There’s even a scientific-sounding name for it: cryptozoology, the study of hidden or unknown animals. Obsessive fans of legendary monsters travel the world over to hunt down their legendary quarry.
In cryptozoology and sometimes in cryptobotany, a cryptid is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely. Famous examples include the Yeti in the Himalayas and the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. Other examples include the famous Bigfoot.
These creatures are (apparently) found all over the planet (and certainly all over the Internet) and beg the question “What the hell is that?”
Pictures of them get circulated everywhere from some random no-name blog to national and international news networks, giving everyone a chance to make their own quasi-educated (by TV/movies) prediction regarding what scientists and internet skeptics will find out.
Do these creatures really exist? Did they ever exist? Or are these merely ( photoshopped ) hoaxes, or the result of over active imaginations?
One of the most famous examples of cryptozoology is the legendary Loch Ness Monster (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag). It is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next. Popular interest and belief in the animal has varied since it was brought to the world’s attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The most common speculation among believers is that the creature represents a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking. Despite of this, it still remains an unsolved mystery.
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet. It is believed to be taller than an average human and is similar to Bigfoot.
Bigfoot, also known as sasquatch, is the name given to an ape-like creature that some people believe inhabits forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid.
An Unexplained Creature..,
Here is an e-mail we received from one of our dear visitors:
I love your site, I could spend all day on it, and was wondering where on the site I should share some pictures I found in an old fishing book. I looked everywhere and I haven’t seen them before online. The big question is, what is it, and maybe someone looking at the site might remember something about this story, or this creature. Its an old black and white photo, but clear for it to be so old. [...]
That’s the thing with these photos, my mother does Archaeological work, and works on her family tree as well as my children’s, in a group of books given to her by a friend who’s done the same kind of stuff with her all the time. While looking in an old scrap book of fishing photos this one picture stood out, I don’t know what it is and apparently she didn’t either because everything was labeled but this was not.
I know nothing about it, not even sure if its good enough to use, or if you can make it out. I have not used any kind of photo editing on it, only the lighting in my room I changed while trying to take a picture of a picture because I have no scanner.[...] I think it looks ALOT like a video I had seen on tv, I don’t remember what channel but they had different people arguing about what it was, people who studied marine life, etc. One thought it was a manatee, while the others said it was clearly nothing they had ever seen before. There are also videos of the famous Nelly Monster, I don’t know much about creatures, etc, but I know this is not anything I have ever seen. Simply the curved mouth makes it look like a beak, I’m just wracking my brain, tell me what you think. [...]
Please! I’d love to know anything about it… It has definitely peaked my interests and curiosity. There may be more pictures of it somewhere, I can tell that the photo I have is an original but maybe someone recognizes the area, or possibly someone in their own family has a photo like it as well. I spoke with my mom and she said it had a little note with it but it was faded and unreadable. I’m into cryptozoology and have unsuccessfully linked it to anything I’ve seen on those sites. Can’t wait to see what others think it may be… [...]
If you have a good guess of what the creature on these photos might be, please leave a comment.
Also, please consider sending similar images so we can expand this article.
PS Sighting a Sea Serpent
RAF navigator believes he saw one of the last of the large dinosaurs
By Dr Karl Shuker
Artwork of two Elasmosaurus marine reptiles swimming underwater. Chris Butler / Science Photo Library
Kent-based cryptozoological researcher Neil Arnold recently passed on to me, with kind permission from its source to publish it here, a remarkable, previously undocumented sea serpent sighting from the late 1950s. Neil’s source was a correspondent called Nick (whose email address I have on file), and one of the eyewitnesses in question was his father. Nick is anxious that the sighting be preserved, so here is his account of it:
“I am 39 years old with three children and my father is now 72. He was one of the last people to have been conscripted to national service, serving as navigator on RAF Shackleton aircraft in 1957, flying missions over Europe and much of South America. The official job of the Shackleton was as a spotting aircraft, and both pilot and crew were highly trained in this respect; their job was to search for submarines and relay the positions back to base. One of the tell-tale signs they used to look for [from] high above was a dark shape underwater, which could often be a shark or whale or other creature, but occasionally they would get lucky and find a submarine near to the surface. On one occasion, having seen such a dark shape near the surface, they flew down to investigate, and as they flew by this shape, every crew member on board saw the same thing – the neck and head of a large sea creature protruding from the surface. The nearest thing they could think of at the time was a plesiosaur. They were all in agreement but of course the pilot on the way home forbade them absolutely from talking about it; if they had done so they would all have been immediately grounded and accused of being drunk on duty.
“So anyway, my father decided to research what the creature might have been, and found that it was almost definitely an ‘elasmosaurus’ [long-necked plesiosaur], as the one thing that was very obvious was the huge length of the animal’s neck. My father was forced to conclude, and of course he’d read all about the cœlacanth, that there were indeed much larger ‘extinct’ creatures out there, unknown to science. He told me of the incident when I reached adulthood. Twenty years on, he still will swear to his grave that this is what they all saw on the flight…
“The year was 1957, the location was ‘about 500 miles [800km] north of the Canary Islands, in open sea’. The RAF Squadron was 228 Squadron, flying out of St Eval in Cornwall. (This air base has since been closed, but I believe remnants of the site remain.) I don’t know who the other crewmembers were and I have been thinking about making an official enquiry to the RAF archives. However, what I hope is important is the location (vague, sorry), species and date. I am more than aware that most scientists consider the possibility of any large dinosaur [sic] still alive as astronomically small, and my father himself also thinks now with sadness that he might have seen one of the last ones; his own reasoning is that at this point, not so long after the war, there really was not much shipping around; indeed, the area where they had the sighting was entirely devoid of shipping and maybe this was the reason the creature had considered it safe to surface, far from the throb of ships’ propellers.”
One zoologist who read Nick’s account suggested that perhaps they had seen a tentacle from a giant squid rise above the water surface, but Nick’s father emphatically discounted any such possibility. If by any chance any other Shackleton crewmember who saw this creature is reading this item and would like to contact FT, we’d love to hear from you!