Cryptozoology: The study of "hidden animals," includes Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monsters, Yeti, Myakka Skunk Ape, and hundreds of other cryptids.

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The Top
50 Cryptids From Around The World
By Loren Coleman

Cryptids are the yet-to-be discovered animals or recovered supposedly extinct zoological species that are being sought by cryptozoologists, zoologists, anthropologists, and other researchers through fieldwork in the wild, reexaminations of specimens in zoological collections, and searches of archival materials. For me, it all started with the Abominable Snowman (see Yeti) in 1960, moved quickly to an awareness of a world filled with cryptids. Here's my list of the top fifty cryptids actively being investigated and pursued today.
  1. Ahool
    Giant unknown bats are reported to reside in a region of western Java, plus similar reports under different names from Vietnam and the Philippines; possibly known as Orang-bati in Seram, Indonesia.
  2. Almas
    Huge hairy Neanderthaloid or Homo erectus-like hominids sighted in various parts of Euroasia.
  3. Agogwe
    The Agogwe are little, human-like, hairy, bipeds reported consistently from the forests of Eastern Africa.
  4. Andean Wolf
    These unrecognized mountain dogs are seen in South America.
  5. Arabhar
    These unconfirmed flying snakes are located in the Arabian Sea region.
  6. Barmanu
    Reportedly strong, muscular, and hairy humanoids reported from the Shishi-kuh valley in Pakistan.
  7. Beast of Bodmin (or Bodmin Moor)
    Locally named mystery felids found in the United Kingdom.
  8. Bergman's Bear
    Possible unknown species of giant bear once roamed Eastern Asia, and still may.
  9. Bili Ape
    Giant chimpanzees appear to live in remote east Africa, where much evidence points to their existence, including photos, footprints and ground nests.
  10. Birds-of-Paradise
    Six species from New Guinea and surrounding islands, and a distinctive Long-Tailed Black Bird-of-Paradise from Goodenough Island are of interest to cryptozoology.
  11. Black Panthers and Maned Mystery Cats
    Sighting of large Black Panthers and seemingly "African Lions" with manes in the Midwest USA have law enforcement officials on the alert.
  12. Blue Mountain panthers
    These unknown cats reportedly live in the Blue Mountains of the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales.
  13. Blue Tiger
    These mystery felids are spotted in the Fujian Province, China, and are also filed under the name Black Tiger.
  14. Bobo
    Sea monsters of the North Pacific Ocean are frequently reported off Monterey Bay since the 1940s, and have been given this local name.
  15. Buffalo Lion
    East African maneless lions are said to be man-eaters, and may reflect some new genetic alignments, akin to the King Cheetah discoveries among cheetahs.
  16. Buru
    Fifteen foot long bluish ­black giant lizards were seen often in the swamps, lakes and foothills of the Himalayas, up through the 1940s, although they may be extinct now.
  17. Caddy
    These unknown Sea Serpents living off the coast of British Columbia are a popular figure in Canadian cryptozoology.
  18. Champ
    Giant prehistoric-looking creatures lurk in Lake Champlain, a 109 mile lake that borders New York, Vermont, and Ontario.
  19. Chupacabras
    Also called "Goatsuckers," these bizarre Caribbean and South American cryptids are five feet tall biped creatures with short grey hair that have spiked hair and reported drain the blood through throat punctures of the livestock they kill.
  20. Ebu Gogo
    Three feet tall, hairy little people with pot bellies and long arms sighted on the island of Flores, Indonesia. Tiny females are said to have long, pendulous breasts.
  21. Giant Anaconda
    Reports have been made of 100 feet long snakes on the Rio Negro of the Amazon River basin.
  22. Giant Octopus
    The Blue Holes of Bimini, offer many sightings of these unknown huge, many-tentacled animals.
  23. Giant Sloth
    Weighing up to 3 tons, these supposedly extinct animals have been reported in South America in contemporary times.
  24. Globsters
    Strange looking giant creatures (also called blobs) wash up on the beaches of the world, get the media and scientists excited, and sometimes turn out to be "unknowns."
  25. Honey Island Swamp Monster
    Reportedly these "Swamp Thing" monsters are seen in the Louisiana swamps.
  26. Jersey Devil
    This regionalized name hides these creatures that have been haunting the New Jersey Pineland forest for over 260 years.
  27. Kongamato
