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.
‘Cryptid’ has also been applied by cryptozoologists to animals whose existence is accepted by the scientific community, but which are considered of interest to cryptozoology, such as the coelacanth, once believed to be extinct, and the okapi, at one time thought to be entirely fictitious.
Legendary creatures such as the unicorn and the dragon are sometimes described as cryptids, but many cryptozoologists avoid describing them as such.
Some famous cryptids are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and El Chupacabra, all of which remain shrouded in mystery. Take a look of Some real Cryptid…
Bigfoot is described in reports as a large hairy ape-like creature, ranging between 6–10 feet (2–3 m) tall, weighing in excess of 500 pounds (230 kg), and covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. Alleged witnesses have described large eyes, a pronounced brow ridge, and a large, low-set forehead; the top of the head has been described as rounded and crested, similar to the sagittal crest of the male gorilla.
Bigfoot is commonly reported to have a strong, unpleasant smell by those who claim to have encountered it. The enormous footprints for which it is named have been as large as 24 inches (60 cm) long and 8 inches (20 cm) wide. While most casts have five toes—like all known apes—some casts of alleged Bigfoot tracks have had numbers ranging from two to six.
Some have also contained claw marks, making it likely that a portion came from known animals such as bears, which have five toes and claws. Some proponents have also claimed that Bigfoot is omnivorous and mainly nocturnal.
Scientists discount the existence of Bigfoot and consider it to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal, in part because of the large numbers thought necessary to maintain a breeding population.
A few scientists, such as Jane Goodall and Jeffrey Meldrum, have expressed interest and belief in the creature, with Meldrum expressing the opinion that evidence collected of alleged Bigfoot encounters warrants further evaluation and testing. Bigfoot remains one of the more famous examples of a cryptid within cryptozoology, and an enduring legend.
A mermaid is a mythological aquatic creature with a female human head, arms, and torso and the tail of a fish. Mermaids are represented in the folklore, literature and popular culture of many countries worldwide.
A male version of a mermaid is known as a “merman” and in general both males and females are known as “merfolk” or “merpeople”. A “merboy” is a young merman.
“Mermaid” is a compound of mere, the Old English word for “sea”, and maid, a girl or young woman. The equivalent term in Old English was merewif.
In modern times, the mermaid is used as an official animal/mascot of many mythical stories involving pirates and the sea. It is also associated with “sea cows” that are called manatees. Sailors would see the animals and categorize them as mythical mermaids.
Traditionally, mermaids have been depicted unclothed. When censorship is an issue, most prominently in movies, effort is made to have the mermaids’ long hair cover their breasts. In areas with strong censorship, notably in some U.S. family movies, mermaids have been wearing different variants of tops or swimsuits.
The sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as mermaid-like and thus are often considered to be the same or similar creatures. In stories of mermaids, some would use their beauty and charm to lure sailor men to their deaths; sirens would use their singing to lure sailors toward rocks, causing their ships to sink.
Other related types of mythical or legendary creatures are water fairies (e.g., various water nymphs) and selkies, animals that can transform themselves from seals to humans.
A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shape shift into a wolf or an anthropomorphic wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse and/or lycanthropic affliction via a bite or scratch from a werewolf, or some other means.
This transformation is often associated with the appearance of the full moon, as popularly noted by the medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury, and perhaps in earlier times among the ancient Greeks through the writings of Petronius.
Werewolves are often attributed superhuman strength, speed, and senses, far beyond those of both wolves and men. The werewolf is generally held as a European character, although its lore spread through the world in later times. Shape-shifters, similar to werewolves, are common in tales from all over the world, most notably amongst the Native Americans, though most of them involve animal forms other than wolves.
Werewolves are a frequent subject of modern fiction, although fictional werewolves have been attributed traits distinct from those of original folklore. For example, the ideas that werewolves are only vulnerable to silver bullets or that they can cause others to become werewolves by biting or wounding them derive from works of modern fiction. Werewolves continue to endure in modern culture and fiction, with books, films and television shows cementing the werewolf’s stance as a dominant figure in horror.
Loch Ness MonsterThe Loch Ness Monster 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 this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to by the nickname Nessie since the 1950s.
The chupacabras is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated more recently with sightings of an allegedly unknown animal in Puerto Rico (where these sightings were first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter’s Latin American communities. The name comes from the animal’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats.
Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1995 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile, and even being spotted outside the Americas in countries like Russia and The Philippines.
It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. The sighting reports of chupacabras end up being uncorroborated eyewitness reports without evidence, or canids with mange. Biologists and wildlife management officials view the chupacabras as a contemporary legend.
Giant AnacondaReports of giant anacondas date back as far as the discovery of South America, when sightings of anacondas upwards of 50 meters (150 feet) began to circulate amongst colonists, and the topic has been a subject of debate ever since among cryptozoologists and zoologists.
Anacondas can grow to sizes of 6 metres (20 ft) and beyond, and 150 kilograms (330 lbs.) in weight. Although some python species can grow longer, the anaconda, particularly the green or common anaconda, is the second heaviest and largest in terms of diameter of all snakes, and it is the second-biggest extant snake in the world behind the reticulated python.
The longest reputably-measured and confirmed anacondas are about 9.5 meters (30 feet) long. Lengths of 50-60 feet have been reported for this species, but such extremes lack verification and to add lack of large prey to support a super-large snake. The two only real reliable claims that can be found describe measured anacondas ranging from 26 to 32 feet, although these remain unverified.