The mysterious Ningen. Fact or fiction?
Over the past few years, rumours originating from Japan have been circulating about the existence of huge humanoid life-forms, known as Ningen, that are said to inhabit the frigid waters of the southern Antarctic ocean. The Ningen is alleged to be a large whale-like creature some twenty or thirty meters in length. The name Ningen is Japanese in origin and translated into English means human. The creatures are always described as large, blubbery and whale-like by eyewitnesses. Most descriptions also point to these strange creatures sharing anatomical features with humans.
Almost all of the descriptions tell of a human like face, arms and hands, often with five fingers visible. A human like face is also present in nearly all descriptions or depictions of Ningen. Their skin is often shown as very pale or almost white in appearance.
Reportedly observed on multiple occasions by crew members of government-operated "whale research" ships, these Ningen are sometimes described as having fins or occasionally a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only consistently visible facial features are the eyes and mouth. Ningen sightings seem to occur most frequently at night, making them all the more difficult to photograph. In still images said to be of the Ningen they mostly just look like icebergs, though it is said that their smooth, human-like skin can be seen clearly when the photographs are enlarged.
According to one account, a number of crew members of a research vessel were on deck when they observed what they thought was an unknown submarine in the distance. When they approached, however, it soon became apparent from the irregular shape of the thing and the way that it was moving that it was not man-made and that it was, in fact, alive. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for the crew, the creature quickly disappeared under water.
To date, no solid evidence has been presented to confirm the existence of the Ningen. The Japanese government is believed to have kept many detailed records of the sightings, but they have released no information to the public and have reportedly instructed eyewitnesses to remain silent. Perhaps because the government does not want to invite scrutiny and tarnish the scientific reputation of the whale research program. It must be said that the vast majority of the sightings are made by experienced mariners, men who know the difference between an iceberg, a whale and something else. Something unknown.