Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 30th, 2014
The legendary basilisk was originally described in Western folklore as resembling a relatively small, unspectacular serpent in basic form. Down through subsequent ages, however, reports of it changed during the endless retellings of myths until it eventually became much larger, and acquired a cockerel’s coxcomb and wattles, as well as the ability to crow like a cockerel too. This marked the beginning of the basilisk’s gradual transformation into a much more dramatic-looking yet equally fictitious monster – the cockatrice.
Read: The Crowing Crested Cobra – A Cryptozoological Cockatrice? »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 28th, 2014
Although it can often equal or even exceed the leopard Panthera pardus in overall size, the puma Puma concolor is not a ‘big cat’ in the strict scientific sense – its throat structure, for example, is quite different from that of true big cats (i.e. belonging to the genus Panthera). It is particularly surprising, therefore, that successful matings between pumas and some of the Panthera species have occurred – the resulting hybrids thereby being intergeneric rather than merely interspecific.
Read: Pumapards and Lepumas – Unusual Feline Hybrids of Hagenbeck »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 27th, 2014
Veteran cryptozoological explorer Bill Gibbons has searched for a number of notable mystery beasts in the field over the years, such as the Congo’s mokele-mbembe and emela-ntouka. He has also brought several hitherto-obscure examples to widespread cryptozoological attention, including Nepal’s crocodile-jawed limbless ‘dragons’, the New Guinea pterodactyl-like ropen, and the giant Congolese spider or j’ba fofi.
Read: The Deadly Dodu of Cameroon – A Belligerent Grub-Eating Bigfoot? »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 19th, 2014
Every self-respecting cryptozoologist knows – or should know – about the famous encounter claimed for St Columba and the Loch Ness monster during the 6th Century AD (its specific date varies from one authority to another). Having said that, in reality the encounter apparently took place not in the loch itself but in the River Ness – so the creature in question may not have had any bearing upon the cryptids allegedly frequenting the loch, but may simply have been a vagrant sea creature of known form, such as a bearded seal or possibly even a walrus. Anyway, regardless of its specifics, this encounter is, as I say, a very famous one in the annals of cryptozoology. Far less famous, however, yet no less interesting, is the ‘other’ encounter between a British saint and a lake monster.
Read: The ‘Other’ Encounter Between a British Saint and a Lake Monster »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 14th, 2014
A very considerable number of unicorn varieties have been differentiated in legends and folklore from around the world – everything from shape-shifting were-unicorns, carnivorous rabbit unicorns, polar bear unicorns with glowing horns, web-footed unicorns, swivel-horned unicorns, and man-eating unicorns with musical horns, to unicorn birds, unicorn snakes, unicorn snails, unicorn pigs, artificially-induced unicorns, and even two-horned unicorns (surely a contradiction in terms!).
Read: Giant Black Unicorns, a Chinese Quasi-Rhino Figurine, and the Enigma of Elasmotherium »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 12th, 2014
In my previous ShukerNature blog article on Cryptomundo, I documented a remarkable drawing by the late artist Jean Claude Thibault, a Frenchman resident for many years in the Central African Republic (CAR). It depicts what appears to be the mysterious emela-ntouka or ‘killer of elephants’ – a horned aquatic cryptid also reported elsewhere in Africa under such names as the chipekwe and irizima. Moreover, this was just one of four pictures depicting intriguing CAR entities that had been drawn by Thibault (sometime during the early 1990s or late 1980s).
Read: Bird-Headed Fish-Men and Pig-Riding Man-Beasts »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 11th, 2014
It may be the most famous one, but the long-necked moekel-mbembe, often likened to a sauropod dinosaur, is not the only mystery beast allegedly inhabiting the vast Likouala swamplands of the People’s Republic of the Congo. Less familiar but definitely no less interesting is a second major mystery beast claimed by this region’s pygmies to live here – a truly extraordinary (and exceedingly formidable) creature known to them as the emela-ntouka, or ‘killer of elephants’.
Read: The Emela-Ntouka – New Evidence for the Congo’s ‘Killer of Elephants’ »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 10th, 2014
I first came upon the following crypto-case many years ago when browsing through Dr Bernard Heuvelmans’s book Les Derniers Dragons d’Afrique (Plon: Paris, 1978), and it has fascinated me ever since. Recently, I obtained some additional, previously-undisclosed information concerning it, and which turned out to be something of a conundrum in itself.
Read: Rothschild’s Lost Tusk and the Non-Existent Elephant Pig »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on July 9th, 2014
Whereas the African pygmy elephant has attracted appreciable interest and even more appreciable controversy, both within and beyond the cryptozoological community, a second contentious proboscidean reported from the Dark Continent has received far less attention, but in my view is much more intriguing. This latter cryptid is the so-called water elephant. ((c) Markus Bühler The […]
Read: Whither the Water Elephant? »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on June 14th, 2014
Bioluminescence is the emission of light by certain life forms. These include many known species of bacteria, fungi, protozoans, invertebrates, and fishes, but there are also several controversial examples, including the following couple – both of which may constitute remarkable new species still undescribed by science. (c) Connor Lachmanec (aka The Morlock on Deviantart.com) One […]
Read: Glowing Mudskippers and Flashlight Frogs – Two Bioluminescent Mystery Beasts? »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on June 13th, 2014
The Arctic wastelands of the Yukon Territory, on the borders of Canada and Alaska, are surely the last place anyone might expect to meet a dinosaur – which is why the following case merits a prominent place among the dubitanda of cryptozoology. The extraordinary tale of the beast from Partridge Creek debuted on 15 April […]
Read: The Partridge Creek Monster – A Living Dinosaur in the Yukon? »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on June 8th, 2014
Closely related to America’s familiar jack rabbits, hares are among the most delightful and enigmatic of British mammals, and down through the ages they have been many things to many people – symbols of fertility, the moon, and Easter, to name but a few. They have also been described in many ways – magical, mystical, […]
Read: King Hares and Giant Rabbits – Keeping Cryptozoology on the Hop! »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on May 9th, 2014
It was back in July 1997 when a curious snippet that apparently featured a while earlier on the internet (possibly in the Virtual Bigfoot Conference website) was brought to my attention by English palaeontologist Dr Darren Naish. However, its mysterious claim is still unverified today, so I’m posting it here on Cryptomundo in the hope that […]
Read: From Big Birds to Bigfoot – Diatryma and a Very Curious Crypto-Dilemma »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on May 6th, 2014
Germany has long been associated with unicorn traditions, in particular with the supposed occurrence of dainty white unicorns in the Harz Mountains. In addition, a far more exotic, bizarre version was allegedly sighted in Germany’s HercynianForest by no less eminent an eyewitness than Julius Caesar. (c) Markus Bühler He described it as being an ox […]
Read: When Julius Caesar Met The Hercynian Unicorn »
Posted by: Karl Shuker on May 2nd, 2014
Ben MacDhui’s principal claim to fame is that, at 4296 ft (1309 m), it is the highest mountain in the Cairngorms range and is second only to Ben Nevis throughout Scotland. However, it is also famous – indeed, infamous – as Scotland’s ‘haunted mountain’, thanks to the sinister entity known as Am Fear Liath Mor, […]
Read: The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui – Britain’s Very Own Bigfoot? »