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What’s On Your Lesser-Known Cryptids List?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 12th, 2007

Hassts

What are the lesser-known cryptids that you know about, that you are pursuing, and/or that you feel should get more attention?

Nowadays, it is easy to come up with a list of popular well-known cryptids. Click on this one of the top 50 here, to see what I mean.

But we all know there are vast numbers of cryptids out there that remain hidden, and even hidden from media attention.

One task I tackled as the 1990s ended was to bring cryptozoology to a broader audience, introduce the diversity of the searchers, and highlight more than the big three cryptids – Bigfoot, Nessie, and Yeti. One of the reasons Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999) is still in print probably is because its 200 entries talk about a lot of often overlooked cryptids that people forget are out there.

Likewise, Chad Arment’s Cryptozoology and the Investigation of Lesser-Known Mystery Animals (Coachwhip Publications, 2006) extends the information on the non-stars of cryptozoology. Arment collected stories that included ones about unknown coelacanths, mystery pigs, luminous spiders, flying snakes, and the mystery bird Paul Gauguin painted.

But what if we search even deeper for more lesser-knowns today? Let me challenge you.

Tony Lucas, New Zealand cryptozoologist, has sent in his personal list of relatively unknown cryptids – let’s say the unknown unknowns in Oz – to kick off this exercise. The South Island Puma, New Zealand Sea Monster, and Waitoreke are cryptids that people have perhaps heard about before. But Lucas’ list below concentrates on the lesser-known cryptids of New Zealand.

After you read the Oz roundup, go ahead and share your list of those cryptids you feel are ignored, overlooked, and neglected by the mainstream media and by most cryptozoological sites.

They won’t be ignored for long if any of us here have anything to say about it, but, of course, the first step is to become aware of them.

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Lesser Known Cryptids of New Zealand by Tony Lucas

Pouakai

Harpagornis

The Maori (or Ma¯ori) folklore tells of the Pouakai, a large bird that often attacked warriors and was quite capable of carrying off children. Could this have been the now extinct Haasts eagle, Harpagornis moorei (shown above), said to be one of the world’s largest living eagle? Female Haast’s eagles weighed 10 to 15 kg (22 to 33 lb), and males weighed 9 to 10 kg (20 to 22 lb). They had a wingspan of roughly 2.6 to 3 m (8 to 10 ft) at most, which was short for a bird of the eagle’s weight (the largest Golden Eagles and Steller’s Sea Eagles may have wings of almost the same width), but aided them when hunting in the dense forests of New Zealand.

[Note: Harpagornis was recently shown to be synonymous with Hieraaetus, according to Darren Naish.]

Toanginas.

These creatures were eight to ten feet tall and hairy. They were feared by the people of the lower Wanganui River as they often viciously attacked fishermen in the area.

Rapuwai.

Rapuwai

The above Taongoa-Tumuki mask represents the direct descendants of Rapuwai.

The Rapuwai were gigantic, slow, clumsy, hairy man like beasts. Strong and muscular they were however, very shy and retiring.

KaweKawau

Hopolodactylus delcourti is a two-foot long gecko known only from a single type specimen discovered in the basement of the Marseille Museum of Natural History in 1986. The lizard fits the Maori folklore description of a creature called the KaweKaweau.

Kumi Lizard – Ngarara.

The Maori spoke of the existence of a monitor-like lizard reaching a length of around five to six feet. The Kumi Lizard was supposed to inhabit streams, and was proficient at burrowing. It had a serrated dorsal crest and large teeth, which caused the upper lip to protrude.

Moehau – Maero.

This creature, which is slowly gaining “well-known status” outside New Zealand, is said to be of human stature with long hair, long arms that come down below the knee, and hands/feet tipped with sharp talons. The Moehau are reported to inhabit the Coromandel region of the North Island. Moehau are considered extremely dangerous to humans.

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What’s on your list of lesser-known cryptids?

