Anthony came to an abrupt halt. He took a cautious glance down and saw something he had never seen before. They appeared to be big animal footprints that were left on the riverbank. What animal, though, could have left them there?
Anthony heard a noise behind him, which caused him to turn around just as his initial fear subsided. But Anthony had never been adequately prepared for what he would encounter.
The Texas sun beat down on his neighborhood. It was one of the year’s hottest days, and temperatures were reaching record-breaking highs. Anthony’s air conditioner had to work twice as hard just to keep him cool.
But that wasn’t the only side effect of the heat. Dallas was facing a drought that hadn’t been seen in ages. And that drought would lead to consequences Anthony could never have expected.
Anthony Jones was grateful for his air conditioning. He loved living in Dallas, his hometown. But right now, he wished it wasn’t so hot. Droughts can often cause unexpected problems that make life a little bit harder.
One example was the water supply. In extreme cases of drought, water reservoirs can often dry up and spell trouble for citizens. But that wasn’t what Anthony should have been worried about.
One thing that Anthony loved more than anything else was hiking. There were numerous hiking trails south of Dallas that he absolutely loved. This was another reason why he hated the heat.
Hiking in scorching weather was a pet peeve of Anthony’s. He’d get dehydrated faster, tire faster, and have to wear more revealing clothes than he was used to.
His passion for hiking originated from his father. From a young age, the two would go hiking on trails close to Dallas. His father always lived an active lifestyle and wanted to teach it to his son.
But sadly, at the age of just 50, his father passed away from a heart attack. This taught Anthony that no matter how healthy you try to live, it doesn’t guarantee a long life.
While it took years for Anthony to accept his father’s death, he decided to hike on in his memory. It was a therapeutic process that helped him get over his struggles.
But if he had known about what had happened to his favorite hiking spot in the drought, he would have stayed far away and never gone back.
His favorite spot was south of Dallas. It was a beautiful place with a river running right through it. There were trees on either side of the river and hiking trails cutting through and around it.
It was the perfect spot for Anthony to meditate and clear his mind. He had no idea what he would stumble upon when he got deep into the trail. It would be a reminder of the region’s dark history.
One Saturday morning, Anthony decided to meditate on his favorite trail. He packed his bag full of everything he needed. He packed a lot of water because of the heat wave and a few energy bars in case he got hungry.
He was all set to head out. It was a short drive that would only take him 15 minutes. But Anthony had no idea he was getting closer to danger with every mile.
After he arrived, he parked his car and headed to the gates. After a few minutes of walking, he felt at peace. The air was fresh, and he was surrounded by nature. He was excited to keep walking the trails and get to his favorite spot.
It would take another 20 minutes of walking to get to the river. But when Anthony would finally get there, he couldn’t believe what he saw.
Once Anthony got to the river, he couldn’t believe that it was all dried up. There was barely any water, and parts of the river bed normally at the bottom of the river were accessible to him.
Anthony stepped down into the river and walked along it. It felt exciting to have a new path to explore. But then he saw something that made his blood run cold.
Anthony stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly looked down and noticed something that he had never seen in his life. They were footprints left at the bottom of the riverbed by something large. But what animal could have left them?
Just as Anthony’s initial shock calmed, he heard something behind that made him snap around. But nothing had ever prepared Anthony for what he was about to face.
Anthony snapped around and saw a man standing behind him. He was too well-dressed to be a hiker. It was clear he could see his confusion and introduced himself. He was a professor at the University of Texas and was just as interested in the footprints as Anthony.
Anthony was still confused as ever and asked the professor what had left the footprints. It was a burning question that stabbed at the back of his mind. But he wasn’t ready for the answer.
The professor told him that it was an Acrocanthosaurus. A dinosaur that inhabited the region over one hundred million years ago. Fascinated by this discovery, Anthony was keen to learn more about the large extinct lizard.
He asked for more information about the dinosaur and was willing to learn as much as he could. The professor smiled and taught him a few new things that he didn’t know before.
Anthony learned that the Acrocanthosaurus was an ancient giant. An adult weighed over seven tonnes and looked down at many other dinosaurs at 60 feet tall. Uniquely, the Acrocanthosaurus is only made up of one species.
The large lizard was a predatory one and would hunt other dinosaurs and other animals to eat. But that didn’t explain the prints.
The professor also offered up an explanation for the prints being there, “Due to the excessive drought conditions this past summer, the river dried up completely in most locations, allowing for more tracks to be uncovered here in the park.”
