There are many hilarious and ridiculous funding projects on Kickstarter, but you will find no greater than Stephen McCullah and his quest to find a living dinosaur. McCullah is seeking $26,700 to journey from his hometown of Springfield, Missouri to the Congo Basin, a region of Central Africa that is “larger than the state of Florida.” He claims that more than “80 percent of [it] has been totally unexplored.” So far, he has raised $20.
Reading over the Kickstarter project itself, you won’t find the word dinosaur at all. McCullah mostly says that he and his team are trying to categorize new species of plants and animals.
“We’ll launch on June 26th and we anticipate discovering hundreds of new insect, plant, and fish species during the course of our research and work in the area,” reads the Kickstarter project page. “There is also the legitimate hope of discovering many reptile and mammalian species as well. We have received reports from week to two week expeditions in the region of eye witnesses seeing canine sized tarantulas, large river dwelling sauropods, and a species of man eating fish (which was recently discovered on river monsters).”
Sounds cool and legitimate, right? Read a little closer. Sauropod is another word for a long-necked, four-legged, plant-eating dinosaur, like a Brontosaurus. (Read about Sauropods here, on this 65 million year-old Web page.) Another portion of the description mentions a search for the Mokèlé-mbèmbé, which Wikipedia describes as a “legendary water-dwelling creature of Congo River basin folklore.” Some believe this creature is also a modern-day long-necked dinosaur or something resembling the Loch Ness monster.
McCullah spoke further about his quest to find the mythical dinosaur with Life’s Little Mysteries: “We don’t necessarily expect to find concrete evidence of Mokèlé-mbèmbé (or any other creatures claimed to have been seen in the region) on the first expedition, but we believe there’s a good chance during that initial three months that we will find hard evidence of its presence in the area if it is there.”
Though the chances of finding a living dinosaur seem slim, as the Boy Scouts preach: it never hurts to be prepared. McCullah is hoping to buy equipment to capture and transport the ancient beast, should he find it.
“We are in the process of looking at live methods for capture of large animals,” said McCullah. “We will be attempting to bring a tranquilizer rifle, but there are many issues and unknowns we will have to overcome to subdue an animal like Mokèlé-mbèmbé with a tranquilizer gun.”
Good luck, my friend. Transporting dinosaurs across the sea hasn’t turned out well in the past.