Skullduggery

Loren Coleman – has written 5491 posts on this site.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


47 Responses to “What’s On Your Lesser-Known Cryptids List?”

  1. crypto-hunter465 responds:

    On my list, all the famous ones excluding nessie (apologies to nessie fans, facts don’t line up for extinct dinosaur), and the Humanoid Lake Monsters. The Loveland Frogmen, the obscure backwater bipedal Lizardman. These things always fascinate me. Also, the one timers (from the media’s viewpoint), Dover Demon, Mothman, Owlman ect. I guess for me, the Humanoid creatures are important. Very little media attention, but they are out there. That’s my list of cryptids.

  2. kithra responds:

    Living within 5 miles of all those Owlman sightings, I’d also add Morgawr – the Cornish Sea Serpent. That was also seen around the same time as the Owlman, and has been seen throughout the years. Usually these sightings take place in long, hot, summers, so not much chance this year as ours has been so bad.

  3. showme responds:

    Has anyone ever heard of a Texas hoop snake? It’s generally thought of as Texas folklore, but I’ve heard theories that it’s a rare behavior of a common kingsnake. If the snake is on a steep hillside, it will sometimes form a rigid hoop and use gravity to roll down the hill to escape a predator. It sounds far-fetched, but I wonder if common animals that display unknown/rare behavior could be the source of cryptid sightings.

  4. Woodford responds:

    Some of the lesser discussed ones that I find particularly interesting…

    -Devil Monkeys
    -Giant Spiders (of the sort claimed to be as big as a small dog)
    -Orang-Bati
    -South Bay Bessie

  5. darkshines responds:

    Trunko is my fave crypid, as it seems unique.

  6. greatanarch responds:

    Two or three man-like species on an island that has been isolated for 85 million years, and never contained any mammals except bats? Unless primates go back much further than we ever dreamed, or homo erectus was a really fantastic sailor, it is hard to see how this is possible. Speaking as someone who intends to spend part of next year looking for the almas, I think this has disturbing implications for all hominid-related cryptozoology, Bigfoot not excepted. As Winston Churchill said, ‘it is like the thirteenth stroke of the clock, that casts doubt on all that has gone before’. Perhaps Jon Downes has it right, and the tendency to see man-like figures under certain conditions is intrinsic to the human brain: no doubt a survival trait when we shared the world with other homind species of uncertain disposition.

    However, I still intend to go to Tajikistan.

  7. stormwalkernz1 responds:

    Hominids on an island is a possibility as new Fossil discoveries are being made all the time. In fact the paleohistory of New Zealand is already being rewritten as a fossilized jaw of a small mouse like mammal has recently been found in New Zealand, along with evidence that New Zealand had a species of Constrictor snake and Crocodiles.

    It was once thought too that NZ had no Dinosaurs but that has now drastically changed.

    Anyway Unknown is what we are about so back on track…

    You don’t hear much of the Flatwoods monster either of the reports of the continued existence of the Giant Australian Megalania an extremely large Monitor said to still be occasionally encountered.

  8. Z responds:

    The rhino-like Hodag which traverses the swamps of Wisconsin.

  9. Quacker1 responds:

    Here is a pic of the KaweKawau specimen. Shot at 2007-08-12.

  10. corrick responds:

    I always prefer cryptid sightings that contain enough raw information to enable us “armchair cryptozoologists” an opportunity to apply a reasonable “Occam’s razor” test using the various scientific disciplines. Usually, the most likely answer would seem to be an animal vagrant.

    That said, my personal favorites off the top of my head are Steller’s Sea-Ape, Gambo, the Loveland Frog, the Buru, the Gevaudan Beast, Bunyips, the Lake Iliamna Monsters and the Nicoll, Meade-Waldo “sea serpent.”

    As for Trunko, if that story is true than Earth is far stranger than even the weirdest person on this site can ever imagine.

