Reptilian humanoid

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AKA: Snakepeople,Reptiloids, Reptoids, Draconians, lizardmen, Lizard People, Saurians, Dragonoids

An artist's depiction of a Reptilian-Humanoid.

Reptilian humanoids are a common motif in mythology, folklore, science fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theories, and the pseudosciences of cryptozoology and ufology. Depending on context they are known by many names, including Snakepeople, Reptoids, Dinosauroids, Lizardfolk, Lizard People, or Lizardmen.


[edit] Mythology

Reptilian humanoids of varying depictions have been common in the myths and legends of many cultures throughout history.

[edit] Europe

Cecrops I, the mythical first King of Athens was half man, half snake. This is illustrated, for example, on a frieze on the Pergamon Altar in Pergamum. In these images from Pergamum, some of which depict gigantomachy, one sees the giant Klyteros with huge serpents between his legs. Boreas (Aquilon to the Romans) was the Greek god of the cold north wind, described by Pausanias as a winged man with serpents between his legs.[1] The ancient Greek cult of Glycon worshipped a snake god who had the head of a man. The Lamia, a child-devouring female demon from Greek mythology, was half woman, half serpent.

[edit] India

In Indian scriptures and legends, the Nāga (Devanagari: नाग) are reptilian beings said to live underground and interact with human beings on the surface. In some versions, these beings were said to have once lived on a continent in the Indian Ocean that sank beneath the waves. Indian texts also refer to a reptilian race called the "Sarpa" (Devanagari: सर्प). The Syrictæ of India (not to be confused with the Sciritae of ancient Greece) were a legendary tribe of men with snake-like nostrils in place of noses and bandy serpentine legs.[citation needed]

[edit] East Asia

The Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Japanese speak throughout their history of 龍 (Lóng) (Yong in Korean, Ryu in Japanese) or dragons, conceived of in both physical and non-physical forms, but rarely depicted in humanoid form, though they may assume a non-reptilian human form.[2]

In China, Korea and Japan, underwater realms are referred to where the Dragon Kings and their descendants live, as well as a lineage of humans descended from a race of dragons. This lineage was often claimed by East Asian emperors, who were believed to be able to change from human to dragon form at will.

In Japan, there are myths about the kappa, or lizard men who live near rivers and attack passersby.

[edit] Middle East

Quetzalcoatl in reptilian humanoid form

In the Middle East, reptilian beings ranging from certain Jinn to dragons and serpent-men have been spoken of since ancient times. In one of the apocryphal books falsely purporting[citation needed] to be the lost Book of Jasher, a serpent race is described.

In the Book of Genesis, God punishes the serpent for deceiving Eve into eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil by decreeing, "Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of your life" (Genesis 3:14 KJV). Traditionally, many[who?] have felt this implied that the serpent (a snake or reptile) had legs before then. It is therefore often[citation needed] portrayed in Western art as a humanoid with a snake's tail, and sometimes lizard-like feet, as in a detail from Bosch's Last Judgement.

[edit] Mesoamerica

Quetzalcoatl, the "feathered serpent", was the creator god and sky god of the Aztecs. He was variously depicted as a man, a serpent, or a reptilian humanoid.

[edit] Evolutionary thought experiment

An image of Dale Russell's hypothetical "dinosauroid"

[edit] Overview

A theoretical reptilian humanoid has also been the focus of a widely discussed thought experiment in speculative evolution. In particular, in 1982 paleontologist Dale Russell, curator of vertebrate fossils at the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa, conjectured a possible evolutionary path that might have been taken by bipedial predator dinosaurs had they not all perished in the K/T extinction event 65 million years ago. The essence of this thought experiment was that bipedal predators (theropods) which existed at that time, such as Troodon, could have evolved into intelligent beings similar in body plan to humans. Troodontids had semi-manipulative fingers, able to grasp and hold objects to a certain degree, and binocular vision. The thought experiment particularly followed from observations at the time that a key measure of dinosaurs' brain size had increased over the course of their evolution. The experiment was thus an attempt to hypothetically 'project' this development forward and imagine its possible outcome.

[edit] Description

Russel proposed that this "Dinosauroid", like most dinosaurs of the troodontid family, would have had large eyes and three fingers on each hand, one of which would have been partially opposed. As with most modern reptiles (and birds), he conceived of its genitalia as internal. Russell speculated that it would have required a navel, as a placenta aids the development of a large brain case. However, it would not have possessed mammary glands, and would have fed its young, as birds do, on regurgitated food. He speculated that its language would have sounded somewhat like bird song.[3]

[edit] Criticism

Russell's thought experiment has been met with criticism from other paleontologists since the 1980s, many of whom point out that Russell's Dinosauroid is overly anthropomorphic. Gregory S. Paul (1988) and Thomas R. Holtz Jr., consider it "suspiciously human" (Paul, 1988) and argue that a large-brained, highly intelligent troodontid would retain a more standard theropod body plan, with a horizontal posture and long tail, and would probably manipulate objects with the snout and feet in the manner of a bird, rather than with human-like "hands".

[edit] In Cryptozoology

Adherents to the pseudoscience of cryptozoology, which focuses on proving the existence of creatures considered fictional by mainstream science, point to three main claims in their argument for the factual existence of reptilian humanoids. First is a rumored "lizard man" associated with Scape Ore Swamp in South Carolina. The second is a set of claims regarding a reptilian humanoid they posit to have surfaced in the 1970s in Thetis Lake, Canada. The third is a set of alleged reports of a humanoid froglike creatures around Loveland, Ohio since the 1950s.

