Speaking of Temples With Images of Dinosaurs Carved in Stone

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 4th, 2013

In the comments of this post on Cryptomundo, In Search of Living Dinosaurs, the following was mentioned:

There are also temples in Asia that depict dinosaurs carved into the stone and pillars that match scientific drawings of what dinosaurs actually looked like. How can they be so accurate? And Asia is a separate land mass than South America. Also, the cultures are extremely different, even in ancient times, but the depictions of dinosaurs are there.PhotoExpert

We have covered that very subject here on Cryptomundo in the past:

Below are photos reputed to be of a carving of a Stegosaur on an ancient Cambodian temple at Angkor Wat.

Cambodian Dinosaur
Click image for full-size version

Cambodian Dinosaur

Stegosaur in Cambodia?

Euro Stego

Cambodian Stegosaur?

Here’s what’s really weird…

The following was posted on the Cryptomundo facebook page Tuesday:

Every day hundreds of tourists take pictures of the “Duomo”, the Milan gothic cathedral. But very few of them seem to have noticed this curious being, depicted in the bas relief that surrounds the main gate of the church. This odd looking beast has a long neck, a dinosaur-like head, webbed feet and the overall look of an aquatic dinosaur. Seems to be vegetarian, as it is depicted eating a leafGiorgio Brancaglion


La bestiolina

Sul fregio in marmo del portone centrale del Duomo c’è una strana bestiola. Ha zampe palmate, un lungo collo e una testa del tutto simile a quella di… un dinosauro. Ma niente paura, a quanto pare è vegetariana….

This photo was taken on August 8, 2009 in Milan, Lombardy, IT, using a Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. S1070.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

15 Responses to “Speaking of Temples With Images of Dinosaurs Carved in Stone”

  1. William responds:

    After almost going blind like Mr. Pitt in the Seinfeld episode, I admit I cannot see anything in that final photograph of what is described as a dinosaur like creature eating a leaf! It just looks like an unidentifiable mess to me!

  2. marcodufour responds:

    William, you should have gone to Specsavers ; )

  3. giorgio responds:

    Here is a clearer picture…

  4. Goodfoot responds:

    William: This is NOT a slam, but I REALLY think you should see a specialist about having a cognition test. Seriously. That is NOT a mess – what is there is very clearly discernible. You CAN see the stegosaurus in the first pic, right?

    And hey. There is SO much about our world we don’t yet know.

  5. Goodfoot responds:

    marcodufour: For REAL! I worry he has some kind of neurological issue. Maybe not. Maybe it was a provocation, but it kinda got past me.

  6. Desertdweller responds:

    The critter in the Milan carving looks a lot to me like a salamander.

    And the “stegosaurus” has a head that is shaped like a rhino’s. A real stegosaurus would have a much smaller head on a short neck. And where are the tail spikes?
    Is the row of spine plates really supposed to be part of the animal? Or part of the background?

    I think those who see dinos in these carvings are only seeing what they want to see.

  7. Dr. Scholl responds:

    I think that to see dinosaurs in these carvings is fun as an exercise in imagination, but under any real scrutiny or investigation there is no evidence to support these claims whatsoever. For the “river dinosaur,” in cathedrals all over Europe grotesque carvings are the norm, and this seems far more like an otter or salamander as DW said above; and far more likely. We KNOW that there are otters and salamanders in Europe and there are/were artists that take/drink substances, and then carve wildly interpretive “grotesques” and horrifying gargoyles for cathedrals. (look up some gargoyles or cathedrals or something on google to see more). If gargoyles were real I would crap my pants btw, and according to this logic stream they were! The superstitious SAY that these carvings are evidence for something that there is no evidence of whatsoever during this time period because it serves their means. And where is the river dinosaurs tail? don’t they need a tail? C-mon ppl. And for the “stegosaurus,” this could be a number of things; most likely DW’s rhino…and if you look at the second posted photo from the top (the one taken from further out that shows several panels) one can clearly see that the other panels have backgrounds for their subjects as well. The non-superstitious may deduce that an artist may have carved a halo of leaves over the back of the Rhinoceros since the large mammal took up the majority of the frame, and since ALL of the other panels have plant themed backgrounds, the FACT that Rhinoceros were contemporary to this culture and present in the ecosystem, and the FACT that stegosaurus died out over 65 million years ago as determined by SCIENTISTS whose job it is to figure that stuff out using the SCIENTIFIC METHOD and EVIDENCE…lets do the math…As for the other panels, the one below the “stegosaurus” has some sort of flower behind the subject which may actually be evidence of wings attached to the subject, while the top one looks like some sort of little being with some mushrooms or something in front of him. Obviously this is evidence of the smurfs existence at this very site! Seriously though, these arguments over these “revealing” carvings should be had for fun only; obviously these “dinosaur” interpretations are wrong, and the most simple explanation has to be the right one here because belief is the only “evidence” the superstitious have to bring to the table. Besides, weirdly enough, there is a whole flock of dinosaurs that eat out of my bird-feeder every morning, and KFC rocks, so the superstitious sort of win the argument anyways by default.

