Creatures and Cryptids - the Undiscovered and the Unexplained

What in the world is a "cryptid"? 

A cryptid is an unknown animal, and cryptozoology is the study of such undiscovered creatures. The root of both words comes from the Greek word kriptos, meaning hiddenThe term "cryptid" was first coined by John E. Wall in 1983, in the newsletter of the International Society of Cryptozoology (http://internationalcryptozoologicalsociety.wordpress.com/)

Hokkaidō wolf
Cryptozoology encompasses three fields of investigation

The first area of cryptozoology is the search for still-living examples of animals generally thought to be extinct. For instance, the Hokkaidō wolf is still being sighted in Japan, although it allegedly vanished in the 1860s. Stories of giant grizzly bears in northern regions have led some to theorize that there may be remnant populations of the giant short-faced bear – a creature that went extinct 12,500 years ago. In Africa’s Congo, stories of the mokele-mbeme appear to describe a species of dinosaur. And is the megalodon, a giant prehistoric shark, still swimming in the unexplored depths of our oceans?



The second area of cryptozoology concerns animals which are known to exist, but are being sighted in areas very far from their usual habitat. Are black panthers roaming the English countryside? And what about the stories of giant black cats in Illinois? In recent years, a few jaguars were confirmed to be present in Arizona and New Mexico – areas where the species once lived many years ago. So far the confirmed jaguars are spotted, not black. Still the sightings continue throughout North America and beyond. Read more about the black panther here:  http://waypastnormal.blogspot.com/2010/06/north-american-black-panther-myth-or.html  




Could this be the lake monster, Ogopogo?
The third area of cryptozoology, which tends to capture most of the media attention, concerns the search for animals which are alleged to exist but are not confirmed. We’ve all heard of the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, but these cryptids are just the tip of the iceberg. The Beast of Bray Road is a werewolf-like creature reported to live in Wisconsin. The Ogopogo is a legendary lake monster in British Columbia, Canada. The Mothman is said to herald death and disaster, while the Jersey Devil preys on livestock. You may have heard about the Chupacabra in Mexico, which allegedly drinks the blood of goats. And if you catch a whiff of something truly awful in Florida, it just might be the Skunk Ape.

Some cryptids verified

Many cryptids have been confirmed to be actual, living animals. The Mountain Gorilla, the Okapi, the Komodo Dragon, the Platypus, and even the Kangaroo were once thought to be
A diver swimming with a Coelacanth 
fictional creatures. The coelacanth - nicknamed the "dinofish" - was thought to be extinct for millions of years -- until one was caught in a net off the coast of Africa in 1938. In 2013, National Geographic aired amazing footage of coelacanths in their natural environment. 
Tales of giant squid have been told for centuries and written off as sailors' tales. But in the 1870s several massive carcasses washed up on Newfoundland beaches! In 2004, the first live specimens were photographed. 





The Ulama of folklore is the
Spot-bellied Eagle Owl!
The Dingiso
Sri Lankan legends told of the Ulama, a terrifying horned bird that screamed in the night. In 2001, the Ulama was discovered to be a new species of owl! 

A similar thing happened in Western Indonesia, where Moni folklore featured the Bondegezou -- the "man of the forest". In 1994, an animal new to science was discovered there: the Dingiso. This tree marsupial spends a lot of time on the ground and often stands upright. 



Cryptids we'd probably rather not find 


Hopefully the Mongolian Death Worm will remain the stuff of legend. The residents of the Gobi Desert consider it bad luck to even mention this giant snakelike creature. Said to be attracted to the color yellow, the Death Worm itself is described as bright red, and able to kill at a distance by spraying an acid-like venom. In some stories, it kills by electrocuting its victims!

Myths abound of the Yacumama, a giant snake said to inhabit parts of the Amazon. Normal anacondas reach lengths of over 20 feet, but the Yacumama is said to grow to 150 feet or more!  Meanwhile, "Fangalabolo" is the name of a giant vampire bat, "the fear that flies at night", which is said to terrify the residents of Madagascar. Stories say it has a five-foot wingspan.

Giveaway (NOTE - this contest is now CLOSED)

I’ve always been a huge fan of cryptozoology – it sparks both imagination and wonder. I like

the idea that everything in our world hasn’t been documented and catalogued, that we don’t
A field guide to cryptids, myths and legends
know everything there is to know about the creatures who share the planet with us. 
How about you?

Congrats to BECKY. Her name was drawn as the winner of this giveaway. 

The prize is a paperback copy of 
The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings 
by Brenda Rosen

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read my post, and to everyone who entered the drawing. It's great to hear from other cryptid fans, and I wish I could give you all a prize! 

