As many of you may have seen in the papers or other such online publications, there is a cow in Berkshire that made a new Guinness world record today for its abnormally small stature(33.5 inches tall to be precise smaller then the average goat). This got me thinking about strange and freakish cryptozoological animals, which has been something that has fascinated me from a young age. Cryptozoology, for those who don’t know, is the study of unknown animals. Often told of in legends and folklore and trying to see if there is any reality behind them.
I’m going to list some of my favourite cryptids. Some of them may or may not actually exist but that is beyond the point. It’s all about the mystery.
The chupacabra, or ‘goat sucker’ in the most literal translation, is a legendary cryptid with its roots in south America. The most common description of the creature is a reptile-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. It stands approximately three to four feet (1 to 1.2 meters) high, standing and hopping similarly to a kangaroo. It has been sighted multiple times attacking livestock and apparently drains its victims blood through three holes arranged into an upside down triangle. According to UFO Magazine (March/April 1996) there have been more than 2,000 reported cases of animal mutilations in Puerto Rico alone that have been attributed to the chupacabra. Since this is a very widespread legend and there may be some truth behind it
The wolpertinger is an animal said to inhabit the alpine regions of Bavaria. Its features are most commonly listed as the body of a small mammal such as a rabbit or squirrel, antlers or horns, fangs and wings. Its American equivalent is the jackalope, which is simply a horned rabbit. Ronald Reagan had a rabbit head with antlers, which he referred to as a jackalope, mounted on his wall. Reagan liked to claim that he had caught the animal himself. The wolpertinger and jackalope’s antlers could be explained by people mistaking rabbits infected with the shope papilloma virus, that causes growths of antler like tumors on the head, for the mythical beasts.
The okapi is the only animal in my list that has been proven to actually exist. There was originally speculation of weather it was real or not, before English explorer Harry Johnston took a carcass to London in 1901. We’re just sticking them in here to show that there is a possibility that these animals could exist. Plus they are beautiful creatures.
The ningen is a humanoid sea creature that has supposedly been spotted in the Antarctic off the coast of Japan, the word ningen in Japanese means human. They are said to be completely white in color and about 20 to 30 meters long. Eyewitnesses describe them as having a human-like shape, often with legs, arms, and even five-fingered hands. Sometimes they are described as having fins or a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only visible facial features are the eyes and mouth. They are often mistaken for whales apparently, who knows? The sea is a huge place there could be thousands of yet undiscovered creatures.
Mongolian Death worm
The Mongolian death worm is said to live deep in the arid Gobi desert. Its body apparently resembles a cows intestine and can be up to five metres long. The reason it is called the death worm is that it can shoot acid from its mouth that can kill a man, kill you from a distance using some sort of electric power, and is also poisonous to the touch causing instant death. It is unlikely that this does actually exist as there has been many excursions into the Gobi desert searching for this creature, all of which have returned empty-handed and the height of the sightings were in the 1950s.
To conclude, cryptozoology is a fascinating thing and there is probably tons of animals out there yet to be discovered by science. So get out there and search for giant butterflies and killer terrapins.