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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 29: Ningen

Just keep swimming.
It’s time yet again to take a dive into the ocean. This time, we’re headed far south to the Antarctic Ocean. A frigid place that houses many interesting creatures, our focus today is a cryptid known as the Ningen. This creature also appears on the Conspiracy Iceberg, but we’ll focus on the conspiracy elements (which includes supposed visits from the Men in Black and government cover-ups) another day. For now, let’s look at the cryptid aspects.

The Antarctic Census Bureau: The Mystery of the Ningen

With a name that translates to “Human” in Japanese, the story of the Ningen can be traced back to the mid-2000s (though some claim the legend dates back as far as the 1960s) when a thread appeared on the popular Japanese image board website, 2channel. A thread was posted to the website with the original poster claiming to be a sailor on a government-run “whale research” vessel. The user posted their encounter (which we’ll go over later) and from there, the legend of the Ningen was born.

Appearance wise, the Ningen is said to be a cross between a human and a whale. It’s said to be between 20–30 meters in length (60–100 feet in length), has large eyes that are said to be black in color, has two arms with five fingers, and either a mermaid-esque tail or tentacles where its legs would be if it were humanoid. Its skin is also ghostly white, which is fitting given the creature is said to reside in the Antarctic Ocean. Topping things off, it has a slit-like mouth. This fits with the rest of its facial features, which are said to be non-existent. In many ways, the Ningen looks like a ghost or corpse that’s somehow alive.

The popularity of the Ningen was further amplified in November of 2007. The Japanese publication, MU Magazine, ran a story about “Antarctic Humans”. In this article, a photograph (see below) from Google Earth that showed what some believe to be a Ningen was included.

The location of this image was from the South Atlantic just off the coast of Namibia. Images like this aren’t uncommon for the Ningen; there are a few other photos and even videos that are available online. Here’s an example of one of these photos/videos.

Just looking at that picture, I have to remark that it doesn’t look to be the size of it’s said to be. A creature that’s said to be 60–100 feet in length. Sure, the water’s murky, but when I think of a creature that would rival the size of the Blue Whale, I’d think of something that’s, well…

I’d think it’d be a bit on the more imposing side, as opposed to looking like a sock puppet that was left on the ground.

Okay, to be fair: those that believe the creature in the footage to be a Ningen say that it’s likely a corpse. I can’t find what the official explanation is (likely due to my own laziness), I’d hazard a guess and say it’s rational in nature.

Behavior wise, the Ningen has been described as being both docile and as being quite aggressive. More often than not, it’s the former. It’s also said to be nocturnal, with most eyewitness reports stating they saw it during the night. Also, before I forget—and to beat a friend of mine to the punch—no, mating with a Ningen is not an option. Contrary to what he may comment with, you cannot stick your sexual organ into them or vice-versa. Not when there are rumors that they are the owners of an extremely toxic chemical compound.

Thumbnail to this YouTube video.
Oh give me a break.

The toxic compound I also mentioned is one reason that the creature is on the Conspiracy Iceberg—at least I think that’s why. I digress though. A creature like the Ningen is certainly a remarkably fascinating one and well known one, though information on it extremely scarce. The best way I can describe it is if you took something like the Loch Ness Monster, removed almost all of the sightings throughout the ages, but kept the world famous Surgeon’s Photo (just change the fact it’s a hoax to something highly ambiguous). To me, it feels a lot like that and I have no idea if I managed to overlook something important or if it truly is as popular, yet as rarely sighted, as it is.

Whatever the case may be, that’s the story of the Ningen. We now move onto a new portion I’ve created for cryptids that I call “Reports”. I’m adding this now so I don’t end up cluttering the story with a sudden shift in topic. So let’s begin and look at what people have to say about the creature.


Despite there being a fair number of photos and videos of it, my search for reports on this creature resulted in a whopping three ((or rather two plus a possible second hand account). If I find any more, I’ll do an updated version of this entry sometime down the line. Until then, here are the three I could find. As for why there are so few stories, one explanation is that the Japanese government, despite having “detailed records” of Ningen sightings, have intimidated any and all witnesses into remaining silent. I’m doubtful of this, but it’s the explanation I found.

#1: The two stories I found are from 4chan (the second of which can be found in a video that I’ll link below). The first one isn’t really an encounter with the Ningen as much as it is from a man who showed a supposed still image from a video to a submariner friend of his. The two are at a bar in San Diego, California when he shows his friend the image, which you can see below (along with the video that it’s from, along with a second video uploaded from the same channel).