“Under normal river conditions, these newer tracks are underwater and are commonly filled in with sediment, making them buried and not as visible,” he further explained. However, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.
A few years ago, a group of photographers in Pingyan village in Guizhou, the southwestern province of China, made an eerie and appalling discovery that took the world by storm.
What they found challenged everything science assumed about humanity’s past and opened the door to the wildest speculations of our species’ history and roots. Now, scientists are questioning everything they thought was a matter of fact.
In 2016, three American nature photographers who prefer to remain anonymous came across the discovery of their lives while researching the wildlife of the Chinese province of Guizhou.
They had heard numerous stories from villagers but never gave them any credit. They thought they were just local legends. But then they found the footprint, and everything clicked.
When the three photographers were assigned that job in Guizhou, the three of them felt equally excited about the opportunity. The area was known for hosting a rich plethora of interesting and exotic fauna.
They knew what to look for: Guizhou was a hotspot for gray-snub-nosed monkeys and offered the best chance for them to portray their lifestyle, behavior, and social structure. But that wasn’t all.
They were also expecting to come across other species of monkeys, like the Assamese macaque or the Francois’ leaf monkey; they also hoped to find some specimens of clouded leopards and Sika deers.
When they told villagers about what they were up to, they seemed interested. However, they also told them about something they could have never expected.
The villagers told them about a giant creature that walked on two feet and was said to roam around the forests, especially at night. They asked if they weren’t planning on searching for it.
The photographers just answered that they had never heard of anything like that. The villagers encouraged them to go ahead and find it, and the photographers took it as just a country legend. But then, a different possibility crossed their minds.
What if the villagers were just trying to mess with them? What if it was all some sort of joke destined to scare them or even worse, distract them from what they had come to do?
Whatever it was, they decided it was best not to listen to those stories. In time, the three photographers would find out how wrong and arrogant they were.
One day, the three photographers were wandering around the forest, trying to get a sight of a community of gray snub-nosed monkeys.
At one point, they saw one of them sitting on a branch; as soon as it saw them, it ran away. The three photographers ran behind him, trying not to lose sight of the little monkey.
After running for a few seconds, they lost it. They were displeased with it, but they were hopeful that they would eventually run into another monkey or a whole community.
They walked around for a little while, on the lookout for any possible traces that could lead them to what they were looking for. But suddenly, one of the photographers stopped in front of a rock. With a quivering voice, he called his partners’ names.
After the three of them congregated around the rock to check what had caught the photographer’s attention, their jaws instantly dropped.
That was like nothing any of them had ever seen before. Immediately, the three photographers remembered what the villages had said about a mythical, mysterious, giant creature that roamed around the forest. But could that be true?
What they saw was a giant human-like footprint on a rock in the forest. When they measured it, they couldn’t believe it; it was about 23 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 1 inch deep.
They took pictures of the footprint and a sample of the rock and sent the latter to one of the geologists who worked for the media outlet that employed them. The response they received from the lab sent a chill down their spines.
The footprint dated back to the prehistoric era! At first, the photographers and their partners in the media outlet refused to entertain any wild, freaky hypothesis. Maybe it was just some kind of work of art of sorts made by prehistoric humans.
But how could they even manage to carve such a realistic yet oversized version of a human footprint? Was that even possible without metal tools?
It probably wasn’t. Then, what exactly impressed the giant footprint into that rock? Instantly, the three photographers thought of those stories about a giant, wandering creature the villagers had mentioned.
They thought those would be nothing more than old myths and legends not to be taken seriously. But after doing a little research, they found something unnerving.
This wasn’t the first instance of researchers finding giant human-like footprints in the wild. Some years before, an archaeologist named Michael Tellinger had seen two huge footprints in Africa, which he dated to be around 200 million years old.
But what was even more uncanny was the theory Tellinger offered for the cause behind his discovery.
Tellinger suggested that those footprints were made by giant humans who used to live on Earth before Homo sapiens. To support his claim, he argued that many ancient cultures have tales and legends of giants as predecessors of humans.
Greek, Norse, Germanic, Indian, and Indo-European civilizations believed in tales of this nature, as well as Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. But that’s not all.
Tales of giants are also present in almost all major sacred books of antiquity: the Lebhar Gabhale, the Hindu Ramayana, and even in the Bible.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times,” says Genesis 6:4. But is there any further proof of that? In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.