Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Legend has it…that whenever there’s fire in the forest, big or small, a rhino would show up and stomp on it to put it out. The legend is as simple as that. But a few of us knew that this legend came from Southeast Asia.

They are called “Badak Api” in Malay folklore. Badak means “rhinoceros” and Api means “fire”. The Burmese also has a version of it. The “Fire Rhino” legend lived through the centuries.

The British picked up the legend from Malaya and Burma during their colonial occupation. They brought it with them to Europe. The legend even reached Africa in the height of the colonial era.

Most of us have also seen this legend in the movie The God Must Be Crazy – where a huge white rhino diligently stomp on fire started by the Bushman for cooking. LOL! Rhinos became an international mascot for fire fighters and fire extinguishers too!

But do rhinos REALLY stomp on fire?

Well, nobody knows. And that’s a fact!

There are no documented sightings of it in science.
No records, no reliable witness, no VHS tape,
no digital recordings, no 3Gs, no nothing.

Having said that… the legend of Badak Api lives on.



Carrie Puyat said...

Wow! Rhino galore today! One of my favorite animals! By the way, I never knew this legend came from our region. Thanks for the info. Great post, as usual. Very original, as usual. Hahaha!

curbside_puppet said...

one thing that i envy about our neighbors is that you guys share a lot of things (even legends in common). you guys got land borders as well. it's a big deal for me coming from the philippines!

i never heard about this legend before. it's interesting!

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