Immediately, his friend becomes uncomfortable and becomes visibly frightened before changing the topic. After this, the story concludes.

Given this comes from 4chan, the nature of “take it with a grain of salt” comes to mind, though Antarctica has always been a hotbed for conspiracy theories among many other things. Given that the ocean also has a reputation for being at the center of cover-ups and secrecy, it’s no surprise that the Ningen would be at the center of conspiracies. These include, but are not limited to:

- An alien species that resides underwater

- An underwater species of humans that are kept from the public

- Atlantians

Naval forces have also long been considered to be in on operations to either keep these creatures at bay or to monitor them. Some time next year—likely around autumn—we’ll cover stories centered around that.

#2: The second report from 4chan, you can listen to the entire story down below.

For those that want the abridged version: a man doing a training exercise with his fellow sailors experienced a strange encounter when his ship is rocked by a large sea creature. Over the course of his terrifying experience, he’s knocked overboard and almost dragged underwater, but is ultimately saved. However, one of his fellow sailors vanishes when he’s also knocked overboard and his body is never found.

The story is honestly very terrifying and while it’s from 4chan, there have been claims that “accidents” during military exercises have been used as covers for deaths at the hands of entities unknown. This is, of course, merely a rumor (or conspiracy theory). One must trust the powers that be, right? Right.

#3: The original sighting that I said we’d get to later, a Japanese whale research ship was sailing in Antarctica when it spotted what they thought was a submarine. However, as they drew closer, the creature shifted and dove back under water. They estimated it to be 60 or more feet in length (20+ meters). From here, the aforementioned story of the sailor posting on 2channel begins and the Ningen is launched into the eye of the denizens of the Internet. It’s also here that haul of Ningen sightings ends and we’re left wondering if any supposed sea creature sightings might’ve been of the Ningen or simply mermaids. Lucky for us though, there are a fair number of theories that will allow us to continue discussing this beast, so let’s dive into them.


1. They’re an underwater species of human

Our first theory is that the Ningen is a sub-species of humans that live in the ocean. This theory has often been associated with mermaids and other aquatic humanoid legends (e.g. Fish Man stories) or this lovely fellow.

I can already hear the Lovecraftian languages. Anyways, I think it’s best if the offshoots of this theory do most of the talking.

1a. They’re Atlantians

Atlantis was originally a part of Decemystery 2019, but has been pushed back until next year. That said, most people know of the legendary city as described by Homer in his Odyssey. For those that don’t or need a refresher: the gist of Atlantis is that it was either an extremely advanced city or an entire continent that vanished overnight. This mysterious disappearance has been blamed due to a cataclysmic earthquake, a storm, and/or a tsunami.

The location of Atlantis has been disputed for centuries; some claim it was near Greece, others say it was in the Atlantic, and some claim that it was in or around Africa. Never have I seen it claimed to be as far south as Antarctica, but there’s an argument to be made of the Atlantians fleeing or migrating south (or entire underwater cities being built by them). Whatever the case may be, some posit that the Ningen are Atlantians who’ve rapidly evolved over time to become more animalistic than human in appearance. They’ve also managed to grow by ten times the normal size of a human if we’re to believe that the Ningen is 60-feet-long.

Suffice to say: I’m skeptical of this theory, but to each their own.

1b. They’re mermaids

Mermaids… oh man.

I’m sure that everyone knows of mermaids. The half-human, half-fish sea dwellers that have been described as being harmonious and peaceful by some sailors and aggressive and inhuman by others. These legendary creatures are believed by most to be just that, legends, but to this day, some insist they’re real. There are numerous videos of supposed mermaid corpses on the Internet and sightings are abound.

That said, the description of mermaids and the Ningen are radically different. Mermaids are said to be the size of an adult human (5’9”, though some can be upwards of 7 feet). The Ningen on the other hand can be the size of a Blue Whale. The Ningen is also less human and more animal in appearance, though the appendages it sports are definitely human-esque to some.

One can argue that the Ningen is a different kind of mermaid, but until one or the other is found—be it alive or dead—there’s not much we can do other than speculate. As for mermaids themselves, perhaps some time in the coming years we can discuss them.

2. It’s an unknown species of oceanic animal

The classic example of a cryptid being real, our second theory is that the Ningen is in fact a new species of animal that’s waiting to be discovered. Given the creature that’s supposedly been photographed and filmed doesn’t really resemble much of anything that we (or at least I) know of, that’s led many truth seekers to say that it’s a new species of fauna that we can add to our ever-growing index of animals on Earth. One can just hope that it isn’t endangered–or a ship eater!

