Kabagon - Encounter Of Japanese Sailors With A Sea Monster In 1971

Kabagon – Encounter Of Japanese Sailors With A Sea Monster In 1971

In the Japanese newspaper “Manichi Daily News” dated July 18, 1971, a curious article was published about how Japanese sailors off the coast of New Zealand encountered an unidentified sea creature that had very bulging eyes which was later named the Kabagon.

Kabagon - Encounter Of Japanese Sailors With A Sea Monster In 1971

The Encounter Of Japanese Sailors With Kabagon

” A goggle-eyed monster frightened the crew of the 253-ton Kompira Maru as it observed their fishing operations off the south coast of New Zealand,” began the note, with a drawing of the creature by the captain of the ship.

“A team of 26 recently returned to the port of Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Crew members reported that the goggle-eyed monster’s head was about 1.5 meters above the surface of the sea, and its eyes appeared to be about 15 cm in diameter. 

The sketch of the creature was drawn by the captain of the ship. The monster had a nose like a deformed behemoth, so they named it “Kabagon”, after Kaba, a specific Japanese term for an animal that lives in water.

The ship’s log showed the date of the incident as around noon on April 28, and the location as 44.15 degrees south latitude and 173.34 degrees east longitude, about 40 kilometers southeast of Lyttelton, New Zealand, off the South Island. 

The depth of the sea in that place was about 40 meters, the weather was good, the north wind was blowing. According to fishermen, the animal was somewhat similar to a hippopotamus. But one of them noticed that hippos live only in fresh water.

According to the fishermen, when their boat approached the monster by about 30 meters, and the loaded harpoon gun was at the ready, it disappeared. The New Zealand Weekly Magazine later reported that strange footprints had been found on the Lyttelton Peninsula.

Kabagon - Encounter Of Japanese Sailors With A Sea Monster In 1971

As for the similarity to the hippo, besides the fact that hippos cannot physically live in salt water, they live only in Africa, which is very far from New Zealand.

There were versions that the Japanese could see a large walrus, but walruses are also not found in this region, they live in the north. 

And even if it was a walrus that somehow sailed to New Zealand, then, firstly, it must be a female walrus, since no one saw the creature’s fangs, and secondly, female walruses are much smaller than males in size, and if it was a walrus, it was abnormally gigantic.

The eyes, about 15 cm in diameter, are a particularly remarkable detail, since neither hippos nor walruses, even the largest, have such huge eyes. It is also worth noting that the Japanese sailors in the course of their work have definitely encountered many sea creatures, and if they admit that they saw something strange, then this is clearly not the usual local inhabitant. 

As for the mysterious footprints on the beach in Lyttelton, very little is known about them, and the presence of footprints already confirms that it was not a walrus, walruses do not leave footprints as such. 

By the way, many Japanese have found that the goggle-eyed monster Kabagon is suspiciously similar to Umiboza , a sea spirit (yokai), which in Japanese mythology was often depicted as a primitively drawn whale or catfish with huge bulging eyes.

What do you think of this encounter with Kabagon?

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