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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Korean Rock-Art "Bunyips" (?Plesiosaurs)

While I was doing research towards the recent postings at the Frontiers of Zoology and more specifically into the Early Neolithic of East Asia, I came across this curious scene depictyed on a rock face in Korea. The scene depicts some whales apparantly beached or hauled ashore and being flensed. Among them are several depictions of longnecked creatures similar to some of the Long-Necked "Bunyips" depicted in Australian Rock Art, and some of these depictions resemble supposedly-extinct Plesiosaurs.
In this section to the upper left of the original are several creatures which look to be perhaps very large turtles. In sea turtles however the foreflippers are very large and the rear ones small: in these the flippers all look to be the same length. Moreover the one in the rear of their line, the fourth one  in the cluster and overlapping the figure in lighter green, is facing down the other direction with a longer neck and a  more distinctive head. It seema like a perspective shot with the forequarters well defined and the rear end indistinct: there is a faint indiucations of rear flippers but not the tail (which would be hidden by the body if this were a natural view). Because that one looks more distinctly like a Plesiosaur, I am willing to say that the others in that cluster are likewise.
In this section toward the middle of the whole, there are a couple of longnecked creatures at the topo, a human figure directly in front of the creature on top, and a ship further off to the right. The tail is not shown on the creature at the top, but its arched neck is thicker and it seems to have a horselike head and a mane. I am willing to say this is a "Merhorse" and the pair is meant to be a "Caddy and Amy" couple. There are two large creatures (?"Wasco" Sea Wolves) below them and off to the right of these two, another depiction of what could be a more distinctively Plesiosaur-shaped creature facing the other way. At the bottom there are also, interestingly, a kneeling anthropomorphic bear and a "Plucked chicken" Thunderbird to the right of a whale To the right again of the "Pluckled Chicken" is another version of the Plesiosauian creature as a "Waterhorse" with a bulky ovoid body and four flippers: it is not certain if it is meant to have a tail because there is another (smaller) whale directly behind it where its tail would be, lying crosswise to the body axis of the other creature.
To the far left at the top of the rock face is this other section which also seems to indicate a very long-necked "Waterhorse" only this one more definitely has little or no tail. Directly above it is a long, low-slung creature which may be intended to show a "Waterhorse" swimming at length and showing a row of humps at the surface. This is more problematic. Below them there seem to be some more "Sea-Wolves" and one creature with an exceptionally long tail.
And finally we come to this section at the far left, lower row, which seems to show a crocodile or alligator-like creature (in blue) and several large "Sea Snakes (Some of which are possibly eels) In this section, the most distinctively Plesiosaurian-looking creature is circled in red and it has its neck curled around so that its head faces back, the head end closest to where two whales almost meet nose-to-nose (at right angles to one another) There are some more possible human figures in this section as well.

Best Wishes, Dale D.


  1. Looks more like a seal or a platypus to me. Could be wrong though. Obviously they weren't shooting for an accuracy in perspective sizing, as evidenced by the four legged, deer like animal next to (touching) one of the whales. Incidentally, I am not seeing the possible plesiosaur with it's neck turned facing the viewer, but rather a continuation of the possible "saw billed" critter behind it. Just my opinion of course.

  2. Sorry, I cannot see any resemblance to either platypuses or seals: I would guess you are talking about the tailed depictions resembling PLatypuses and the tailless ones resembling seals. In the case of the one creature being a continuation of the "Sawbilled" creature behind it, the two depictions are done with different types of lines at different times according to the way the recorder is copying them down. The colour-coding is meant to help separate out the indicvidual drawings from the larger mass and that is how they can tell them apart.

    Even allowing your opinion to stand, you have not yet accounted for HALF the number of possible Plesiosaurs here, and you have not actually touched on ANY of the clearer or more complete ones.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.


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