27 comments:

  1. I found out recently that a Tree Kangaroo was recently discovered, maybe not really recently like 2 years ago but it's so darn cute. There are new species of animals being found in New Guinea all the time it seems and it's so cool. I love seeing the new little species of rodents..lol

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

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  2. Until I read your post, I didn't know about the new marsupial found in Indonesia. Very cool. I love that we're still finding out about animals...and I also hope that snake creature isn't real. :)

    Thanks for an interesting read.

    wandasissleatyahoodotcom

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  3. What a post. Most of the animals mentioned are those i never heard before. Thanks for expanding my knowledge dani!

    Smile_1773 at yahoo dot com

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  4. I'm a huge fan of cryptozoology. I love the idea of new species being discovered and learning about them. When I find out about one that I haven't heard of before I will do research and learn more about it. Love reading your post today, Dani! This is a subject I love to learn more about. Thanks for sharing this with us today.
    beckyqward@gmail.com

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    1. Congrats Becky! Your name was drawn as the winner of my giveaway. I'll be emailing you in a few minutes. :)

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  5. Fascinating topic. Haven't really thought about these creatures

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  6. Great post! Some mythical creatures I wish were real and others I'm really glad aren't real!
    suzi1811 @ fsmail.net

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  7. Some of these I've heard of, others not so much. Seems like a really fascinating read.

    LittleLadyhawke2@aol.com

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  8. Oh, I want this book!

    I love that we are still finding creatures previously to us. I find it comforting that we don't actually know everything and still have things to learn. Add in the excitement of a new find and having a myth come true, and the field of cryptozoology is very appealing.

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  9. I love this kind of stuff! Nature and imagination combined!
    lesaneace@msn.com

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  10. What a great post! I love the idea that the world is still mysterious. dakota@dakota-banks.com

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  11. I've always been interested in cryptozoology. I can imagine how it must have been for people back a 150 years ago who found out about such amazing creatures such as apes that we take for granted today. Jbookbum@yahoo.com

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  12. First of all, thanks for this great giveaway!
    I love the idea that there is undiscovered species, it makes you wonder what else could be "out there"
    -Dawn

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    1. oops. Forgot my email! It's thedoyle6@rogers.com

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  13. I love this stuff! I just never realized it had a name. That Bible will be going on my Amazon wish list!

    I subscribe to Discover.com where I sometimes get news about strange creatures, among other odd tidbits, like archeological discoveries. So, who knows about mythical creatures of the past? After all, science has uncovered cities reputed to be myth. And all living creatures, humans included, are constantly evolving. So why wouldn't there be new species being discovered--or rediscovered?

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  14. Whoaa, I want this book so baaad! I really love reading about cryptids, to found strange creatures and learn new things about them. Since I live at Indonesia, there scientist often find cryptids in my country, especially from Papua island. Love to live in this exotic country! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Ren
    sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

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  15. so interesting! I like the Cryptids we'd probably rather not find - the Mongolian death worm that kills at a distance and seems to like the color yellow!

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

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  16. When I travel I always hit any local lakes with sea serpent legends, there are actually quit a lot of them in the northern USA/Canada area. There is a YA fantasy book written about the one in Payette Lake, near McCall Idaho, which was really good.

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  17. Fascinating thank you. I have heard about the Mongolian Death Worm before, but certainly none of the others. I do know that after a particularly violent storm the sea tosses up creatures never seen before. They come from the deepest depths. Goodness only knows what is down there.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  18. Is the "chupacabra"(sp?) of South Texas listed?
    It's the latest "woo woo" creature down here!

    Pat C.

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  19. OOPS! Forgot my email address!

    p-cochran@juno.com

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  20. What a cool book. I love these kinds of books. It is always interesting to loko and see all the different creatures included.

    meingee@yahoo.com

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  21. 34 years ago I did a report on the Coelacanth for my science class. It was really neat then that a supposed extinct animal had been found in the wild. Carolyn
    j-coverholser at sbcglobal dot net

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  22. Years ago my uncle told me the REAL story behind Ogopogo, that he had been told by First Nations person. There was this mom who needed to get some things done and she couldn't look after the kids at the same time, so she asked the kids uncle to look after them for a while. Now, the uncle was a bit lazy and he didn't want to run around after the kids, but obviously he didn't want them to go to the lake and drown themselves, either, so he came up with this story about Ogopogo. Apparently the story worked and everyone else started to tell the story to their kids as well to keep them away from the lake.

    romaaneja at hotmail dot com

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  23. I'm a BIG fan of cryptids - so much so that I even wrote a children's picture book - (published regionally here in Nova Scotia).

    That looks like a GREAT book on cryptids and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm the lucky winner.

    s(dot)vernon(at)bellaliant(dot)net

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  24. Thank you for this very entertaining and informative sharing. Honestly I have never given much thought to cryptids, but I am certainly glad to know that creature under my desk is a Mongolian Death Worm, EEEP all this time I thought those little shocks were from FB posts. ;=D
    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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Love your comments and read every one of them! Thanks for taking the time to write!