Patagonia is truly remote. Further south than any dry land bar Antarctica, it is land of vast open spaces, enormous skies and enormous mountains, and untamed wilds. And something very strange might just have lived here.
The Kap Dwa is a two-headed giant cryptid believed to be from Argentina and was discovered in the 17th century by Spanish sailors. A cryptid is an animal that has been claimed to exist but there is yet to be evidence to fully prove their existence.
As with many creatures of this kind, there are many accounts of its capture and its existence. It is believed that its mummified remains were brought to England in the 19th century and that the remains of it were displayed in various sideshows and circuses. However, many more recent studies have questioned the validity of this, and today most people believe that this was a hoax created through taxidermy and propaganda.
The Story of Kap Dwa
The story of the Kap Dwa tends to turn up most often in British records from the 20th century. The translation of the name appears to mean “two heads” in Malay, which would fit. There are earlier records of this creature that existed between the 17th and 19th centuries.
It is from these records that the stories of a two-headed Patagonian giant roaming the wilds of Argentina and South America exist. The height attributed to the Kap Dwa is around 12 feet (3.7 m) which would make it by far the largest humanoid creature to have existed to date.
The legend of the creature originates in 1673. A giant standing over 12 feet (3.7 m) and with two heads was said to be captured by Spanish sailors and brought back to their ship. The Spanish lashed it to the mast but before they could transport the creature home, it broke free and in the ensuing battle was fatally wounded leading to its death. The Spanish had pierced its heart after it had killed four Spanish soldiers.
As with all stories of this nature, the Kap Dwa disappeared for almost two centuries. The next mentions of the creature were of its mummified corpse. The mummification process was claimed to have happened naturally.
It is because of this unnatural talent for preservation that the creature began to feature in sideshows and circuses around the world. In 1900, the Kap Dwa became one of the main features of the Edwardian Horror Circuit as it made its way around England before settling in Weston’s Birnbeck Pier in 1914.
The Kap Dwa spent the next 45 years on display in the area of North Somerset in England. It was eventually purchased by Lord Thomas Howard in 1959. Howard then sold it on.
The Kap Dwa seems to have been passed from seller to seller until it ended up in Baltimore, America. This is where the Kap Dwa remains within Bob’s Sideshow at the Antique Man Ltd. It is owned by Robert Gerber and his wife. Many people have come to investigate the strange remains with many historians and specialists believing it to be a hoax though this is not without controversy.
The Patagones or Patagonian giants were rumored to be humanoid giants described to be living in the lower sections of Argentina and Chile by early European travelers to South America. They were always described as being double human height and were used for hundreds of years to describe the dangers of traveling to the new world.
The first mention of these people came from a Portuguese sailor named Ferdinand Magellan. Ferdinand claimed to have seen them while he was exploring the coast of South America and was en route to the Maluku Islands. He was hoping to circumnavigate the world in the 1520s. One of the survivors of that expedition, Antonio Pigafetta, wrote that:
“One day we suddenly saw a naked man of giant stature on the shore of the port, dancing, singing, and throwing dust on his head. The captain-general [i.e., Magellan] sent one of our men to the giant so that he might perform the same actions as a sign of peace. Having done that, the man led the giant to an islet where the captain-general was waiting. When the giant was in the captain-general’s and our presence he marveled greatly and made signs with one finger raised upward, believing that we had come from the sky. He was so tall that we reached only to his waist, and he was well proportioned…”
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These accounts were further corroborated by a Dutch captain almost 100 years later. Sebalt de Weert was exploring South America and the Falkland Islands in 1600 and he and many of his crew claimed to have seen a race of giants marauding the coastline. One recorded event claimed that the Dutch were rowing through the Magellan Straight when they came across an odd-looking boar carrying giants with long hair and reddish-brown skin who were extremely aggressive.
So, is the Kap Dwa real? As with many creatures of this ilk, there are many supporters and detractors from it. Whilst some claim that it is merely taxidermy made to create a supernatural buzz and an oddity, some people believe that it is real.
People who have been to see the body claim that there is no obvious evidence of taxidermy. It is also claimed that university students from John Hopkins University did an MRI scan of the body and found it to be real. Depending on the source that is read, some claim that there are no signs of joins or sutures on the body, and in the 1930s two doctors using radiology inspected it, finding no evidence that it was fake.
However, one main issue with the idea of the Kap Dwa being real is that it has a muddy and conflicting origin. The fact that it was used as a sideshow attraction for many years also damages the credibility of it.
The expectation is that if the Kap Dwa was real, researchers would be fighting to get a hold of it and display it in a museum. There would be serious efforts to research its DNA and investigate the Kap Dwa’s origin. However, as this is yet to be done, there is no concrete evidence to say whether it is real or fake.
We reckon it’s fake.
Top Image: Kap Dwa was a huge two headed cryptid, and those who have seen his mummy say it looks very real. Source: Lunstream / Adobe Stock.
By Kurt Readman