BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John denney 30 January 2006


Did you see the story that the Malaysian state of Johor’s government is setting up an official scientific search for what they call Hantu Jarang Gigi, which translates as “Ghosts with widely spaced teeth”?   Apparently there have been a number of sightings in Johor of a 3-metre tall family of creatures with 45 centimetre footprints.  It’s a parallel with our own Nessiteras Rhombopteryx or the Loch Ness Monster.  I visited Johor when I was a child but don’t remember meeting any ghosts, with or without widely spaced teeth.  And only a couple of years ago I took a cruise on Loch Ness on a boat equipped with underwater cameras and echo sounding equipment, but Nessie didn’t turn up.


In some ways, I hope that the Malaysian Bigfoot and good old Nessie don’t get found.  I rather like the idea of huge, mysterious creatures living quietly for centuries away from the interference of man.  I gather that every year, over ten thousand new species of animal or plant are identified for the very first time.  Only last week the world’s smallest fish[1] was found, in Sumatra, not too far from Johor, actually.  It’s less than 8 millimetres long fully grown.


We truly live in an amazing world.  Christians believe that God made the world, and populated it with animals and plants and fungi.  Apparently around 1˝ million species, give or take, have been identified so far, and some estimates say that this is about half of all the species that there are.  As the Bible tells us: God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good![2]  Let’s do our best not to spoil our beautiful planet, and keep our own big feet out. 


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[1] Paedocypris have a brain that lacks bony protection; the females have room to carry just a few eggs.

[2] Genesis 1:31a MSG