Grootslang Artists Impression

Grootslang – South Africa

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The Grootslang is an enormous snake-like cryptid that is said to live in deep caves in the Richtersveld, in South Africa. The word “grootslang” is taken from the Afrikaans words “groot” which means big and “slang” which means snake.

Cryptid Name:Grootslang
Location:Richtersveld, South Africa
Grootslang map of where it is found
Category:Reptilian Cryptid
Description:Giant serpent.
Size:30 to 50 feet / 9 to 16 meters long.
Behavior/Characteristics:Fearsome and intelligent.
Diet:Legend says that it captures and devours travelers and animals.
Habitat/Environment:Deep caves within the Richtersveld mountains.
Evidence:No scientific evidence.
Sightings and Encounters:Many reports of sightings over the centuries.
Skepticism/Explanations:Often dismissed as a myth or folktale, but some believe it may be based on real animal, such as the African Rock Python.

What Does Grootslang Look Like?

According to the legend of Grootslang, it is described as having a snake-like body that is 30 to 50 feet (9 to 16 meters) long and it leaves a track of about three feet (1 meter) wide.

Its body is muscular and covered in scales which allows it to easily move through the caves it is said to inhabit. It is said to have an earthy-colored body combining grays, greens, and browns that help it blend with its rocky habitat.

Some accounts say that it has a strong scent of sulfur that surrounds it.

With Grootslang being a creature of legend and folklore it also comes with some other colorful descriptions including:

  • Eyes like diamonds, or actual diamonds.
  • A head that resembles that of an elephant with large ears and tusks – an elephant-like head with a snake-like body.
  • Shapeshifting abilities.

The Legend Of Grootslang

According to the legends and myths of Grootslang, it is said to be a fearsome creature that has been tasked to guard a deep, diamond-filled cave in the Richtersveld in South Africa. The cave is said to be connected to the sea but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Grootslang Artists Impression

According to the stories of the local people, Grootslang will easily kill anyone who dares to enter or disturb the cave in any way. They believe that the giant snake can sense the presence of intruders and will not hesitate to defend the treasure the cave holds.

According to the legends, Groootslang is an incredibly old creature, having lived thousands of years. It is also believed to have supernatural powers with some even saying that it can control the elements. It is also said that it can turn itself into mist or shadow to avoid being seen.

Some also say that it is able to hypnotize its victims making it easy to capture them. It is said to leave a feeling of overwhelming “evil” in its wake.

What Does Grootslang Eat?

Little is known about what Grootslang eats. However, according to the legend of Grootlang, it will eat any humans or animals that venture close to its cave.

Is Grootslang Real?

There are many local people who believe that Grootslang is very much a real creature and they will strongly advise that no one venture near to its home.

But could Grootslang be real?

With reports of the snake being up to about 50 feet (16 meters) or more long, it has been suggested that there could be undiscovered species of snake that could exist in remote areas of South Africa. If this is true, then Grootslang will be the biggest snake in the world. As of writing, the Reticulated Python is the biggest and longest snake that has been recorded at 32 feet (10 meters).

African Rock Python
African Rock Python
Materialscientist, CC BY-SA 3.0

There are many reports of Grootlang being associated with water so some say that it may be a semi-aquatic species of snake. As an example, the African Rock Python (Python sebae) is a semi-aquatic snake that can grow to impressive sizes and it is found in remote and isolated areas of South Africa. Some have suggested that Grootslang could be a similar species. It has also been suggested that it may be an exaggerated account of a large crocodile or monitor lizard.

While many believe that Grootslang is simply a myth, there have been witnesses who have reported seeing the snake on multiple occasions. In all these cases, descriptions from these witnesses have been consistent. That said, because sightings of Grootlsang have been reported in remote areas with limited access to resources, it makes it difficult to verify these accounts.

There is very little in the line of physical evidence such as photographs or samples to support the theory that Grootslang could be real. While there have been photos that have been taken, they are often blurry and inconclusive and can’t be verified as being authentic.

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