  11. Quacker1 responds:

    How about the Tennessee ‘Red Cheetah,’ which was supposedly shot back in the 1900′s and was supposedly a last remnant of the native North American Cheetah population from the Pleistocene. Or the Shiashia-yawa of Ecuador that is a solid white large cat with dense black spots. And the Tapir Tiger of South America that supposedly has massive paws and is the only large cat that preys on Tapirs. My personal favorite is the Rainbow Tiger of South America, which is supposed to be solid grey or white, with black spots on its body, but red, yellow, black and white stripes along its chest. It, allegedly, has strong forearms and jumps from tree to tree like a monkey. It is, according to natives, the most dangerous animal in the forest. The water tiger of South America supposedly has webbed feet and is partly amphibious and hunts fish and other waterborne animals. There are the various sabretooth cats from both South America and Africa, (it is called a Hadjel there), as well as the sabretoothed aquatic panther of Africa, the Morou N’gou. Australia has a variety of cryptid big cats, including a marsupial lion said to be able to strip skin from bone. That’s my list.

  12. Quacker1 responds:

    Oh yeah… The Great Sea Centipedes and the Mongolian Death Worm are also on my list.

  13. twblack responds:

    What is a Trunko? The Loveland Frog and the Giant Sloth are very cool.

  14. Dougal Longfoot responds:

    We supposedly have hoop snakes here in Australia as well “Showme”

  15. Terry W. Colvin responds:

    Cryptids I enjoy are those larger than normal and/or out of place animals. Lizards in Asia are often cited as larger than the expected range. I saw one the other day in central Thailand near Supan Buri. It was roadkill, maybe three feet including tail and yellow on the bottom, its resting position. I don’t know my plants or animals very well but intend to work on that after moving here next year.

    Oh, there was a Komodo-like lizard reported from South Vietnam by American soldiers during the war.

  16. MattBille responds:

    My picks will likely not surprise anyone who has read my books. If I had to pick a top three I think are under-investigated yet likely to yield an important discovery, they would be as follows:

    1. I think there’s a very good chance a properly equipped expedition to Lake Iliamna would find something new, even if it’s only an undocumented population of sturgeon that run larger than average in this deep cold-water lake.
    2. I think Africa’s marozi, while it may be extinct now, is likewise a topic worth investigating, as we know this small, spotted “forest lion” did exist in the last century.
    3. Finally, Shuker in particular has shown that Australia’s yarri has both impressive reports and zoological plausibility behind it. Again, it may still exist or be recently extinct.

    A few others: Despite Chris Orrick’s meticulous investigation, Steller’s sea ape continues to puzzle me a bit. The Meade-Waldo sea serpent was, I think, an unknown species, even if “just” a giant strain of conger eel, but I don’t know how you go about any meaningful investigation at this point. The Buru has a ring of plausibility to it. The orang-pendek is the most persuasive of the mystery primates, but does not qualify as “overlooked.” I think there’s likely something to Peter Hocking’s Peruvian mystery cats, which have never been the subject of investigation outside Peter’s one-man effort.

    Asa final note, I’ve personally dismissed “Trunko” completely – the animal as described makes no sense as a real creature, no more than does the moha-moha. Add to that it’s based on a single news report that Charles Fort, writing much closer to the time of the supposed occurrence, was unable to corroborate, and I don’t see any reason to pursue it further.

  17. planettom responds:

    This one may not be lesser known, especially not to the bird world, but I enjoy reading about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. I know there has been some hub-bub about possible recent sightings, so I’m always looking to hear and read more about them.

    Best to all!

  18. sschaper responds:

    greatanarch,
    Could it be that the Maori brought with them stories of their home? There seem to me to be some characteristics of their culture that remind me of the PNW.

    I agree that a lot more work needs to be done in South America. There is so much yet there to be catalogued that the cryptids outnumber the identified and classified animals.

  19. AtomicMrEMonster responds:

    showme:

    Hoop snake stories are believed to be based on descriptions of sidewinders and mud snakes, which sometimes lie on the ground in hoop-like shapes.

  20. troll responds:

    Well, the bearwolf from North Central Wisconsin is a favorite of mine. The creature has been described a a cross between a bear and a wolf, doglike body and a bear like face, that sometimes walks on it’s hind legs. The Man-wolf is another Wisconsin cryptid that has been haunting the woods of the upper midwest for years. The Beast of Bray Road and Hunting the American Werewolf by Linda Godfrey are two sources of information on these creatures.

