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Kalanoro illustration

Kalanoro is a humanoid cryptid said to live deep inside Madagascar. It is claimed these creatures can be found throughout Madagascar, yet encounters with Kalanoro are very rare. Other tribes in other areas of the island agree the Kalanoro exists but they call them by different names such as Kotoky or Vazimba. The Antakarana and Tsimihety peoples claim the Kalanoro in their region mostly dwells in caverns. According to the people of Madagascar the Kalanoro have been on the island for more than two thousand years. When people migrated to the island the first encounters occurred.


It's generally described as a humanoid with hooked fingers, and three backward-facing toes. They also have long fingernails, spines and long hair. The Kalanoro is also said to be no more than two feet high. Raw seafood, vegetables and grain are said to make up the diet of the mysterious Kalanoro. The Kalanoro is also known to abduct children, and search Madagascar’s villages for food.

Most of the Kalanoro are said to have great magical powers. The Kalanoro’s long hair endows them with almost supernatural strength. Supposedly, their powers are transferable, for some “mosies” (herbalists) in Madagascar claim that potions of magical powders impregnated with ground Kalanoro hair provides the user with great mystical powers. Madagascar mosies also act as mediums. Many work with the spirits of the Kalanoro whom they claim have great healing powers. The Kalanoro are thought to be spirits of nature. Those who seek the Kalanoro mediums do so because they think they have become cursed by inadvertently trespassing into a region that is sacred to the Kalanoro.



According to Travel Africa Magazine, “Eloi saw his first Kalanoro in a rice paddy behind his village and describes it as ‘a little man, less than a meter tall, with hair all over his body and long fingernails.’ They can apparently be lured by the irresistible smell of frying pistachio nuts, but attempts to catch them are usually unsuccessful because their feet point backwards and hunters invariably track them in the wrong direction. In 1889, however, a capture was reported to the Royal Geographical Society and, in 1924, Chase Salmon Osborn described a Kalanoro sighting that he assumed ‘must have been a honeymoon couple’ because they were making love by a campfire. Despite their human traits and telepathic abilities, Kalanoro are considered animals.

In a 1964 article, the author Bacil Kirtley asserted that the Kalanoro were dwarfish creatures. He compared them to the European legends of elves and trolls that stole food, replaced human children with their own children and generally caused mischief and mayhem. The natives of Madagascar roundly reject that description.

Professor Joe Hobbs of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Department of Geography, studied them, while he was with the local tribes in the Ankarana Special Reserve, Madagascar. On May 15, 2000, when Hobbs wrote his report, he talked of how the people of the village of Ambalakedi consider Andoboara Cave “sacred because on three separate occasions, most recently just two years ago, grief-stricken parents whose children had wandered into the forest had recovered them alive here” after food was left out for the Kalanoro in exchange for their children’s return.


Another illustration

In 2006 at Cryptomundo, Loren Coleman reported that a US Navy SEAL unit encountered a group of strange apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to Loren, the information came from a reliable source and fit in with the area’s history of weird cryptids. A drawing by Harry Trumbore, was illustrated for the book The Field Guide to Bigfoot, by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe and depicted the kalanoro, a "short, three-toed, bipedal, water-dwelling, mean, scruffy-hair hominoid" apparently known to tribes in Madagascar. From the blog post:

"I’ve learned, through a confidential source, that at least one unit of the US Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) has had a remarkable recent encounter with unknown apes in Africa. And a video was taken. We are seeking additional confirmation and other eyewitnesses. Have any hints of this story come your way?"

What the former SEAL relates is that he was involved in covert operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1997 and 2002. According to his account, his team observed a group of thirteen “chimpanzee-like” creatures between 4.5 to 5 feet tall, uniformly gray all over their bodies, with rows of seemingly porcupine-like quills running the length of their backs. The unidentified apes walked bipedally and were observed by the SEAL team in the act of killing another animal. When the creatures became excited or agitated, the quills or spines stood erect from their bodies. According to this informant, the US Navy SEAL team took three minutes of video footage of these creatures, but this tape apparently has been classified.

All the tribes of island of Madagascar, located off the east coast of Africa, know of the Kalanoro, according to folklorist Raymond Decary, who researched the common themes connecting the stories of the Kalanoro back in the 1950s. In 1889, a capture of a Kalanoro was reported to the Royal Geographical Society. In 1924, Chase Salmon Osborn described his sighting of two Kalanoro mating.

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