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What is the Johor Hominid?

By G. Melanson
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Also known as the Orang Mawa or the Malaysian Mawa, the Johor Hominid is a bipedal, ape-like cryptid that reportedly inhabits the 248 million-year-old Johor jungle of Malaysia. Witnesses say the creature is covered in black fur, stands up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall, and subsists on a diet of fish, fruit, and according to some reports, wild boar. The Orang Asli natives refer to the Johor Hominid as “hantu jarang gigi”, which translates to “Snaggle-toothed Ghost.”

Reported sightings of the Johor Hominid date back as early as the late 1800s. The latter-half of the last century saw evidence of the creature’s existence in the form of large footprints, each with four toes and roughly 18 inches (45.7cm) long, found in 1995. In 2005, witnesses reported seeing a Johor Bigfoot family, including parents and a juvenile, near the Kincin River, where more footprints were later found.

In 2006, the Malaysian government became the first country in the world to embark on an official expedition to search for a reported hominid. Environmentalist, Vincent Chow along with Sean Ang created a website devoted to updating the public on the search and coined the term “Johor Hominid” in the process. Chow claimed to possess twelve photographs of the creature, taken by a former Cambodian guerilla. Sketches of the photos were slowly released via the website, however the website asserted that the actual photographs would be reserved for publication in a forthcoming book. Eventually, the photos were released via the website, and soon after exposed as copies from the book, “L’Odyssee de l’espece”, which included still photos from the 2001 French science fiction film of the same name.

Despite the 2006 hoax, the Johor Hominid phenomenon continues to captivate the Cryptozoology community, with some speculating that the creature does, in fact, exist, and could be a descendant of Homo Erectus. Others theorize that it may be a modern-day Gigantopithecus, a theory that has also been applied to Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and the Abominable Snowman. Some skeptics say Johor Hominid sightings are merely a case of mistaken identity with Sun Bears, or the deluge of orangutans that have migrated to the Johor jungle due to reforestation.

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