A recent discovery of a new salamander brought my mind back to the Cryptid giant salamanders .
A striking new species of lungless salamander has been found living in a small stream in the Appalachian foothills of the
Giant salamanders were said to have been seen in the Trinity Alps wilderness area in California .It covers over 517,000 acres, so a very large area for something to hide in.
In the 1920’s Frank L. Griffith, was out hunting deer and reported that he spotted five Giant Salamanders at the bottom of a lake ranging from 5 to 9 feet in length. Mr. Griffith further reported that he was able to catch one of these Giant Salamanders on a hook, but was unable to pull it out of the water, forcing him to let the creature go.
In 1948, after hearing about Frank Griffith’s story, biologist Thomas L. Rodgers made four unsuccessful expeditions to the area to search for the Giant Salamander. Rodgers thought that these Giant Salamanders might be a type of Pacific Giant Salamander, perhaps mutated to great size by the isolated geography of the area.
Then n 1951 Herpetologist George S. Myers wrote a piece in the Scientific Journal in which he said that a link between the Trinity Alps Giant Salamander and the Asian Megalobatrachus made sense. Myers went on to recall his encounter with a Giant Salamander captured in the
“The animal was a fine Megalobatrachus, in perfect condition… It was between 25 and 30 inches in length…The source of the specimen is, of course, unknown. Its strange coloration even suggested the possibility of a native Californian Megalobatrachus, which would not be surprising, but no other captures have been reported.”
In the lat 1950’s Vern Harden of Pioneer California also claimed to have seen a dozen Giant Salamanders in a remote Trinity Alps lake known as
In 1960, after hearing about Father Hubbard’s announcement , Tom Slick went in search of the Giant Salamanders. He encouraged members of his Pacific Northwest Expedition, who normally researched into Bigfoot, to try to capture a live specimen of Giant Salamander. Slick and his team came back empty handed.
In September 1960, three zoology professors, Robert C. Stebbins of the
In 1962 Roger’s’ reported debunking of the Giant Salamander seemed to put an end to most interest in the creature, until 1997 when Mizokami, a Japanese American writer, decided to hunt for The Trinity Alps Giant Salamander. Mizokami returned empty handed.
A member of the giant salamander family (Cryptobranchidae), commonly known as the hellbender is found in the eastern United States, but today, the largest salamanders acknowledged by science live in Asia, in exactly the same types of habitat as the American variety. They can grow up to 1.8m (6ft) in length. So had there once been an up to 8 foot sized family of salamanders living in the wilderness which had now died out?
Well if a new species of salamander has been discovered anything is possible.