Cryptids are animals not yet scientifically described and largely associated with myth and folklore. Since ancient times, man has been fascinated by out of place monstrosities; lurking in the depths or haunting the deep forests. This infatuation is still strong with the following creatures inspiring many a tales of adventure and hoax.
1. Loch Ness Monster
“Nessie” is undoubtedly the most famous cryptid of them all. This plesiosaurus like creature from the depths of Loch Ness in the Scottish highlands has seen some wild claims and lengthy hoaxes, with one gentleman even declaring to have witnessed it crossing a road. One famous capture of creature’s head and neck known as the “Surgeon’s Photograph” lasted for 50 years before being debunked. Legend or not, Nessie still attracts thousands of visitors, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous monster.
North America’s favorite cryptid has seen its fair share of hoaxes. Originating in the vast temperate rainforests of the Pacific Coast, Bigfoot has been the subject of numerous expensive hunts and pranks. With scientific logic dismissing the existence of such a large primate-like creature, the shaky Patterson-Griffith film taken in 1967 has split expert opinion to a certain extent. However with a high frequency of false claims, the credibility of Bigfoot has diminished to a large extent in recent years.
Yeti or Abominable Snowman is a Himalayan bipedal creature, reputed to live at high, inhospitable altitudes. Although its existence is practically improbable, Yeti’s reputation has not been overly tainted by hoaxes; unlike its American cousin. It was a respected Tibetan legend for centuries before Eric Shipton’s 1954 photos of supposed Yeti footprints set the snowball rolling. Yeti is one of the few cryptids to have had its supposed body parts and excrement scientifically analyzed, which unfortunately have yielded matches with less exciting animals.
Mokele-Mbembe is a large reptilian alleged to roam the Congo River basin. Numerous expeditions into the region have failed to trace the animal and it still remains very much an object of Pygmy folklore. However, it is important to note that the Congo river basin remains Africa’s least explored region. Another strange beast called the Okapi remained a cryptid for years before being actually discovered in the same region, so perhaps with Mokele-Mbembe, the skeptic community might be in for a big surprise.
Chupacabra is a dog/rodent like creature largely associated with Hispanic regions of the Americas. It is reputed to drain its victim’s blood completely and has a fondness for sheep. The legend mostly gained strength in Puerto Rico around the mid 90’s and spread around the whole continent. Video of a strange creature was recently captured by a Texas policeman but it remains to be seen whether it was the real “goat sucker” or a Coyote with a severe case of mange.
6. Jersey Devil
The devil has long been the favorite monster of New England. Perhaps a product of Puritan paranoia, it has been seen for more than 300 years and by perhaps thousands of people. It is mostly described as a bat-like, hoofed creature with a horse-like head and a piercing call. Like many other cryptids, the devil is considered to be immortal, surviving multiple shootings and a cannonball blast.
7. Nandi Bear
Africa is the only inhabited continent without a resident population of Bears and thus legends of a ferocious bear roaming on the East African savanna are of crytozoological interest. The animal is a monster of high importance to the locals who dread its viciousness. Most scientists however are of the consensus that the creature is most likely to have been large Hyenas mistaken for a Bear by drunkards.
Bunyip is a legendary monster of the Australian billabongs. With highly varied descriptions, it is almost certainly a mix of peculiar local marsupials and ancient aboriginal traditions. Recent sightings of the cryptid have been rare but it still remains an important part of Aboriginal mythology.
9. Kting Voar
The Kting Voar is a one of the most likeliest and practical Cryptids around. It has even been classified by IUCN as endangered but its actual existence seems unlikely. Known only by its peculiar twisted horns which are often sold in the trophy shops of Vietnam, its existence has been dealt serious blows by numerous fakes surfacing. Considering the fate that has befallen another unique creature; The Tamaraw in the same region, it is highly improbable that this creature is still roaming around in some remote forested valley.
This marsupial is an example of Crytozoology turned on its head. A scientifically known, well documented animal turned into a cryptid by humans. Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger was the biggest marsupial predator in Australia that existed well into historical times until it was wiped out by farmers. The last known specimen died in captivity in 1936 and the species was declared extinct in 1986. Predictably, sightings have continued and it is still possible that this beautiful predator still exists in some isolated populations.