Oh dear.

3. They’re aliens

Underwater aliens. Guess this is as good of a time as any to discuss this monster of a conspiracy/claim.

The idea that aliens live in the depths of the ocean isn’t by any means a new one. It dates back quite a bit of time and some say that they’ve even raided the land (in a story that I sadly cannot recall the name to, but I know where I heard it, click here if you want to watch the 7-hour-long video). This theory is further backed up by claims from pilots who say they’ve seen lights and objects flying around before diving down into the ocean at extremely high speeds. There’s one story in particular that I was going to write about earlier this year, but I’ve begrudgingly forgotten the name to it. It involved a plane en route to Alaska where a UFO did, well, exactly what I described: it flew around before shooting down into the ocean.

As for this theory, this is backed up by the fact the Ningen apparently lives in Antarctica. If you’re at all familiar with conspiracies or anything related to the claims made surrounding the frozen continent, then you know that it’s a favorite amongst that group of people. It’s a magnet for claims. Whether it be Nazis that fled there after the end of World War II, secret government bases where aliens and the world’s powers research magnificent technologies to create a One World Government, or something else, it somehow involves Antarctica.

Because of this, the idea that the Ningen is—or are—alien in nature isn’t too crazy. Well, at least in the eyes of some. As for you dear reader, I leave that up to you to decide.

4 It’s a legend

Much in the same way that the Kraken—

My mistake, I forgot that the Kraken was eaten. Ahem, much in the same way that the Leviathan is a beast of legend, so too is the Ningen. At least, in the eyes of some. Indeed, despite the number of the supposed photos and videos, there are those that believe the creature is just like many of the tales that sailors tell as they get tanked at the bar for the umpteenth time that week.

Such a theory isn’t all that crazy when one considers the number of magnificently fantastical tales that men of the sea tell. Such embellishment is believed to have not changed throughout the ages and why should it? It captivates listeners/readers. As such, some think the Ningen is but the product of that embellishment.

5. It’s an albino whale

This is more or less a case of misidentification. Given that the Ningen is said partially resemble a whale, it stands to reason in the eyes of skeptics that it could in fact just be a whale. In this case, its white body is because it’s albino.

Many supposed cryptid sightings throughout the ages have sometimes been attributed to cases of misidentification. Creatures like Nessie have been chalked up to floating logs in lakes, manatees, wakes caused by boats, and other known creatures. Bigfoot sightings are sometimes said to be bears that are on their hindlegs. The Chupacabra is said to be a canine with mange.

Likewise, the Ningen may just be a whale. Someone tell Captain Ahab. Moby Dick has been found.

6. It’s an aquatic sloth

The sixth and final theory posits that the Ningen is a descendant of an ancient species of sloth that adapted to live in the ocean. As times changed, the sloth realized it had to change to survive and so, the Ningen came to be. Not much else to it than that.

My Take

This creature is an enigma. There are a fair number of supposed photos of it out there and even videos of it, yet finding actual reports/sightings of it is exceedingly difficult. There are a fair number of theories—yet there are no definitive answers to much of anything. The Ningen is, for all intents and purposes, a creature without answers, without origin, and without identification. It’s astounding to me that it has the recognition it has given that it feels like a nobody in the world of cryptozoology.

As for what my take is: I think the possibility of an oddball creature like it existing isn’t out of the realm of possibility. As I’ve said more times than I care to count: we’ve not explored much of the ocean. Who knows what could be lurking in the deepest, darkest (and coldest) depths.

Okay, maybe I don’t want to know.

Despite that fact though, I must say that given the lack of information on the Ningen as of the time of this writing, I don’t believe it’s real. It’s possible—very possible in fact—but I’m immensely skeptical until I see some sort of hard proof. This could be a body, a tissue sample, or the Ningen dancing down my street to Cotton Eye Joe.


The Ningen is certainly a peculiar beast/legend. A human-esque creature that blurs the line between man and animal. While sightings are sparse, there are those who’re adamant the creature is real and given the ocean is a vast, mysterious place, who can blame them? Let’s just hope that if they truly do exist, they’re less frightening than Julia.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the shout out, ya jerk. But yeah, this is all bunk. There's very little information on this, and to be honest I'm going with Albino Whale here or maybe some seals.

    Still, I needed the laugh. Thanks for that. Rats, I was hoping I could have sex with an animal that releases toxins!