  21. MattBille responds:

    The ivory-bill is an interesting test case for some crypto themes – believed extinct, sightings dismissed, then sightings apparently vindicated, and now some experts backing off, so you have dueling experts debating the bird’s existence. I think we’ll all keep an eye on how that comes out.

  22. mystery_man responds:

    I am highly interested in the Lake Illiamna creatures and believe it to be a place where there would be a great chance of finding something unique if someone were to go there properly equipped. I also believe that there is something to the Lake Tahoe Tessie stories. I am not sure what it could possibly be, but the late great Cousteau himself is said to have seen something there that seems to have scared him straight. I believe his words were “The world is not ready for what is down there”. Enigmatic stuff that fires my imagination up. Legend has it that he took footage of whatever he saw down there as well.

    I am a very avid follower and sometime researcher of possible surviving populations of the Honshu wolf and Hokkaido wolf of Japan as well as another Japanese cryptid known as the tsuchinoko (a type of fat snake). I feel there is a good possibility the wolves could still be out there although the tsuchinoko sightings often involve almost paranormal elements and features that just don’t make sense for a real biological entity. Funny that the hoop snake was mentioned earlier because some of the more outlandish tsuchinoko sightings involve the snakes moving in this very manner, forming a wheel and rolling along.

  23. corrick responds:

    mystery_man

    You might want to add the Japanese Sea Lion (Zalophus japonicus or Zalophus californianus japonicus) to your Japanese watch list. It is generally accepted that it became extinct in the 1950s. However marine mammals in general have historically shown an ability to survive despite mankind’s best attemps to exterminate them. A pertinent example to the Japanese Sea Lion is the story of the Guadalope Fur Seal.

  24. greatanarch responds:

    My personal favourite for a overlooked cryptid with a high probability of existing is the Lake Labinkir (Russia) creature, an aggressive carnivore which seems to be more than just a fish. A logistical nightmare to get there, but definitely on my list.

  25. mystery_man responds:

    Yes, Corrick, I know about the Japanese sea lion, forgot to put that one on there! You know your Japanese cryptids!

  26. oroblanco responds:

    Abominable Sandman also called Borrego Sandman, a possible larger sub-species of Bigfoot, of the desert southwest.

    Appletwitches, also known as Applesnitches, a possible smaller sub-species of Bigfoot in Pennsylvania, four feet tall and less.

    American Maned Lions, a group reportedly shot in PA in the early 1800s, skins were kept for years after, still sighted occasionally.

    “Little people” pygmies of the mountains of Wyoming, possibly related to the two tiny mummies found there in caves.

    Wooly Mammoths, a living remnant existing in Siberia or Alaska.

    Just a sampling…

  27. MattBille responds:

    It’s hard to berlieve that story about Cousteau and Lake Tahoe. Is there an authoritative source?

  28. AtomicMrEMonster responds:

    mystery_man:

    Jacques Cousteau never visited Lake Tahoe. In fact, this story seems to be based on old rumors that he saw large amounts of preserved dead bodies at the bottom of the lake! You can read more about it at the Nevada State Archives website. It’s in an article called “Getting to the Bottom of Lake Tahoe” by Guy Rocha (“Myth #151″ on the website).

    The story seems to have taken on a life of its own, as it’s now being claimed that he said this after a camera was lowered deep into the ocean while trying to film a giant squid, only to film something else.

    As for the Tsuchinoko, I’ve heard theories that the legends were based on people seeing snakes that had recently eaten a large meal, giving them a bulky appearance.

  29. mystery_man responds:

    AtomicMr.Emonster- That is very interesting news about Lake Tahoe. I don’t even remember where I heard that anecdote, so I certainly had not accepted it as absolute fact. It was just an interesting account that I have heard and it has stuck with me for some reason. I am fascinated how these stories sort of propagate and take on a life of their own like that. Thank you for the wonderful information regarding this story!

