was removed intact so it can be fully studied. (Photos here.)

“A scientific programme for its comprehensive study will be prepared. We will have to study the carcass of a bear using all modern scientific research methods – molecular genetic, cellular, microbiological and others. The research is planned on as large a scale as in the study of the famous Malolyakhovsky mammoth.”

Grigorieva will lead a team of researchers at the International Centre for Collective Use of Molecular Paleontology at the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) Institute of Applied Ecology of the North in Yakutsk and compares this to the discovery in 2013 of a frozen mammoth on Malolyakhovsky – the second-largest of the Lyakhovsky Islands – which was oozing mammoth blood.

Brown bear.

But wait … there’s more.

“Separately at least one preserved carcass of a cave bear cub found on the mainland of Yakutia, with scientists hopeful of obtaining its DNA.”

It will be a cave bear-palooza at NEFU as the researchers will also examine a fully preserved cave bear cub found at about the same time in nearby Yakutia. For those who know nothing more of the Ursus spelaeus than what they learned from “The Clan of the Cave Bear” series by Jane M. Auel or the movie of the same name (starring Daryl Hannah – now do you remember it?), Cave bears roamed Europe and Asia after breaking off from brown bears about 1.2 million years ago. Standing 3.5 meters (11.50 ft) tall, they were similar in size to the largest modern-day bears. However, their specialized diet and limited northern territory led to their extinction due to climate change (not human hunting, although they co-existed for a time in Siberia), which occurred as recently as 12,000 years ago.

Hopefully, these new finds will give us a better picture of the lives of cave bears, along with insights on how we can survive climate change where they didn’t. Of course, someone is sure to take some of that DNA and try to bring it back, especially with so many related species to use as incubators.

Will it happen soon enough for the 84-year-old Jean M. Auel to write one more sequel?

Recommended Articles by Paul Seaburn
About the Author

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humour. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humour to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious.

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Alien

Flying Saucers And Giant Aliens Described In A Possible Declassified FBI File

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Flying Saucers and Giant Aliens Described In A Possible Declassified FBI File
Photo Credit: Pexels

Paul SeaburnGuest Writer

Giant human-like aliens!”Flying saucers.Multidimensional beings!” When the rest of the news is bad (we’re talking about 2020 here), nothing pulls the public’s attention away from disasters, disease and doom like UFOs and aliens. That ‘could’ explain why a few media sites have pulled out the big headlines and exclamation points to reveal the possible disclosure of a decades-old FBI document about an alleged UFO and alien encounter in 1947. Roswell? There’s little indication this is the same incident. The story of what they’re referring to as Memorandum 6751 appeared this week in AlienstarThe Daily Star and Sputnik News. Yes, we know they’re not the most reliable sources, but the FBI file itself at least looks real. Let’s see what else we can find.

“These FBI files were recently leaked and in them, you can clearly see the fact that not only did they already confirm the existence of aliens out there but that they also have captured proof of these multidimensional beings that have attempted to visit our planet on multiple occasions so far.”

“The text that dates back to 1947 is especially important as it mentions the term “flying saucers” on multiple occasions. You can see the official FBI Vault yourself right here and see the fact that they’ve been lying to us all along.”

The name Memorandum 6751 comes from the number stamped on top of the memorandum. It appears to be 67 pages long, but only a blurred photocopy of the first page is shown in the story – not a good sign – and the Vault, the FBI repository of declassified files, doesn’t seem to have it under a variety of search criteria. Sputnik News claims it’s “dubbed Memorandum 6751 by UFOlogists” but a search on that term doesn’t bring anything up except these stories… and one more which we’ll discuss later.

Part of the disks carry crews, others are under remote control. 

  • Their mission is peaceful. The visitors contemplate settling on this plane. 
  • These visitors are human-like, but much larger in size. 
  • They are NOT excarnate earth people but come from their own world. 
  • They do NOT come from any “planet” as we use the word, but from an otherio planet which interpenetrates with our own and is not perceptible to us.
  • The bodies of the visitors and of the craft also, automatically materialize on entering the vibratory rate of our . . . matter. 
  • The disks possess a type of radiant energy, or a ray, which will easily disintegrate any attacking ship. They re-enter the otherio at will, and so simply disappear from our vision, without trace. 
  • The region from which they come is NOT the ‘astral plane’, but corros – ponds to the Lokas or Talas. Students of osoterio matter will understand these terms. 
  • They probably cannot be reached by radio but probably can be by radar, if a signal system can be devised for that.”

These are the bullet points listed on the alleged memorandum dated July 8, 1947 – the same day as the first press release about recovering a crashed “flying disc” on a ranch near Roswell. Coincidence? The writer is anonymous, but says he or she possesses several university degrees and was ”formerly a university department head.” The memorandum was written to the FBI and is NOT an FBI investigative report. Unlike the early Roswell reports, this memorandum refers to “living” beings “much larger in size” than humans who are visiting rather than crashing and occupy another dimension from us rather than another planet. It also does not say how the unnamed writer obtained all of this information. Alienstar says the documents were released “recently” but the video it links to shows them in 2018. Unfortunately, the other 66 pages or so are not published or linked to in the article.

However, the site Film Daily has another interesting, albeit also undocumented, revelation.

“A decade ago, a seventy page document was declassified by the FBI and put into their online database called The Vault. (How very cinematic of them.) This document is now frequently referred to as Memorandum 6751 & makes claims of inter-dimensional beings and flying saucers.”

Film Daily says Memorandum 6751 was declassified in 2010 and that’s when it allegedly appeared on The Vault. It also says it’s “frequently referred to” yet references to it seem to be non-existent. Heck, there’s not even a reference on Wikipedia!

Interesting? Definitely. A nice distraction from the bad news of 2020? Definitely. Real? Wow. This story has more red flags and holes than a minefield under inspection by a bomb-sniffing dog with a cold and more outrageous claims than a political campaign flyer. It would be nice to write the whole thing off as a hoax, like the FBI’s infamous Hottel memo (which you CAN find on Wikipedia), but 2020 is also the year of UFO disclosure. Perhaps Tom DeLonge and his group could look into it. After all, Memorandum 6751 does say:

“Flying saucers.”

Recommended Articles by Paul Seaburn
About the Author

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humour. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humour to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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