Cryptozoology: The Most Ignored Branch of Science?
It's the year 1798, and British explorers are trekking through the vast landscape of Australia when they come across something that seems to be the stuff of legends. It's a creature with a duck's bill, a beaver's body, and an otter's feet. Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be venomous and it lays eggs. Naturalists in Europe denied it's existence immediately and searched the sample they were given relentlessly, trying to find the stitches of a skilled taxidermist. This creature is now known as a platypus, but at one time it was considered a fairy tale. A cryptid.
But what is a cryptid? Cryptids are creatures that are not guaranteed to exist but are not completely out of the question. Common cryptids are species such as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Loch Ness Monsters. The scientists that search for and study cryptids are called cryptozoologists. Although it sounds far fetched, cryptozoologists and other explorers have had a lot of success finding cryptids in the past. Animals such as the okapi, the giant squid, the komodo dragon, and the gorilla were denied by the scientific community for years before actually being verified, and it appears that more are on their way.
Megafauna, naturally mutated and diseased animals, and other undiscovered creatures may well roam the earth without our knowing. Behind each creature, there are many possible explanations. Below is a list of some of the more modern cryptids that cryptozoologists are spending their time looking for. In parenthesis behind the name of the cryptid and its description, you'll find what some scientists believe might be the true, logical story of these beasts.
Krakens, a sea monster in the oceans (A giant squid?)
Loch Ness Monster, a sea creature hiding in the lakes of Britain (An eel, seal, or surviving race of plesiosaurs?)
Bigfoot, a large humanoid roaming the forests of North America (Likely some sort of ape)
Chupacabra, a beast that drinks the blood of goats and sheep (Possibly a bunch of diseased coyotes?)
Mongolian Death Worm, a huge, deadly work that kills things (Believed to be a type of snake)
Yeti, a large humanoid roaming the Himalayas (Similar to Bigfoot, probably an ape)
Thunderbird, a large bird that creates storms (A large bird that doesn't actually create storms, just doesn't mind flying through them)
Mothman, a Virginian devil (Origins unknown)
Hopefully this gives you a good idea of what cryptozoology is and why it is important. There are no bounds to what might exist alongside us!