    As for the tsuchinoko, you are very right that one of the theories regarding the snake is that the stories are based on misidentifications of recently fed snakes. This seems like a good possibility, however a very clear distinction has always been made by villagers who supposedly have seen the tsuchinoko between it and other snakes. It is also very interesting to note the tsuchinoko’s purported phenomenal ability to jump and agility that seem odd to be attributed to a well fed, gorged snake. Other classic tsuchinoko hallmarks are their unique vocalizations and the aforementioned ability to roll along the ground.

    Like I said, there are a lot of far fetched properties given to the tsuchinoko, so it is hard to tell what reality any of the stories may be based on. I would say that in my opinion it is highly doubtful that a snake would ever evolve this sort “rolling wheel” form of locomotion and the jumping abilities seem exaggerated to say the least for such an apparently fat and heavy snake. But the appearance of the snakes is very distinct and the sounds they are reported to make are curious. The tsuchinoko may be somehow rooted in sightings of well fed snakes, but I think the stories could have also sprung from any number of possible reasons and perhaps there is a slight chance there could be a real unknown snake of some sort behind them. I am skeptical, but there is a chance. It is important to remember that many animals in Japan have been traditionally said to have mythical powers, including the very real wolves I mentioned before, so who knows?

  30. AtomicMrEMonster responds:

    mystery_man:

    That’s the problem with legendary creatures, you can’t do any good in-field investigations since the sightings happened so long ago and the witnesses are all dead. This also makes it hard to tell if the characteristics of the creature were real or not. It also makes it hard to tell if they were trying to “save face” by saying what they saw didn’t look like known snakes or if they were they telling the truth. Thanks for the information on the tsuchinoko!

  31. jerrywayne responds:

    I would have to say the King Cheeta. Unless it is just a freak, I would say the one film of the animal is intriguing enough to warrant keen interest.

    My wife is from a part of Mexico where the onza is considered a different cat altogether from the puma. This might just be cultural: I know people in Texas who think, similarly, that “panthers” are different from pumas.

    And I often wonder what has happened to the “Queensland tiger”. This cryptid used to be mentioned more often than now. (At least from my readings over the last few years.)

  32. corrick responds:

    AtomicMrEMonster responds:
    August 15th, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    “That’s the problem with legendary creatures, you can’t do any good in-field investigations since the sightings happened so long ago and the witnesses are all dead.”

    If by legendary creatures you also mean older historical sightings, I couldn’t disagree with you more. There are many good reasons why eye-witness testimony is the lowest form of scientific evidence, and I’ve found that if there is sufficient data in a sighting report it doesn’t matter that much if it ocurred yesterday or 300 years ago. All that really matters is the scientific rigor used to evaluate the data from sightings.

    Scientific knowledge is never static. In 2007 we know perhaps twice as much about animal behavior than we did even 50 years ago. And every month, every year we know even more. When you apply all this new knowledge from all the sciences (and not just zoology), it is amazing how much you can determine from alleged sightings, new or old.

    Just as a simple example, less than 100 years ago, even the most educated zoologist would never have considered an animal vagrant or varient to explain any animal sighting.

    Jerry,

    The King Cheetah has recently been shown to be a genetic mutation among normal South African cheetahs although as Matt Bille wrote, “it could still be evolution happening before our eyes.”

    The Queensland Tiger is what Matt meant earlier by the “Yarri.” Call it political correctness.

  33. aspenparkland responds:

    Two little known cryptids from Canada’s north are the Tygomelia, most likely a tick infested Moose, and the Popcornfish [PDF] from the Yukon.

  34. mystery_man responds:

    AtomicMrE- The accounts of tsuchinoko go back about as long as people have been in Japan and while we can only speculate about the actual origins of these accounts, it is important to note that these sightings are not confined to hundreds of years ago and the witnesses are not all dead. Tsuchinoko sightings continue to this day and there are even a field groups that routinely go out trying to find them. Whether it exists or not, it is certainly not a long dead legend and we do not have only old accounts to go by. The stories, accounts, and eyewitness sightings of tsuchinoko are very much alive today. They maintain a heavy presence in folklore and even pop culture in Japan as well.

  35. corrick responds:

    mystery_man, let me play bad cop to your last post about the “tsuchinoko.”

    You wrote, “The accounts of tsuchinoko go back about as long as people have been in Japan.”