[edit] In UFOlogy

In modern times some claim to have encountered reptilian humanoids. In many of these cases a UFO is part of the encounter; alien abduction narratives sometimes allege contact with reptilian creatures.[4] Some[who?] believe that the so-called Greys are in fact reptiles, and should be categorized as "Reptoids", others that Reptoids are an entirely different species working with or in opposition to the Greys.[citation needed]

One of the earliest reports was that of Ashland, Nebraska police officer Herbert Schirmer, who claims to have been taken aboard a UFO by humanoid beings with a slightly reptilian appearance, and who bore a "winged serpent" emblem on the left side of their chest. [5]

[edit] Conspiracy theory

According to writer David Icke, 7-foot (2.1 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the star system Alpha Draconis are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy directed at humanity. He claims that the reptilians maintain their control through the generation of fear and negative emotion, which is food to these entities, by manufacturing conflicts, primarily wars. He contends that most of the world's leaders are in fact related to these reptilians.[6] Icke's theories now have supporters in 47 countries and he frequently gives lectures to crowds of 2500 or more.[7][8]

Icke draws connections between the reptilian aliens in his theories and the Annunaki depicted in Zecharia Sitchin's 12th Planet,[9] which has led to other conspiracy theorists referring to reptilian humanoids as the "Annunaki";[10] however, Sitchin himself has always described his Annunaki as purely humanoid.

[edit] Politics

During a provincial election in Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2003, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario disseminated a press release describing Ontario Liberal Party opposition leader Dalton McGuinty as an "Evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet".[11]

In the 2008 U.S. Senate election in Minnesota, one ballot included a vote for Al Franken with "Lizard People" written in the space provided for write-in candidates.[12] The Norm Coleman campaign successfully challenged the ballot, which drew some public attention.[13]

[edit] In fiction

Reptilian humanoids are a common theme in fiction, whether fantasy or science fiction. Because of the aversion that many people have for reptiles in general, reptile-like aliens are often the villain in such works. Albert A. Harrison notes, "Science fiction writers and movie producers are well aware of how appearances affect us, and they are able to construct their aliens to achieve the desired dramatic effects. We may respond favorably to those that remind us of children or pets, and less favorably to those that remind us of lizards... or other creatures that have 'image' problems... For many animals, large eyes or eyelike patterns tend to elicit fear and escape responses. One possible explanation for this is that large, staring eyes often belong to predators. Immense eyes or eyelike appendages may also be threatening to humans, and this threat may contribute to an aversion to 'bug-eyed monsters'."[14]

Another explanation notes the assumed "slimy" feel of reptiles, rather than their appearance, as a source of horror. R. Rawdon Wilson, Professor Emeritus of the Department of English at the University of Alberta, explored the theme in The Hydra's Tale: Imagining Disgust: "Because of the genre's emphasis upon explicit images, horror films are rich in examples of wetness and dissolution... In Alien, Aliens, and Alien3 and Alien Resurrection, the xenomorphic monsters drip liquid from their mouths in improbable ways... The association with slime is more fundamentally established in the stages of the alien's developmental phases. It is a "Linnean nightmare, defying every natural law of evolution; by turns bivalve, crustacean, reptilian, and humanoid..."[15]

Human-like reptiles have appeared in various popular treatments, from early pulp short stories and novellas, to full novels, comic books, television features, films, and the gaming industry. For example, the television show Doctor Who featured several reptilian humanoid races, including the Mars-dwelling Ice Warriors, the alien Draconians, the marine Sea Devils and the land-based Silurians.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Gods of the Winds
  2. ^ Chinese Dragons - dragon mythology of China
  3. ^ Cosmos: Smartosarus
  4. ^ The Shadowlands Mysterious Creatures page
  5. ^ Police Officer Herbert Schirmer Abduction - Ashland, Nebraska, United States - December 3, 1967 - UFO Evidence
  6. ^ David Icke Interview: Aliens among us
  7. ^ Lauren Cox (Dec. 12, 2008). "What's Behind Internet Conspiracy Empires?". ABC News. Retrieved on 2009-03-04. 
  8. ^ Ronson, Jon (Saturday 17 March 2001). "Beset by lizards". The Guardian. Retrieved on 5 March 2009. 
  9. ^ David Icke (1999). The Biggest Secret. David Icke Books. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved on 2008-02-15. 
  11. ^ Mackie, Richard (September 16, 2003). "Tories caught catnapping; How ‘kitten-eater' joke in PC war room hairballed quickly along campaign trail". The Globe and Mail: p. A8.  Accessed via Factiva, December 26, 2007.
  12. ^ "Minnesota Senate Recount: Challenged ballots: You be the judge – Round 1". Minnesota Public Radio. 2008. Retrieved on 2008-11-22. 
  13. ^ "Coleman with 2-vote lead after 3rd day of canvass". 
  14. ^ Albert A. Harrison, After Contact: The Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life (Basic Books, 2002), p.216
  15. ^ R. Rawdon Wilson, The Hydra's Tale (University of Alberta Press, 2002), p227

[edit] References

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