Thursday, January 28, 2010

History of the Buffalo

Ah, the American Bison, or more commonly known as the buffalo. What a magnificent creature.

It has a history of slightly ominous origin. One that can be tied to some kooky religious ideas as I found during my diggings into the cryptozoological origins of this megafauna of the American West.

During my recent jaunt to Montana, my good friend Ali and I made a treck to the Bison Range to see this animal. But given that the bison are much smarter than out of town visitors such as myself, there none to be seen in this vast preserve.

However, once we left the property of this wonderful wild range, we found a nice farm with plenty of acreage and enough bison for me to photograph.

But these beasts look so timid, like calm wooly cows munching on the grasses of the valleys of Montana.  However, the Europeans had a much different take on this animal. The mythical beast the bonnacon is probably based on early descriptions of bison. Essentially, it was a large bull with curved horns that shot caustic fire and fumes out of its rear. Think of it like a fire-breathing dragon in reverse.

Speaking of dragons, I strolled across an interesting rational for dragons while looking up the history of the bonnacon. Since creationists are often looking for some explanation for how the bible is right about everything including even though they can't get over the whole dinosaur deal, they figure that dragons, especially the fire-breathing types, can be explained by the same methane gasses produced by cattle. This link is comical at best, completely earnest at worst, and a worthwhile read nonetheless

So I present the picture and a subtle flaw with the image. The smoke snorting bison/bonnacon probably is harmless on this end of the beast. If we went with a European interpretation, this poor man would be running from a giant beast with its ass raised to the air spraying caustic poo and hellfire in his direction like a septic tank hooked up to a sprinkler system. And fiery poo and noxious fumes are something you always must run away from.

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