    My reply… you have recorded anecdotel evidence of “tsuchinokos” going back 32,000 years?

    You wrote, “Tsuchinoko sightings continue to this day and there are even field groups that routinely go out trying to find them. Whether it exists or not.”

    My reply… and so do people today look for crop circles, ghosts, dinosaurs etc, etc.

    My advice to you, if you’re actually interested in understanding the likely reality of the “tsuchinoko,” is to start by reading a book or two on Japanese reptile natural history. Otherwise, it’s all about folklore, not science.

  36. mystery_man responds:

    Corrick- Of course I didn’t mean for 32,000 years. I was being a bit sarcastic there and I suppose it was a little lost on you. I was merely trying to illustrate that the stories of tsuchinoko go back to early Japanese recorded history. Sorry if that created some confusion.

    If you read my posts earlier, you would see that I am not embracing the tsuchinoko as real and in fact have stated the reasons why I am skeptical about it being a real creature and I made it very clear that it is deeply rooted in folklore. I don’t understand your allusion to crop circles and whatnot nor see how that is relevant to me stating the fact that tsuchinoko sightings continue to this day and that groups do go out and look for them, which in itself was used to illustrate that this is not long lost Japanese folklore. I have not stated that tsuchinoko is anything other than this except to say that many real animals here have been attributed mystical powers and so there is a chance that maybe something is there. This should be a reasonable thought to someone who is interested in cryptozoology such as you and I. I am actually more interested in it as a folkloric animal, but you never know.

    Also, what do you mean by the “likely reality of the tsuchinoko”? There is really nothing in Japanese ecology that completely discounts the possibility of an unknown snake. I am not saying it is actually there, but your certainty about its “reality” is off base. I am an avid researcher of Japanese ecological systems and native fauna here and I happen to live in Japan as well. I do know about native Japanese wildlife, so I do not really appreciate the recommendation that I “go read a book about it” as you say. I suggest that if you really want to understand the tsuchinoko yourself, then you could maybe go read a book or two about Japanese folklore yourself or perhaps bone up on your “facts” about Japanese animals. I’d be happy to discuss it with you, but try not to make assumptions that I do not know about Japanese reptiles.

  37. mystery_man responds:

    Corrick- I would like to say that my mention of groups searching for it and sightings to this day were mostly a response to Mr AtomicEmonster to show that the tsuchinoko is not a long forgotten creature with sightings that happened long ago or with witnesses long dead. Although obviously not documented since prehistory, it is a legend that goes back a very long time. I merely meant to show that sightings still happen in modern times and did not intend to necessarily give credence to these expeditions as scientifically sound endeavors.

    Please do not let my obvious interest in the folkloric elements of the tsuchinoko or my exaggeration of how long they have been reported lead you to believe that I am not trying to approach the phenomena in a scientific manner. I am well aware of natural history of Japan as well as Japanese fauna and am trying to separate possible fact from probable myth, which is hard to do sometimes when many animals in Japan are seeped in it. I will say that there is nothing in the natural history of reptiles in Japan (I have probably read way too many books on it) that discounts the possibility of a new snake, although it is probably not nearly spectacular as some of the stories would have us believe.

    To be honest, as I have said, I am skeptical of the existence of the tsuchinoko and believe that the theory of it being a well fed snake could have some merit. I have already given the reasons why I believe some of the features of the tsuchinoko are not plausible for a real creature and why I am skeptical of some of the accounts. I agree that it is highly likely we are dealing with folklore here, but I wonder if there is not perhaps something to the stories as many Japanese animals have myths attached to them.

    I am fairly certain that if there was a new snake in Japan, we would find that it does not jump or roll or mimic voices as in the more far out sightings, although it could be of a unique fat shape and may be capable of the unusual noises it is said to emit.

  38. Mnynames responds:

    I don’t mean to open up a can of Tsuchinoko here, but if I may pose a question to our resident Japanese cryptid expert (And that’s not a dig, it’s a compliment), what’s your take on the Kappa?

