One of the First Europeans to See Gorillas Thought They Were Just Hairy Humans

Posted: May 27, 2017 in Amazing and Interesting Stories, Animals, History, Things I Love
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So I ran across this nugget in a book I was reading the other day and found it quite fascinating. It seems that about 2,500 years ago some dude named Hanno the Navigator (cool name, man) became one of the first Europeans to see a band of gorillas. He had been sent off to explore Africa and had gotten used to bumping into strange and exotic tribes. Weird looking folks if you will.

So, when he found an island full of gorillas he figured that they were simply the weirdest, funniest-looking group of people yet. Hanno wrote that he’d found “savage people, whose bodies were hairy, and whom our interpreters called Gorillae.”

He and his men actually tried to introduce themselves to the gorillas, but the gorillas weren’t too communicative. That had to be an awesome attempt at conversation to witness though, amirite? Instead, the apes just threw rocks at the humans and ran away. Incredibly, Hanno’s men caught three of the gorillas and tried to talk them into going back to Carthage with them. Shockingly, it didn’t work. Hanno said the gorillas “could not be prevailed upon to accompany us.”

Eventually and unsurprisingly, when the gorillas got violent Hanno and his men do what humans do and killed them. Then Hanno went a little batshit crazy: “We flayed them,” he wrote, talking about what he thought were human beings, “and brought their skins with us to Carthage.

People were savage back in the old-timey days, man. Just brutal. Anyway, thought I’d share.

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