Cryptozoology is a study of animals or beings whose existence has not yet been scientifically proven. Often, creatures targeted by cryptozoologists are only known from legend or folklore, or sometimes witness sightings.
The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid believed to inhabit Loch Ness lake in Scotland. Reports date back to 565 AD.
Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch) is a large ape-like animal thought to inhabit the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The Yeti (aka Meh-Teh, aka Abominable Snowman) is a white-furred, ape-like creature from the mountainous Himalayas, with roots in Nepalese folklore.
The Jackalope is a jackrabbit with antlers that was part of the folklore of early lumberjacks in the United States. Lumberjacks would often describe “fearsome critters” around campfires as a way to joke with and frighten other lumberjacks.
The Furry Trout (aka Shaggy Trout or Fur-bearing Trout) is a mythical creature found in tall tales of the United States, Canada and Iceland.
The Kraken of Scandinavian and Norse legends is a large beast like an octopus or squid, known to be able to sink ships or grab sailors and pull them into the sea. It’s possible that the Kraken is an exaggeration of the Giant Squid, an animal we know exists today.
The Coelacanth is a type of primitive fish that was believed to have died out millions of years ago, until a living example was discovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa. The Coelacanth is living proof that you never truly know what may be discovered.
- Recommended Age: 3+
- Size in cm: 30.353 L x 5.461 W x 6.858 H
- Size in inches: 11.95 L x 2.15 W x 2.7 H
Loch Ness Monster
Residing in the misty Loch Ness of the Scottish highlands, "Nessie" as this creature is sometimes known, is thought to be a species of Plesiosaur. Stories and sightings of the long-necked dragon-like creature date back to 1933.
High in the Himalaya Mountains of Nepal, you might see tracks of the Yeti, which means "magical creature." In the west, it's often called the Abominable Snowman. The creature is thought to resemble an Ape or a large Bear and is best known for the large footprints it leaves behind.
In 1840, a traveler to Washingtonstate wrote of a native American tribe that told stories of a "race of giants" that lived in the mountains. This and many other tales and reports of sightings make up the legend of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, an ape-like creature that walks upright.
The Coelacanth swam during the age of dinosaurs and was thought to be extinct until it was fished out of the ocean off the coast of Africa in 1938. Since that time, other specimens of this deep sea-dwelling "living fossil" have been caught, scientists have endeavored to visit its home, and its genome has been mapped.
"Beware the Kraken," warned sailors in ships crossing the ocean to seek new lands. The Kraken was often reported to be a many-armed monster that could reach the top mast of a ship and pull it into the water. Some today suspect the Giant Squid may have morphed into this legend.
How do Trout stay warm in the frigid rivers of northern North America? They grow hair, of course! The Furry Trout, or Fur-bearing Trout was said to evolve its fur to survive the freezing temperatures of its cold climate. Another legend tells of a barrel of hair tonic dumped into a Colorado river.
Bounding out of legends and across the plains of the American west comes the Jackalope, an antlered rabbit. Legends of the "warrior rabbit" date back to the age of westward expansion. These days, Douglas, Wyoming calls itself the Jackalope capital of the world.