    I first learned of it through my readings on Japanese mythology, and years later, was quite surprised to see it considered by some to be a possible cryptid (Kind of like saying centaurs or satyrs are cryptids…then again, people are still seeing them too).

    As for the Japanese ascribing mystical powers to conventional animals, I know that the fox is in a category all its own when it comes to that sort of thing, yet nobody disputes that they exist.

  39. Mnynames responds:

    In thinking on the matter, my list of neglected cryptids seems to include a lot that are likely to be extinct, so I suppose I’m approaching the subject with a slightly more historical frame of mind (At least tonight). Ones that intrigue me, and seem likely, are the Shunka Wara’kin, Izcuintlipotzotli, Camazotz, Atlas Bear, Irkuiem, Bai-Xiong, Nandi, Dobhar Cu, Bunyip, Waitoreke, Megalodon, Sapo de Loma, and Earth hound (The Bosnian Beast?). The Thylacine, Almas, and Sasquatch would be on this list too, were they not talked about so frequently.

    Someone with enough time could probably develop quite a case for the Wodewose/Wudewasa (European Wild Man) being an unknown hominid wiped out by encroaching humanity. After all, someone’s already tried to prove he’s Santa Claus.

    Ones that intrigue me, and just seem freaky, would be the Hide, Lindorms, Minhocao, Mulilo, Beast of ‘Busco, Flying snakes, the Giant Salmon of Lake Hanas, Giant Toads of Hubei Province, Sanderson’s bioluminescent lizards, bioluminescent frogs seen by Jonathan Downes, Tatzelwurm, Loveland Frogmen, Steller’s Sea Ape, and of course, Trunko. The Yowie and Skunk Ape would be on here too, except they still get good press.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve already won the award for #1 cryptid name-dropper on this thread!

  40. mystery_man responds:

    Mnynames- The kappa is a creature that I tend to feel ranks as a mostly folkloric entity, up there with other creatures like the centaur that you mentioned. The kappa was mostly considered a fairly malevolent water imp that was known for its mischief and evil deeds. In order to feed, it was said to drag all manner of animals and even humans into the water with its supernatural strength and proceed to suck out their entrails, leaving only a husk. If you were to battle a kappa, it was said that you should cause it to spill the water in the cup in its head in order to weaken it. Even so, the kappa was said to be benevolent at times and is credited with teaching humans the medical practice of bonesetting. The kappa is featured in many, many Japanese myths and fables and is attributed a great many characteristics that seem very unlikely for an actual creature to have. Again, it is a creature with which it is hard to discern any possible facts from fiction, especially since the stories go back so far and have changed over the ages.

    I do feel that there could be a real animal somewhere behind the stories, as definitely there are real Japanese animals that seem downright magical if one is to look at the folklore attached to them. The kitsune (fox) that you mention features heavily in Japanese myth and is a prominent fixture of countless old tales. The fox was said to be the servant of the rice god, Inari, and is prominently represented in shrines devoted to this deity. Kitsune were also said to have many evil powers, such as the power to possess an unsuspecting person’s soul, and there were actually exorcism rites for dealing with those possessed in such a way by foxes. All this despite the fact that it is a very real creature. The same goes for the extinct Japanese wolf, the tanuki, Japanese monkeys, snakes, and others. So with the kappa, who knows? Maybe there is some sort unknown animal, a grain of reality at the heart of these stories, but it is hard to say what it could be when considering the outlandish properties it is said to have.

    I personally feel that although sightings of the kappa continue to this day, they tend to be in a category somewhere along the lines of sightings of little green men. The sightings are not usually incredibly reliable in my opinion and they are not very frequent, so i take them with a grain of salt. While I will say there is the chance that a real animal lies at the core of the myths, I tend to feel that this is likely a folkloric creature we are dealing with here.

  41. AtomicMrEMonster responds:

    mystery_man:

    Wow, I didn’t know this thread was still going, so I apologize for the late reply. Anyway, thanks for clearing things up about there being recent tsuchinoko sightings. The wording in one of your earlier posts made it sound like (at least to me) the tsuchinoko was just an old legend, like unicorns in European folklore.

