The Ahool Cryptid that roams Java

The Ahool is a lesser known cryptid that was spotted in the Java rainforest of Indonesia. The Java rainforest is 16,100 square miles. This rainforest is a home of many species, including 350 bird species. About 150 million people live on this land. Much of the forest was cut down because of the large population, but there are a few remaining government protected forests left. Amid the large population and diverse wildlife, an eerie sighting was bound to take place.

There were multiple sightings for decades of an unknown creature called the Ahool. This cryptid is often described as looking similar to a bat with gray fur and wings that expand out around 12 feet. The cryptid is sometimes described to be the size of a young child, but is often described as the size of an adult. In reported sightings, locals have claimed to see the Ahool flying while some claimed to see it walking through the forest. Locals that spot the Ahool claim to hear the creature howl AHOOOOL. The cryptid was named after its howl.

There aren’t a lot of reported sightings. Most of the sightings of the Ahool were never officially reported. Two of the most famous sightings of the Ahool took place in the early twentieth century. In 1925 a naturalist named Dr. Ernest Bartels was conducting research in a rainforest. While he was researching, he spotted a large creature fly over his head that looked similar to a bat. Dr. Ernest Bartels claimed to see the creature again in 1927. He claimed he heard a howl come from outside, so he walked outside of his residence and looked through the forest to investigate. The Ahool is believed to be a predator that eats fish, and there were some unreported claims that the creature attacked humans.

Is the Ahool real?

Even though sightings of the Ahool have been happening for decades, there are very few officially reported sightings. Many of the sightings consist of tales and local legends. There is little evidence for scientists to work with, however, that doesn’t mean that the Ahool doesn’t exist. Some say that the Ahool wasn’t a cryptid, but was really just an animal. There isn’t a known animal that matches the description of the Ahool, however, they claim that fear made people exaggerate the size. Some critics say that it could be a Spotted Wood-owl. A Spotted Wood-owl is a little under 2 ft tall with wings that expand around 4 ft. This is obviously smaller than the Ahool, however, they say that the viewers were exaggerating the size. Others claim that this isn’t likely because there is too great of a difference between the size of the Spotted Wood-owl and the Ahool for there to be any confusion.

Even though this cryptid isn’t widely known, the tale of its sightings continues to spread through the towns of the locals in Java. It could be possible that the Ahool is an undiscovered species that has a small population. There have been new species discovered in this decade, so this is a possibility. What is your opinion on the Ahool? Do you believe the Ahool existed? Do you believe it was a misunderstanding? Let me know in the comments below.

Colon, Zavier, et al. “Ahool.” Knightly News, 7 Apr. 2020,

“Indonesia: Island of Java.” WWF, World Wildlife Fund,

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