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Friday, August 20, 2010

Cryptic Creatures

I was reading this article of the day in the sidebar, and it's about a devilish creature that was observed in England in the 1800s that was said to have superhuman powers of leaping abilities and eyes shined bright red, and breathed fire. It was called the "spring-heeled jack". It was said to resemble a man who was tall and thin, and had a devilish grin, wore a cloak and had horns on his head. I've always been fascinated by cryptic creatures, but this one really struck a chord with me. It was probably the creature that gave rise to the theory of the bogeyman. I used to hear about him when I was little. My ma used to tell me that if I didn't go to bed when I was supposed to, the bogeyman would come and get me. Oddly though, he never sounded threatening to me! LOL! I always pictured him looking like just a regular man. In fact, I equated my image of him akin to a man that I used to see all the time jogging down our street! And he was a nice man. So I was not afraid of the bogeyman. But I always went to bed when I was supposed to anyway. But after reading this article, I figured he had to be the image my ma was trying to convey to me as a child. I don't know why parents do that really. The scare tactic doesn't work with all kids! It didn't with me. But then I don't really scare that easily. That may be hard to believe, me admitting I don't open my doors at night, and barely during the day unless I know the person behind the door! But hey! Better to be paranoid and not open the door at night, than open to a stranger, and be dead later. Or disappeared would probably be worse. But anyway! This was an interesting article! It got me thinking today about some other cryptic creatures I've always been fascinated by! I will look at some of those here.

Cryptic creatures have always been a source of fascination for me. I love watching shows like Monsterquest when I can catch it on television. They have done some fascinating stories on there. Some of these cryptics can be explained. After all, less than 100 years ago, the giant panda was thought to be a cryptic animal. Today, it is one of the most familiar animals on the planet, and the largest member of the raccoon family! Yes, raccoon! Though some people think they are bears. The mountain gorilla is another animal that only 100 years ago was considered a cryptic animal. Today, they have been extensively studied, and known to be the largest primate, but also the most gentle. Some cryptid creatures that keep me interested in this subject are:

Mothman: This is a replica statue that was made of the creature that terrorized a West Virginia town in the late 1960s. His eyes were said to have glowed deep red, and some people reported he had no head at all, but rather had his eyes affixed to his chest. But he was reported to have wings like those of a moth, and to fly at fantastic speeds! He never killed or even harmed anyone, but he was very scary to those unlucky enough to encounter him. Because the area he was first spotted in was the site of an ex-Federal Bomb and Missile Factory, it was believed for a long time that this creature was the end result of a military experiment gone wrong.

Mongolian Death Worm, also known as Allghoi khorkhoi: This is an interesting tale of a huge worm-like animal that lives under the sands of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. It is said to be 3-5 feet long, and spews out either sulfuric acid, which turns anything it touches yellow, or corroded, or stuns it's victims with electricity. It is said to be as thick as a man's arm, and to touch this creature means instant death, as the natives believe merely the skin is toxic.

The Jersey Devil: This creature has one of the most interesting stories of all. It was birthed from a normal (though what is today considered wiccan) mother. It was her 13th child, and someone wished the baby to be born a monster. The baby was born blond-haired and blue eyed, like a normal baby would be. Immediately after she gave birth to this baby, it grew wings, and grew a grotesque figure and flew up the chimney out into the pines and disappeared. This animal is said to be bipedal and have horse-like hooves, like the picture posted here. Hardly looks threatening! But those who encounter it say it is a terrifying creature! Though I don't believe anyone has ever been physically harmed by this creature, they were blamed for livestock killings in the 19th century. A carcass of a creature fitting the description of this animal was found in 1957, and in 1960, a local merchant offered $10,000 to anyone who could bring him a live specimen of this creature.

Bunyip: This is an animal of Australian folklore. Though the creature in this picture resembles a large dog, coming up out of the water to snatch an aboriginal man. There are actually as many different descriptions of this creature, as there are stories told about them. Literally! Some have said it resembles a cross between a dog and a horse. Some say it is a large humanoid primate, like Bigfoot. One of the reasons this creature fascinates me so much is due to a documentary I saw about it back in 1991. It told the story of a British explorer in the 1880s, finding a dead specimen of what was believed to be a bunyip. He took it back to England, and showed off the skull of the creature found. It had a long nose, long tusks, and a single eye in the middle of it's head. Others thought it was a truly new species, but the explorer told that it was not a new species, but in fact a deformed fetus of a horse. Today, it is believed that the bunyip is actually fur seals, which sometimes make their way up the Murray and Darling Rivers, where the legend of the bunyip began.

Chupacabra: This is one of the most fascinating cryptic creatures of all IMO. It's name is actually taken from two Spanish words, which mean "goat-sucker". This was derived from the fact that when this creature first started to rear it's head, goats and sheep were it's primary victims. Though they have never been known to target humans, they have targeted (besides sheep and goats) chickens, rabbits, horses, cattle, donkeys, and most recently, dogs and cats. They are evidently working their way up to human victims! There have been many sightings, most of them in Puerto Rico and Mexico. It has been said that any animal that falls victim to Chupacabra is completely dried out, and often some organs are missing. But the carcasses are almost never fully devoured. Descriptions of this creature vary by locale. Puerto Ricans tend to describe a creature that resembles the one in this picture. While in Mexico, a more batlike creature with wings is described, and in the southwest USA, a bipedal, doglike creature is described.

Cadborosaurus: Also known as "Caddies". I first heard about this creature on Unsolved Mysteries, where they showed the picture to the left here, taken in October of 1937, of a 30-foot long creature that was found partially digested in the belly of a sperm whale. The whale was taken on a whaling exposition in Cadboro Bay in Victoria BC. When the whale was dissected, they found the partially-digested carcass of what appeared to be a giant sea serpent. It had a camel-like head and an eel-like body, probably moved through the water in an undulating fashion. It had 4 flippers which also probably helped it swim, and a fanlike tail.

Well, there's my interesting list of cryptid creatures that I find most interesting. Of course we all know about Bigfoot. There has actually been so many sightings of Bigfoot, that there is now a motion in action to get the creature recognized by science. So what will be next? Anyone's guess!
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