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Josh Gates’ Destination Truth seeks out the Orang Pendek and the Ninki Nanka

Josh Gates' Destination Truth
Josh Gates’ Destination Truth seeks out legendary creatures and elusive cryptids

This week there is a double bill of Josh Gates’ Destination Truth as the plucky adventurer seeks out cryptids like the Orang Pendek and the Ninki Nanka.

In the first episode Gates heads to Indonesia, land of spices and the legendary Orang Pendek. The name means short person in Indonesian and the stories tell of a primate that lives on the ground and is bipedal with short fur and around 1 to 1.5 meters in height.

The area they are often reported in is the Kerinci Regency of Sumatra, an area home to some of the most remote primary rainforest anywhere on the planet. This very inaccessibility has meant the region has been spared the devastating logging that has destroyed the habitat of many local species elsewhere in Indonesia.

An artist's impression of Orang Pendek
An artist’s impression of Orang Pendek. Credit: Ant Wallis/Centre for Fortean Zoology

Josh heads to the difficult to reach location to see if he can find any evidence of this elusive creature.

Later in the episode he heads to the other side of the world and searches the chilly climes of Iceland for the worm monster said to dwell in Lake Lagarfljot. The Lagarfljót worm was spotted several times in the last century and was even the subject of a local truth commission, who were divided on the authenticity of a video purporting to show the lake monster.

The second episode takes Gates to West Africa where he searches for two legendary beasts that tribal legends say prowl the bush and the rainforest.

Ninki Nanka is a dragon like creature that is described as being massive and very dangerous, it is said to take away children who disobey their parents. Deeper still in the forest is said to be found the Kikiyaon, a bird like animal that is said to be able to hunt in both the real and dream worlds. The Kikiyaon is sometimes called the soul cannibal and is said to favor ambushing travellers as they rush to get home before dusk.


Josh Gates’ Destination Truth airs Fridays at 9:00 PM on Travel Channel.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact or follow him on Twitter.

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