South African Mysteries

Africa girl holding a magnifying glass to her eye

Written by Candice

Sep 18, 2020

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Got any sleuth-tastic mystery stories to share with us? Write to Supernova magazine and tell us about a mad mystery you have encountered. Here are some spine-tingling South African mysteries to help you get started:
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Eastern Cape

The Mysterious Steytlerville Monster

Legend says that the small Karoo town of Steytlerville is home to a strange shape-shifting creature. People who have seen the monster claim that it changes shape the moment you look at it. One man claims he saw the creature as a man in a suit. The creature noticed him looking and changed into a pig and then into a bat. So far, the Steytlerville Monster has not harmed anyone but finds joy in terrifying people with its shape shifting shenanigans.
An illustration of a mysterious shape shifting monster dressed in a suit.


Trunko – The South Coast Sea Creature

On October 25th, 1924, the people on KwaZulu Natal’s South Coast witnessed an epic battle between two killer whales and a giant, white sea creature. People say that the sea creature attacked the whales with its tail and jumped 6 metres out of the water! The whales refused to back down which resulted in a battle lasting three hours. After that, they killed the creature and its body washed up onto the shore. Apparently, it was 14 metres long, 3 metres wide and 1.5 metres high. A cryptozoologist called Karl Shuker, named the creature Trunko. The body washed back into the ocean after laying on the beach for 10 days. As a result, scientists did not get a chance to look at the body. Until this day we still don’t know what the creature really was.
An old photograph of the mysterious creature named 'Trunko' which washed up on the beach in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Cape Town

South Africa’s Own Pirate Ship: The Flying Dutchman

Everyone knows The Flying Dutchman from famous stories and movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Did you know, Der Fligende Hollander is the actual name of the ship? In 1641, Captain Hendrik van Decken sailed his ship from Holland to Batavia. As he came to the Cape of Good Hope, a storm broke out and his terrified crew begged him to turn the ship around. But Captain van Decken refused and swore that not even God could stop him from sailing around Cape Point. Legend has it that these words spoken by van Decken made God very angry. As a result, God cursed him and his crew to sail the seas for all eternity. Over the years, many ships have seen the Flying Dutchman sailing the seas, looking for port. Some say it is an optical illusion, while others say that the captain and his crew are destined to sail until the end of time.
An image of a old ship sailing the ocean.
Hopefully these mysterious South African stories have inspired you to write your own mysteries. Email us at mail@bkpublishing.co.za or WhatsApp us on 012 342 5347 with your mystery story to win your awesome super Scoob hamper. Check out the new Scoob trailer here:
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This article is inspired by Supernova Volume 8.3.


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