I’ve written about the Ural Mountains in my posts about the Dyatlov Pass incident here and here, but that is not the only strange thing about the Urals.
First of all, the Urals in Russia are one of the oldest extant mountain ranges in the world. They were formed 250-300 million years ago when the stronger Euramerican continent collided with the weaker Kazakhstania continent. It took 90 million years for the mountains to form and they are in great shape for their age with peaks of up to 6 217 feet (1 895 m).
The name Ural may have come from the Turkic or the Ob-Ugric languages. The Bashkir people had a legend of a hero named Ural who sacrificed himself to save the people. The people then poured a pile of stones over his grave which later turned into to Ural Mountains.
About 50 miles west of the southern part of Ural lies Arkaim, an archaeological site with remains of a Sintashta-Petrovka culture settlement dating back to the 17th to 20th century BCE.
A bit further up in the Ural range, in the Chelyabinsk region, there is a large geoglyph on the slopes of the Zyuratkul Mountains in the form of a moose or an elk. Tools excavated from the area indicate that the glyph is 4000-6000 years old. An ongoing study will try to analyze pollen core data to get more specific data. If the current dating is correct the geoglyph is one of the oldest in the world.
About 35 miles NW of the geoglyph lies Lake Turguyak and the Vera Island. In later years many monolithic structures have been discovered in the Ural, many of them on Vera Island. The megaliths have been dated to the copper age, the earliest part of the Bronze Age, around 5000 BCE.
Only 12 miles NE of Vera Island lies Taganay National Park. In the last 15 years or so this area has apparently been flooded with UFO’s, Bigfoot sightings, ghost manifestations, plasma balls, timeslips and weird things happening to electronic devices.
150 miles further NE lies the tiny village of Molyobka/ Molebka in the Perm region. In recent years Molyobka has become a sort of Mecca for UFO-enthusiasts. The village has been declared an anomalous zone because of all the strange things that go on there. Taganay may be famous for its anomalies, but Molyobka takes the prize. Here we find audio anomalies, sudden outbreaks of fire, electronic interference, a slew of UFO’s, Bigfoot sightings, strange plasma balls. The area has an ozone smell to it and people experience strange fatigue and the feeling of being watched. The cell phone’s signal is not great in the village, except in a 6 by 6 foot area where it’s almost perfect.
About 25 miles SE of Yekaterinburg are the Azov mountains. This area also has its strange lights seen at night, ghosts and actual hidden treasures. Rumor has it that some sort of “free men” hid a vast treasure somewhere in the mountain. A more culturally valuable treasure was found in 1940 in the form of 44 copper and bronze items as well as ten idol figurines dating from 200- 400 BCE, probably from the Mansi people.
There are several old ethnic groups residing in and around the Ural. I wrote a little about the Mansi in the Dyatlov posts.
The Ob-Ugric language belongs to the Uralic language family and refers to the Mansi and Khanty languages. The Mansi (previously Voguls) and the Khanty (previously Ostyaks) reside in a region historically called Yugra. The western Europeans regarded the Ob-Ugric peoples as cannibals, probably because everything unknown to westerners is per definition barbaric. One early European traveler reported that they possessed incredible powers. When a Tatar army was approaching the locals started to destroy a mountain, which apparently made the Tartars rethink the situation for ten years or so. When they returned they found ruins and when they tried to approach the locals they were hindered by a cloud-like formation that appeared in between the two groups. The cloud proved impenetrable and the Tartars lost their eyesight as they tried to approach it. Strangely not even the locals were able to go through the cloud.
Within Ob-Ugric lore Numi-Turum is the god of the heavens. Mother Earth is Kaltesh-Anki. Numi-Turum and Kaltesh were expelled from heaven. They landed on the earth and sent their six sons to all the corners of the earth where they reside on winged clouds. Numi-Turum lives in the “seventh heaven” where among other things he keeps vessels of “living water” and “dead water”. His wife Kaltesh asked him to strengthen the earth with an iron belt which he did- the Ural Mountains.
In the Dyatlov Pass- posts I mentioned the Mansi’s belief in the menkvi, which is described as a sort of Bigfoot-type creature. There is another description of the menkvi, one that made my heart jump with joy;
“Kaltesh needed to defend herself from hostile entities, and Nuri-Turum obliged by creating the menkvi, gigantic werewolves. Their bodies were invincible. But even if something destroys the menkvi, there is a way to repair the damage. It is possible to create a new menkvi from bodies of his fallen comrades. Just as it it’s possible to use parts of robots to build another robot.” (From Mysteries of the Golden Woman of Ugra by Paul Stonehill)
East of the Yugra, on the eastern side of Ural live the Komi peoples. Within this region lies the peculiar rock formations known as Manpupuner, or the Seven Giants of Ural.
Nowadays most Komis belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, but some still follow the old beliefs. Voypel was the main god and the god of the north (wind) and did not care for noise so hunts had to be quiet or there would be a snowstorm.
Another mythological figure of the Komi is the Vörsa. They were representations of the Lords of the forest. If a whirlwind appeared it was a sign that a whole slew of forest sprites, possibly a wedding party, were around. At such times one could see the spirits for oneself by looking through ones legs and squinting through ones fingers.
The vörsa came in many forms. Some looked like humans and others were gigantic, without clothes, ugly and bearded with reversed feet, lacking eyebrows and lashes and were without a shadow. Sometimes the vörsa were described as a tall man in a black wool coat.
Could any of these descriptions possibly refer to the Snowman/ Yeti/ Bigfoot that seems to have permeated through all of Ural? Could the Ural be the Jotunheim, home of the giants, in Norse mythology? Looking at the so-called Skálholt map it might actually be. If we look at the map that was drawn in 1579 from older Viking documents we can see the Norwegian coastline and above/ beyond that lies Bjarmaland which would probably have been the Kola peninsula since it’s followed by a deep fiord or bay, the White Sea. Passing this fiord would then put you at the northern shore of Jotunheim. Is that Ural? Or possibly Novaya Zemlya? One should probably assume that the Barents Sea and the Greenland Sea were frozen, thus the coastline looks a bit weird. The map probably depicts the “ice line”.
Well, it’s an intriguing idea 🙂