    The natives of the Jiundu region of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) have firsthand encounters with these strange flying bat-like creatures.
  28. Lake Storsjon Monster
    Lake Seljord in the Telemark region of Norway has its own Lake Monsters swimming the waters here for centuries.
  29. Lau
    Are certain African lakes the home to 40 feet long unknown catfishes or lungfishes?
  30. Loch Ness Monster
    Nessie is the most famous Lake Monster in the world; they are said to inhabit this loch, an extremely deep Scottish lake.
  31. MacFarlane's Bear
    The carcass is at the Smithsonian, believed to be a possible hybrid between a grizzly and polar bear. Or an new unknown species.
  32. Mngwa
    The Mngwa are cats described as being as large as donkeys, with marks like a tabby and living in Africa - but not a known species.
  33. Mokele-Mbembe
    For over two hundred years there have been reports of living Sauropods (dinosaur) in the remote Congo area of Africa. They may being confused with accounts of other local cryptids, aquatic rhinos.
  34. Mongolian Death Worm
    Locals in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia talk of these giant snakes, worms, or long thin lizards (also called Olgoi-khorkhoi or Allghoi-khorkhoi) as killing livestock and people with their breath.
  35. Mothman
    A local name for giant owls (also called Bighoot) which has been sighted for over 100 years in West Virginia-Ohio area, and elsewhere in North America.
  36. Ogopogo
    This is Canada's most famous type of water monsters, inhabitants of Lake Okanagan in the south central interior of British Columbia.
  37. Orang-Pendak
    These reportedly small biped small apes (also called Sedapa) live in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo.
  38. Peruvian Mystery Jaguar
    Unknown large cats with white background covered in solid irregular spots are seen in the rainforests of Peru.
  39. Skunk Ape
    Also known by the label Myakka "Ape" and other local names (Booger, Swamp Ape), these chimpanzee- or orangutan-like primates have been sighted throughout central and south Florida.
  40. Steller's Sea Cow
    A once thought extinct species, these totally marine animals, looking like huge, wrinkled manatees, and are still being seen by Russian fisherman.
  41. Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine
    Thought extinct, these wolf-like marsupials are still sighted on a regular basis in Western Australia, and perhaps New Guinea too.
  42. Tazelwurm
    Classic small log-shaped reptilian cryptids from the European Alps are enigmatic animals, but have they gone extinct in historical times?
  43. Thunderbird
    Large condor-like birds, perhaps Teratorns, roam the skies of North America, along regular migration routes.
  44. Tzuchinoko
    Unknown species of snake sighted in the upper elevations of Korea and Japan.
  45. Ucu
    The South American Bigfoot live mainly in the Andean foothills.
  46. Waitoreke
    These strange unknown otter-like beasts are seen in New Zealand, and as yet undiscovered.
  47. Xing-Xing
    This is a specific regional name, from southern China, for small unknown apes.
  48. Yeren
    The Chinese Wildmen are reddish, semi-bipedal, and often encountered by locals and government officials along rural roads.
  49. Yeti
    Yeti, unknown rock apes, are creatures reported as crossing the Himalayan plateaus and living in the valley forests. There is not just "one" Abominable Snowman, and they are no "white."
  50. Yowie
    These tall hairy unknown hominoids are sighted throughout several remote areas of Australia.

Sources (needless to say, many individual references can be consulted for information on any of the above cryptids, but the following titles reflect directly on the background research leading to why my choices are these. Also, each book contains an extensive bibliography of further sources):

Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America by Loren Coleman (NY: Paraview Pocket/Simon and Schuster, 2003)

Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999)

The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (NY: Harper Collins, 1999)

The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (NY: Tarcher/Penguin, 2003)

Mothman and Other Curious Encounters by Loren Coleman (NY: Paraview, 2002)

Mysterious America: The Revised Edition by Loren Coleman (NY: Paraview, 2001)

Thunderbirds: America's Living Legends of Giant Birds by Mark A. Hall (NY: Paraview, 2004)

Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology by Loren Coleman (Fresno, CA: Craven Street-Linden Press, 2002)
© Loren Coleman 2004


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