Malaysian Cops Heard About A Freakish Creature On The Loose – And This Is What They Discovered
In October 2017, startling images of a supernatural-looking and apparently brand new species of animal emerged on the internet in Malaysia, prompting scientists as well as police to launch a thorough investigation.
Malaysia over the decades has been a notorious hub for wildlife trafficking. Endangered species, exotic pets, and illegal animal products frequently pass through the country and onto other destinations throughout Asia. In July 2017, Malaysian officials confiscated approximately a million dollars’ worth of ivory, tusks, and pangolin scales, at the Kuala Lumpur airport in just one weekend. This is not the only issue Malaysia has with interesting animals.
Apart from having a booming trade in endangered or rare wildlife, Malaysia also suffers from a lack of institutional transparency. Without a Freedom of Information Act in Malaysia, anything can be classified as an official secret. According to sources across various social media channels, the animal was being held in a secret laboratory at an top secret location in the state of Pahang, and the animal was unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But what was it and was it real?
The alien-like creature could fit in the hands of investigators and it appeared to be some sort of tiny newborn. The creature had ghostly pale wrinkled skin, some wisps of hair sticking up behind its ears and the top of its head. It had small sharp fangs and claws. But most horrifying of all was the creature’s face. It looked human.
Officials think that the reason for this creature’s insane spike in media and local attention can be explained by traditional Malay folklore, much of which actually originated from an area referred to as the Old Pahang Kingdom. Malay folklore supposedly has a heavy focus on magical creatures and supernatural beings. This might explain what this creature might mean to the people of Malaysia, it may not be just an unseen creature but something far more than that.
Malay folklore embodies several different traditions of oral and written storytelling. There are stories ranging from everything like nursery rhymes much like Aesop’s Fables to even ghost stories, epics, and fairy tales. All of these stories have one thing in common, the use of mystical creatures unlike anything ever seen on earth. Could this creature sighting be one of the mystical ones from legend?
These mystical creatures of legend include ogres, mermaids, dwarfs, birds made of fire and water, dragons, and giant crabs. The creature spotted in Pahang was appeared to be some sort of lycanthrope. Lycanthropy is defined as the ability to transform from a human to an animal, and in Malay folklore, there are several types of lycanthropic creatures.
These lycanthropic creatures include ular tedung jadian, a human who is believed to transform into a cobra; lembu jadian, who is believed to transform into a bull; and harimau jadian, who is believed to transform into a tiger also known as a “werecat” or “weretiger.” Harimau jadian according to legend only appears at night and is not a threat but rather is the protector of all the animals.
However, modern western psychiatry sees the phenomenon of ‘lycanthropy’ as a rare and understudied psychological disorder. Many experts believe that it is actually a culturally bound manifestation of schizophrenia. Symptoms include hallucinations of turning into an animal, disorganized speech, and animal-like behavior. However, when photos of the “Pahang werecat” emerged online many began to wonder if the creature from the legend was real.
Many who did not quite believe the folklore legends turned to science. Many believed that the creature may have been a product of genetic engineering that escaped a lab somewhere. In 2011 genetic engineers successfully created three glow-in-the-dark kittens to research AIDS, because of that miraculous feat many didn’t think that genetically engineering a creature like the one photographed wouldn’t be too hard for some scientists.
However, the alleged creature was not some sort of manmade creation but rather a figment of everyone’s imagination. After officials had looked into it and traced the photos back they realized these photos had been tampered with and spread about with the specific intent of creating a fake viral media sensation around the country. So what were the pictures of?
The creature turned out to be a doll made of silicon and was even being sold online. Special effects artist Asia Eriksen creates similar creatures, “WerePups,” which, according to her website, evoke a range of intense emotions from “pure disgust to complete adoration.” She may not have created the images that went viral but her creations do not look far off.
Eriksen’s WerePups are made by hand, to make them look as real and perfect as possible. “The artist is committed to giving werewolves a natural and scientific appearance,” states the company website, “as well as a realistic feel that will allow their owners to come as close as possible to holding an actual werewolf baby…”
Eriksen’s creations equally believable as they are creepy “When people ask if WerePups are real, it’s incredibly rewarding,” she says. “Just to think that, if only for a moment, I somehow made somebody believe in an impossible creature…” Although rewarding to her, the general public still seems to be left with so many questions.
The identity of the people who created the “Pahang werecat” have still not been recovered. Some theories still remain that there is a creature out there that could look like the one photographed. Others take the local officials word for it. It only goes to show you never truly know what is out there.