My parents and other older Vietnamese folks have told me about strange creatures from Vietnam's waters. The lovely dwarf deer is an animal that my dad fawned (pun intended) over. For the most part, I went "Ya, ya, ya. Stories from the old country. Must be myths or they're long extinct." My assumption was that people either hunted and ate them or they died out due to environmental changes.
This morning Simon Bao pointed me to a 12/16/08 CNN story about a wealth of unusual creatures found in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong River, which starts out in the Himalayas and fans out into a delta region that includes Vietnam and five other neighboring countries, is one of the longest rivers in the world. I knew that thousands of species live in the Mekong but now, they've discovered 1,000 more in the delta alone!
After reading about the spider with a foot-long legspan and the Laotian rock rat that resembles a squirrel, I'll never doubt the stories again. I also won't be such a chicken about the skunks that are partying in our neighborhood these days.
Heard of or seen any strange Vietnamese animals that you thought were so outlandish that they couldn't possibly exist? Share your story with the rest of us!