  42. mystery_man responds:

    MrAtomicEmonster- Yes, I still think there is a likelihood that the tsuchinoko is an old legend. There are some intriguing aspects to the story, but as my posts have alluded, I am a bit skeptical that it could be real. Most Japanese these days would scoff at the idea that it is a real creature, but yet the sightings persist. I am interested in getting to the bottom of how the stories all started and why the sightings endure to this day. Funnily enough, a few years ago, there was said to be a tsuchinoko that was actually captured and put on display. Last I heard, it was due to be tested although I have waited for further developments, I have heard nothing since then.

  43. timbo21 responds:

    My list includes stories of giant sea turtles that are said to measure over 40 feet in lenght and the New Guinea lizard that is said to be a 30 foot long monitor lizard. The largest sea turtle that ever lived was Archelon that swam the seas during the Jurassic Period. It was 12 feet long. I doubt that a turtle the size of a whale ever exsisted. The largest known monitor lizard was Megalania.

  44. timbo21 responds:

    Anyone ever hear of the God Bear of Kamchatka? This bear is said to measure 9 feet tall at the shoulder (that’s standing on all 4′s) and weighs in at over 2000 lbs. My other favorites include the mysterious 30 foot long plus Great White Shark, the 40 foot long monitor lizard that lives in New Guinea and the giant sea turtle that is said to measure 40 feet long and has a shell that measures 30 feet high. There is no evidence that any of these animals ever existed. The Short Faced Bear is the largest bear that ever lived but died out about 10,000 years ago. The largest monitor lizard was Megalania. It lived in Australia. The largest sea turtle was Archelon that lived during the Cretaceous Period. It measured just over 13 feet long. And my favorite cryptid stories are those of giant great whites. I love sharks. The Great White Shark is my favorite. According to eye witnesses these sharks measure between 30 to 40 feet in length. If you believe the stories they’ve been caught in nets, harpooned and even landed by rod and reel. Yeah right! Then there is the story of the 115 foot shark sighted off Broughton Island, Queensland Australia. The largest great white measured only 21 feet. The biggest predatory shark that ever lived was Megeladon. It measured 50 feet or more. However Megaladon died out 2 million years ago. The Meg is my favorite prehistoric animal. The super predator of all time. But they are extinct. With the exception of Megeladon, no specimens, teeth, credible photographs or video images exist that prove that any of the above cryptids ever existed. I think the stories of ape-men, sea serpents, lake monsters and unknown animals are myth. Until real evidence emerges, I will still have doubt about the existence of these animal.

  45. Amdusias responds:

    Puckwudgies.

    Little three feet tall folks, covered in slick fur that take over beaver-dams, and steal shirts off of clothes lines. (that would be a full garment for a tiny person, and presumably they don’t have a textile industry of their own..) They live up and down the White River in Indiana, and are responsible for making the “arrow shot” or tiny arrow heads that most anthropologists call “ritual objects”.

    I grew up hearing about them, and the older folks in my family all swear by them. They used to get into the barns in Beanblossom Indiana, and give birth, then run back to the river.

    The only place I have ever seen them published is in Fate magazine, but I grew up taking for granted that they were real. From my great-grandmother: “Oh heavens yes, the puckwudgies, when I was a little girl pa found a mess of ‘em in the hay loft, as they do when one of ‘ems givin’ birth….daddy killed ‘em with a shovel…some nights I still think I can hear ‘em a screamin’….”

  46. Terry W. Colvin responds:

    I spent many vacations at my Grandma’s house alongside the White River just west of Petersburg, Indiana. I don’t recall any mention of these creatures.

    I forwarded this e-mail to my cousin Chris who may know something.

    Best

  47. ukulelemike responds:

    I live in a small area of Northern California, called Herlong. I have heard stories of the Herlong Sage Monkey, a tiny, tail-less monkey-type creature, maybe a foot tall, with a fine fur the color of the local sagebrush. because of their size and coloration, they are virtually never seen. Heck, the antelope can stand around in the sagebrush and not be seen. I live out in the desert and have yet to see one, but you never know; the desert is a big place.



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