Cool Cryptids: 14 Amazing Animals of Myth & Legend


Amazingly bizarre creatures are still being discovered around the world practically every week, and it wasn’t that long ago that we thought Komodo dragons, giant squid and platypi were mythical beasts. So is it possible that a lightening-spitting giant worm, a slimy river imp or a fat walking snake really exist? These 14 ‘cryptids’, creatures that have been reported but never confirmed, range from the seemingly possible to the laughably absurd.

Mongolian Death Worm

(image via: buzztab)

What’s so special about the Mongolian Death Worm that makes cryptozoologists spend their life savings blowing up the desert in search of it? Well, it can supposedly shoot lightening out of its rectum long-distance, for one. The blood-red, acid-spitting cryptid is said to be up to five feet long with spikes protruding from both ends. Mongolian nomads have reported on its existence for centuries, but despite night-vision goggles and camera-equipped ultralight planes, it has never been confirmed as a real creature.

Trunko the Furry Fish

(image via: the cryptozoologist)

What’s big as a whale and furry all over – with an elephant trunk? You might guess ‘mammoth’, except for the fact that this particular cryptid has the tail of a lobster and swims underwater. Trunko is the affectionate nickname given to the “fish like a polar bear” which was reportedly sighted in South Africa in 1924. The strangely bloodless carcass washed up on Margate Beach and despite being there for 10 days, no scientist ever investigated it. One explanation is that the specimen was a whale or shark that appeared furry due to decay.

Yowie the Hairy Hominid

(image via: crikey)

Everybody knows about Bigfoot and Yetis, but have you ever heard of a Yowie? Australia’s furry man-like creature has been a part of Aboriginal legend for centuries and is said to be 7-8 feet tall with bright red eyes and a body odor problem. Is it some undiscovered primate? Nobody knows for sure – one supposed “sighting” turned out to merely be a particularly hairy naked man running across the highway.

Chupacabra

(image via: holamun2)

What’s killing livestock in places like Puerto Rico, Chile and Mexico? Maybe it’s local predators like coyotes – or maybe it’s the Chupacabra, a persistent cryptid that supposedly sucks the blood of animals like goats. The so-called ‘bizarre’ mutilations of these dead animals has never been confirmed and though many a captured specimen has been declared to finally be a real Chupacabra, they’ve inevitably been identified as raccoons, possums and other everyday animals rendered hairless by skin disease.

Kappa – Slimy Japanese River Imp

(image via: pink tentacle)

It looks sort of like a child, but with the glistening skin of a frog and unusually thin, gangly limbs. The Kappa is one of Japan’s most famous cryptids, an amphibious creature that leaves a trail of slime wherever it goes. In 1984, a specimen was supposedly spotted at the edge of a river in Tsushima and the slime taken to a lab for analysis, but the sample was too small to be useful. Another reported encounter involved bizarre footprints in a home that left a gooey mess that even paint thinner couldn’t tackle.

Windigo – Cannibal Night Monster

(image via: bill casselman)

First, it invaded the body of an ill man as a lump of ice in the heart. Soon enough, the man would turn black with frostbite, begin vomiting ice and develop an insatiable craving for human flesh. In some northern Algonquin-speaking Native American tribes, the “windigo” was the unfortunate result of a man gone completely insane. Sometimes, the transformation was said to have been caused by cannabalism. But in nearly all cases, the man was said to turn into a gigantic nocturnal beast all too eager to feed upon the innocent.

Bladenboro Beast

(image via: hubpages)

What sort of creature could kill multiple pit bulls and drain their blood? Why, it could only be a hulking vampire creature resembling a cross between a wolf and a bear, of course. The Bladenboro Beast, named after the area it has reportedly terrorized since the 1950s, was spotted by a number of locals, one of whom described its “round face, shiny eyes and large teeth.” While locals still claim to catch glimpses of it today, some who believe the story think it might actually be a big cat – which are also a sort of cryptid, at least in this area. Reports of panthers in North Carolina have never been confirmed, either.

The Dover Demon

(image via: wikimedia commons)

This sketch of the ‘Dover Demon’ of Massachusetts is so alien-like, it’s easy for skeptics to dismiss reports of its existence as utter hogwash. But believers say this bizarre hairless creature with a watermelon-shaped head and orange eyes might have been some kind of mutant – and some believe that it really was an alien. One witness wrote next to a sketch he created “I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature.” Others seeking a scientific explanation wonder if it could have been a newborn moose – do you see any resemblance?

Minhocao

(image via: wikimedia commons)

Could the mythical minhocao of South America’s forests be a gigantic subspecies of caecilians – amphibians that look like earthworms? The minhocao (“big earthworm” in Portuguese), which is said to burrow underground, is believed to be a relic of the dinosaur age. Sightings were mostly reported in Brazil during the 19th century. Some people think that minhocaos are still spotted but accidentally reported as another cryptid, the giant anaconda.

Gnome of Girona

(image via: anomalia)

Is the creature seen in this jar some kind of undiscovered animal, an abnormal fetus or just a hoax? Dubbed the “gnome of girona”, it was captured by campers in Spain and supposedly lived for a few days before it was preserved in formol by parapsychologist Angel Gordon and shown all over Spanish television.  According to Wikipedia, “The connection between the pictures and how they reached the media is obscure, qualifying the whole story as a hoax of dubious authority.” Some experts believe it may be the fetus of a cow.

Tsuchinoko

(image via: pink tentacle)

Perhaps the photos that supposedly show a creature known in Japan as the tsuchinoko are just a case of mistaken identity. Some argue that what you see here is just a snake digesting a huge meal, or an escaped exotic pet. But tsuchinokos have been reported since the 7th century, and considering some of the other bizarre creatures that have been confirmed as real lately, it wouldn’t be too surprising if this were really an undiscovered species. Japanese legend only serves to muddy the issue, however, with claims that the creature talks, with a propensity for lying and a love for alcoholic beverages.

Beast of Gevaudan

(image via: wikimedia commons)

Okay, so the Beast of Gevaudan doesn’t really have bizarre metal scales as portrayed in the movie Brotherhood of the Wolf. But the cryptozoological animal that the movie’s antagonist is based upon is known as a vicious man-eating wolf with huge teeth and longer-than-normal tails. The creature is blamed for attacks in the French village of Gevaudan between 1764 and 1767, with a death toll of over 200 people. Some say it could have been a wolf-dog hybrid, and others believe it was actually a werewolf.

Montauk Monster

(image via: wikimedia commons)

When a frightening-looking corpse washed up on the beach of Montauk, New York in 2008, onlookers joked that maybe it came from Plum Island, where the USDA runs an animal disease center. The corpse was likely bloated from its time in the water, but speculation has deemed it everything from a turtle without its shell to a raccoon to a dog. The current location of the body is unclear, making some people wonder whether the whole thing was a hoax.

Sea Monsters of All Stripes

(image via: wikimedia commons)

What creatures make up the biggest chunk of cryptids? Sea monsters, of course – there are so many of them, we could easily make a list that consisted of nothing but these mysterious underwater creatures that may or may not exist. It’s understandable – the sea is a strange and somewhat frightening place packed full of creatures that seem like they couldn’t possibly be real. Notable maybe-real-or-maybe-not water monsters include the infamous Loch Ness Monster, Chessie, Isshi, Kraken… the list goes on and on.

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