Researchers have discovered an actual Balrog fossil in Colombia.
Well, not really. They’ve discovered the fossil of a ginormous snake-crocodile-thing. The creature is (or rather, was) apparently a new species of crocodilian. Or maybe it’s a new species of dyrosaurids. I’m not really sure. Apparently my fleeting childhood desire to be a paleontologist has not served adult-me well, since I’ve never heard either of those words before.
Anyway, according to the article linked above, “the species is named for a ferocious fictional creature (the Balrog) that appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and dwelled deep in the middle-Earth ‘Mines of Moria.'”
Really, guys? You’re calling a prehistoric crocodile a Balrog? We can’t even get Smaug or Glaurung over here?
I like to think that these researchers are rabid anti-balrog-wingers who decided to push their beliefs on the rest of the world by inserting them into natural history.
Or they just think it sounds cool. But I like my idea better.