If you are a devoted fan of SyFy's Destination Truth, you may have heard the story of the African Ninki Nanka. This legendary creature, depending on who you talk to, is believed to be a large reptilian, possibly even dragon-like. Some say it resembles its Chinese mythical counterpart. Others swear it possesses the body of a crocodile, the neck of a giraffe, the head of a horse with three horns, up to 30ft in length and breathes fire. One witness says it has legs. Another testifies to wings. While its appearance is up for debate, how dangerous it is perceived to be is not. Ninki Nanka has supposedly killed many in West Africa as recently as the 1990s.
The mere mention of this creature sends fear in to locals to the point they reach for a mirror. It is believed the only way to get rid of the animal is to show it its reflection. This not being the only superstition/folk tale surrounding the creature. It is said that if a child disobeys their parents and goes in to the swamp they will be taken by the Ninka Nanka. Folklore also says the creature is an omen of imminent death either sudden or within the next four years.
In 2006, a small British group from the Centre of Fortean Zoology, the largest mystery animal research group in the world, set out on the first expedition in search of this animal. Read about their findings at The 2006 Gambia Expedition Blog.