What is Cryptozoology?
Currently there are about 1.4 million species described or recognised on Earth, which is a mind blowing number in its self, but we’re probably not even close to the actual number of species currently alive on Earth! Cryptozoologists do not study any of these 1.4 million species however, instead they concentrate on undiscovered animals. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals; I should probably mention that the mainstream scientific community do not really regard it as a true science. That said I believe that there are numerous species that are yet to be discovered, and the work of a few high profile cases and individuals with questionably credentials have just portrayed cryptozoology in a rather bad light. Cryptozoology is fundamentally like any science the gathering of evidence and the supporting or discrediting of certain theories. Whatever your point of view, for me it is a very interesting area of study, as a hobby or for general interest. Cryptozoology gives us not only a look at potential new species, but also gives an interesting insight into the fears and psychology of society as a whole! The allure of Cryptozoology is not only in the search for the hidden, but the thrill of the hunt, and also the idea that in this increasingly modern world there are still wild mysteries and unexplained phenomena!
Below are some high profile ‘Crypto-Beasts’, I’ll let you make up your mind about whether they exist or are just myths!
Known as the Bigfoot in America, and the Sasquatch in Canada, the Yowie in Austrailia and the Yeti or Abominable Snowman in the Himalayas this ‘Crypto-Beast’ has spawned a number of films and television series. It is thought to be an ape-like creature, generally described by alleged witnesses as large, ranging from 6-10 feet in height, bipedal, and covered in dark brown or reddish hair. Evidence for them comes in many guises, from numerous alleged eye witness reports, to footprints and hotly disputed photographic and film material. None of the evidence so far has held up in the wider scientific community, and it is widely considered to be a series of hoaxes or misidentified animals.
The Chupacabra, from chupar ‘to suck’ and cabra ‘goat’, thought to be native to South America and the Southern United States. The Chupacabra is rumoured to be a fairly large hairless reptile-like animal, about the size of a small bear or large dog, with a row of spines or quills running along its back. It is said to hiss and screech when disturbed and possesses a forked tongue and large fangs. The name comes from its alleged attacks on livestock, where it is said to attack and drink the blood of farm animals. The first reported ‘Chupacabra attack’ was reported in 1995 in Puerto Rico, although even now only circumstantial evidence exists for the beast, with uncorroborated eyewitness reports and hotly disputed photographic evidence.
Loch Ness Monster
Loch Ness is a large body of deep, dark, muddy water, in the Scottish Highlands, about 24 miles long and up to 700 feet deep in places, thought by some to be home to the Loch Ness Monster. Reports of mysterious creatures in the Loch date back as far as the 6th Century, but the legend of the monster ‘Nessie’ really began in the early 1930’s with several reported sightings and a series of alleged photographic evidence. Since the1930’s there have been thousands of reported sightings, not to mention numerous scientific investigations to uncover it, although only anecdotal evidence and much disputed photographic and sonar readings materials have ever been produced. The most common speculation among believers is that the creature represents a long surviving species of plesiosaurs, a group of prehistoric marine reptiles.
Mongolian Death Worm (Olgoi-Khorkhoi)
The Mongolian Death Worm or Olgoi-Khorkhoi ‘large intestine worm’ is described as a large red worm-like creature which is up to 1.5m long that allegedly inhabits the southern Gobi Desert. The beast is thought to possess a number of special abilities which give it its gruesome ‘death’ moniker. It is said to be able to spew forth acid, as well the ability to discharge electricity into its victims. No western scientist has ever seen the beast, but local folklore from the area tells of its existence and many of them firmly believe it does exist.
I’m not going to tell if I’m a believer or a sceptic with each of these individual ‘Cypto-beasts’ but I would really like to think that there are still animals living out their lives away from mankind waiting to be discovered in the future! So what do you think? Is Bigfoot lurking in your back garden? Is Nessie alive and well in your local swimming pool? Does the Chupacabra work down the chip shop on your high street? Let me know what you think below!