Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology
Category Giant cryptid
Proposed scientific names
Other names Deep, dewacco
Country reported Ethiopia, Somalia
First reported 2000
Prominent investigators Nick Sucik
Chad Arment

The dib (pronounced "deep"), known in Somalia as the dewacco (pronounced "dewaho"), is a cryptid reported from southern Ethiopia and Somalia.[1][2]


The dib is said to be a bear-like animal, about 2' to 2'5'' high at the shoulder and 4' long, with light fur which is either shorter or sparser than a bear's. Although it is a herbivore, it is considered dangerous, and is feared for its habit of ramming and overturning cars. However, it is also a rare animal due to being overhunted. It is said to live in desert regions.[3][4]


The dib has been compared to giant hyraces, such as the Eo-Oligocene Titanohyrax (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Several cryptozoologists have suggested that the dib sounds like a hyrax, no modern species of which is known to exceed 2' in length. George Eberhart lists a theory that it may be an undescribed giant species of known rock hyrax (Procavia) or bush hyrax (Heterohyrax).[1] Karl Shuker, on the other hand, simply notes that it resembles no known living species, and that prehistoric giant hyraces are believed to have gone extinct many millions of years ago. Another possible giant hyrax, the giant hyrax of Shaanxi, is represented in ancient Chinese pottery, but has never been reported in modern times.[3]

The youngest known African giant hyraces, such as Gigantohyrax, are known from Late Pliocene fossils from Ethiopia and South Africa. Unlike Eocene and Oligocene giant hyraces, and the contemporary species in Asia, the last known African giant hyraces were only relatively larger than the modern species, as opposed to truly megafaunal.[5]

Dibbi (ድብ) is also the Amharic word for "bear," derived from the Arabic dubb/dubbah: Bernard Heuvelmans attributed stories of Ethiopian bears to baboons.[6] Heuvelmans also received information on an Ethiopian hyrax, this one rather small, from palaeontologist Louis Leakey.[7]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eberhart, George M. (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology ABC-CLIO, Inc. ISBN 1-57607-283-5
  2. Shuker, Karl "A Giant Owl and a Giant Hyrax...?," Strange Magazine, No. 21 (2000)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shuker, Karl P. N. (2016) Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors: The Creatures That Time Forgot?, Coachwhip Publications, ISBN 978-1616463908
  4. Shuker, Karl P. N. (2007) Extraordinary Animals Revisited: From Singing Dogs To Serpent Kings, CFZ Press, ISBN 1-905723-17-1
  5. Werdelin, Lars & Sanders, William Joseph (2010) Cenozoic Mammals of Africa
  6. Heuvelmans, Bernard & Barloy, Jean-Jacques (2015) Les Ours Insolites d'Afrique, Les Éditions de l'Œil du Sphinx, ISBN 9791091506298
  7. Heuvelmans, Bernard "Annotated Checklist of Apparently Unknown Animals With Which Cryptozoology Is Concerned", Cryptozoology, No. 5 (1986)