  8. William responds:

    @giorgio, thanks for some reason on the differently colored photo you supplied I saw the head immediately. On the original one I just did not notice the head. I see it now on both photos. On the original the flowers overlapping where I supposed the neck and head would join is what threw me. It looked like some part of an animal with a Medussa type partially missing or buried head, which seemed a mess.

  9. Dufusyte responds:

    The “plates” on the back of the stegosaur appear to be a motif present throughout the entire panel. Each roundel is surrounded by such plates, and the next animal above the stego also appears to have two such plates on its back.

    Given the lack of tail spikes, I’m afraid it is most probably just a rhino with a decorative plate motif, consistent with the larger carving.

  10. alan borky responds:

    Dr Scholl I love it when people say things’re fun.

    I think it’s fun when a bit of fossilized stone from millions of years ago bares a vague resemblance to a modern day animal’s bone and text books from the mid nineteenth century onwards’re filled with endless stage by stage illustrations showing how those two samples PROVE the evolution of the horse or the whale or the…etc etc.

    I think it’s fun when Desertdweller critiques the Cambodian ‘stegosaurus’ for having a too large rhino shaped head and no tail spikes when not only must’ve there’ve been different species of stegosaurus as yet undiscovered with all kinds of variations in head neck and tails but within those species there’s likely to’ve been gender dimorphism as well as significant physical differences between pre-adolescents adolescents and adults.

    I think it’s fun when William’s nearly going blind from failing to see anything resembling a dinosaur in the Milan carving when even Desertdweller can see something salamander like.

    I also think it’s fun when the comparisons being used to pour scorn on the Milan and Cambodian carvings are already redundant at a time when dinosaurs etc are now not only thought of as likely to’ve been covered in feathers and warm blooded but simple engineering based tests’ve revealed many if not all of them’ve been wrongly modelled because of huge longstanding misconceptions and misunderstandings about which bones went where and thus the uses those bones were put to.

    And no I’m not an anti-evolutionist but I AM an evolution-is-much-more-fun-than-science-than-most-adherents-ever-dream-ist.

    I also suspect the Milan carving’s a visual pun modelled on a greyhound type hunting dog quite possibly an animal associated with one of the noble families who sponsored the cathedral’s construction/decoration.

  11. sasquatch responds:

    I disagree with several of you;
    The “Stegosaurus” does not look like a Rhino!

    AND if you can ask; “where’s the spikes on the tail”?

    Might I ask, where’s the horn(s) on his nose?

    Also, where are the plates ON all the other critters if this “is part of the motif”?

    The legs, and body shape are very stegosaurus like, but the head a bit large and it almost seems to have two backward facing horns by it’s neck-or it could be a frill type thing.

    There were many different variations on dinos and I doubt we’ve dug ’em ALL up.

    The “sauropod” one, looks more like a dogs body with a serpentine
    or salamander like head but the back feet are webbed so maybe it’s depicting something we’ve never seen in the fossil records?

    could be a chimera tho’.

    A variant of gargoyles possibly but, the body looks pretty meticulously sculpted-check out the bones etc. very naturalistic, whereas the Stegosaurus type thing looks more primitive or stylistic-as does the monkey below it etc..

  12. sasquatch responds:

    …Oh and I forgot to mention the tail on the stego…since when do Rhino’s have tails like that?

  13. sasquatch responds:

    …Oh, and the back and stomach area are totally different from a Rhino. So, we have a stegosaurus with a rhino like head-sans horns.

  14. Insanity responds:

    In the image showing the entire motif, what is the creature at the bottom? Almost looks like something from ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’

    The legs are not human, looks like it is holding a raised sword.

  15. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Stegosaurus had a tiny head. If this is meant to be a dinosaur, it looks like some sort of mix between a Stegosaurus and a Triceratops — both of which, incidentally, lived in North America, although they had relatives in Asia. As for the bottom critter — where’s its tail?

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