Cryptids and Species of Unknown Animals
First off, I want to make this clear before we even get started. I’m a writer, not any type of expert. I make no claim of being an expert on the subject of cryptids nor do I claim to know everything that there is to know. I am merely presenting information that I have read about through research and reading of more books than I care to count on the subject. I make no claims as to the existence of these creatures, nor do I deny them. I have my own opinion and it’s based on what I’ve read and things I’ve observed. I present here, information gathered from many sources. To believe or not to believe, I leave completely up to you.
This blog entry will not be about any one type of cryptids. Merely an overview about them and what the term cryptid means. Subsequent blog entries will go into details concerning individual types of cryptid, so keep your eye for those in the coming days and weeks. I’m thinking this could be an ongoing series, along with other types of entries that you’ve all come to expect from me. Watch my blog and my social media for releases, as they occur.
A cryptid is defined as any animal that has not been previously discovered by science. Animals that may or may not exist. Cryptozoology is defined as the study of and the search for animals whose existence or survival has not been proven to modern science. This not only includes animals that science does not believe exist, but also animals who are believed to have gone extinct yet sightings persist. There are a large number of species that fall in to both categories.
There are famous examples like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Beast of Bray Road, Chupacabra, the Montauk Monster, Champ (the Lake Champlain Monster), Mothman and many more. Then there are ones that were proven to science but are believed to have gone extinct. Creatures like the Tasmanian Tiger, the Megalodon, the Giant Anaconda, the Kraken (giant squid) and many others. I’m sure most of you have heard of these or similar creatures.
For many if not all of these creatures, there have been numerous sightings, photos, videos, tracks, fecal samples and other evidence collected over the years. However, we live in a digital age. Photos and videos can be faked, quite easily, by people who know what they’re doing. Visual sightings can be misidentification of other known animals. Gathered samples could be contaminated. The list goes on for reasons to disbelieve in the known evidence. If you don’t want to believe in these creatures, you can dispute virtually any evidence and no amount of it will convince you. If you do choose to believe, no amount of negativity or disputing of evidence can sway you. I won’t attempt to sway either side. I am merely presenting things I have come across in my reading and research. I leave it to you to decide.
Visual sightings. There have been hundreds, no make that thousands, of eyewitness reports for different cryptids. Some of them dating back a long time, many of them from before we even knew what cryptids or cryptozoology were. Long before anyone heard of terms like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and many others. Visual sightings can be disputed, especially by anyone who wasn’t there for the sighting. It’s easy to claim someone was making it up or was incorrect in identifying what they saw. It’s another thing entirely when it’s you who had the sighting. I won’t call anyone a liar until I have proof, not just speculation. So, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Now having said that, there are some sightings that I will read and think, “that sounds crazy.” It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I wasn’t there. I don’t know for sure. Now, if you toss out say… 99 percent of all sightings… and call them either hoaxes, misidentification or confusion. Then you still have hundreds of credible accounts from people of impeccable character and known honesty. So, if they’re not lying and clearly saw what they saw, what could it be?
Photos and videos. The internet is full of all sorts of information on cryptids. You can find all types of images and videos that they claim are of one cryptid species or another. I’ve stared at grainy and blurry photos for hours and can’t make head nor tails of some of the images. There are others that are clearer, but that hesitation to believe is still there. The same with shaky videos and blurry footage. While I’ve found myself growing excited when I can see an image of a cryptid and have that “holy crap” moment, it always comes back to the fact that with modern technology, images and videos are not difficult to produce. Watch any blockbuster movie and you’ll know exactly what can be done with a green screen and a computer. As evidence goes, to me photos and videos are the shakiest. Now, there is one bit of footage that is a bit different. The Patterson-Gimlin footage. Photoshop and Videoshop didn’t exist in in 1967. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of it being a suit, but that’s a different argument.
Physical Evidence. In many cases tracks, hair, fecal matter, blood and other types of evidence have allegedly been collected. Some have been analyzed and it came back to a known species. In some cases, they came back to unknown species. That should be enough to give even the biggest skeptic pause. Unknown Species. Those two words still ring out for me. These results have come from accredited labs and testing facilities. Certainly, some samples might have been contaminated. But you can’t make that claim about all of them. Some researchers are meticulous about how they collect samples, using techniques that any crime lab would be proud of. In the case of the giant squid, science thought it was all myth and legend, calling them sailor’s stories, until they started to find them washed up on shore. Then there was the Japanese research team that filmed one. That’s a prime example of a cryptid that had to be taken off the list because it was proven to be real.
Hoaxes. In some cases, hoaxes cannot be ruled out. There are people out there who enjoy making videos and images just to see how many people will believe it. There are others who would happily scare campers by running through the campground in a gorilla suit. Personally, I find people like this to be reprehensible, at best. By creating hoaxes, you diminish or invalidate credible people’s accounts. I wish there weren’t people like that, but unfortunately, there are. On the other end of the spectrum, there are sightings and evidence that has been collected in places where the likelihood of there being a hoaxer in the area is virtually nil. Some have been collected miles, if not hundreds of miles, from the nearest road. Now, if you think someone hiked miles into the deep woods so they could put on a suit to scare hunters, you might want to rethink that. To scare hunters. Hunters. That means they’re armed. The likelihood of you getting killed is very high. So, based on location and high probability of death, I think that a hoax is unlikely in those cases.
The simple fact is, cryptids will remain cryptids until a sample (either living or dead) is brought to light. Real samples have been brought to light in many cases. It happened with the giant squid. It happened with the mountain gorilla. It wasn’t until 1902 that native stories and hunter’s tales were suddenly believed when a specimen was brought in for study. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Occasionally, science discovers something big. In most cases, it’s after years of being told by locals and sightings that it was already there. They refused to believe it until they had a specimen. More recently, in 1996, the Bili Ape was discovered. Natives knew about it for a long time before that. Some might say that samples have already been brought to light and the government covered it up. That’s not something I intend to tackle in this entry, but it’s coming. Who knows what else is out there that science refuses to acknowledge? I don’t know. Do you?
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