Against my better judgment, I recently saw the Jason Statham vs. giant shark brawl The Meg in theaters. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was plenty awful. If you’re looking for a cheesy popcorn movie to fill a late summer afternoon, go for it. I must say that I was pretty impressed with the Megalodon special effects (entirely CGI, unlike monster movies of yore that used animatronics and people in rubber suits). CGI can be less scary than real-life effects, but that’s neither here nor there. What got me thinking was: where have all the monsters gone?
Everyone knows that the world used to be the stomping ground for terrifying behemoths. Fossils fill our museums and imaginations (and movie screens) with monstrous creatures that make today’s largest animals seem cute. No one can deny the fascination of dinosaurs – in my early teens, I became practically obsessed after seeing Jurassic Park on the big screen when I was 11 years old. And while the land dwellers get most of the attention, just Google “prehistoric sea monsters” and you’ll find a horde of monstrosities big enough to gobble a T. Rex in just a few bites. The Megalodon is probably the most famous, with a length equal to a school bus and a mouth large enough to swallow a great white shark in one gulp. Jaws is just a guppy compared to this bad boy.Thankfully, our world today is free from these mega-predators and jungle-stompers. Cryptozoologists relentlessly pursue the possibility that creatures such as the Loch Ness monster (a plesiosaur) or Mokele Mbembe (an apatosaur) still lurk in our lakes and forests. and for those of us who prefer to keep our monsters fictional, our entertainment is stuffed to the gills with giants who seem to have a grudge against our biggest cities. I know my opinion is unpopular, but I hated Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and I thoroughly enjoyed Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla. During the ads before The Meg, the next Godzilla film was previewed and it looks to be the most monstrous film of the 21st century.
Why aren’t dinosaurs roaming the earth today or giant sharks eating fishing boats whole? I’m no paleontologist, but I do believe in a literal Genesis creation account and a literal worldwide flood. I believe that the dinosaurs were created right alongside kittens and monkeys, and they would have been nearly wiped out in the flood, aside from the pairs that Noah brought inside the ark. So what made them die out while other species thrived? Many books from a creationist perspective have been written on the subject, and the prevailing theory is that the post-flood world just wasn’t suitable for their kind anymore. It does stand to reason that in a flooded world, food would have been scarce, and big animals need a lot of food. The biggest land animals today are a fraction of the size of the dinosaur skeletons that have been unearthed. I’ve read news stories of rampaging elephants in Africa and India; can you imagine the damage an irritated Brachiosaurus would cause?
Many people point to the descriptions of the behemoth and leviathan in the book of Job as evidence that dinosaurs still existed after the flood. Job is the oldest book of the Bible, predating Moses, and even though a post-flood world would have been inhospitable to dinosaurs, they wouldn’t have just died off right away. We may never know what animals God was referring to in that book, but I can say that I am glad they’re not traipsing around today (unless you hold to the laughable theories that a behemoth and leviathan are a hippopotamus and an alligator, respectively).
I admit that I have less insights into why these oceans aren’t still teeming with monsters, though as movies like The Meg point out, there is still so much in our oceans that we don’t know about. It is obvious that prehistoric monsters aren’t swimming around in droves, and this is a good thing. The fact that our world is largely free of giant-sized predators is very fortunate, and very likely ordained by God. Seeing as how creation groans and struggles against itself, the presence of massive predators would create enormous problems for the human race. We’ve caused a lot of problems ourselves, but unlike the animals, we are made in God’s image, and we are the first priority. Personally, I’m glad the dinosaurs are extinct.
…Or are they?