List these cryptids among your top 10 mystery creatures of all time.
Mystery creatures or cryptids are among the most talked about, celebrated, and written about 'animals' that we know of, but their existence is still a big question. For some of these mentioned here, the known is as undetermined as the unknown, and yet their celebrity is unique and unquestioned.
North America is home to many of these unsubstantiated creatures but they seem to exist the world over. Sea serpents, black dogs, and even the lizard man seem to be on every continent from Africa to Australia and beyond.
In the U.S. they have been seen from Georgia to New Jersey, and from New York to California. Even the Canadian wilderness is not without its fabled creatures and tall tales of animals that seem to come and go as if they were never there.
Here is a short list of the most famous and infamous of the lot to remind you that we're not alone in this world. Included are some that you have most likely heard of, and maybe a few that you haven't. Read on and remember!
This isn't the only mystery creature said to haunt the land of the maple leaf, but it's one of the most famous. The backdrop for Ogopogo is Okanagan Lake in British Columbia. Said to have been sighted by First Nation peoples since before the turn of the century, the 40-50-foot serpent seems to live in the deep waters of Okanagan and show itself to those lucky and patient enough to wait for it. In 1926 at Mission Beach, the sheer volume of witnesses to sight it--over 30 cars--was surprising; they all described seeing the same thing.
Lake Champlain has borders on New York, Vermont, and even Quebec to the north. For over 300 years, Natives such as the Iroquois have reported seeing something looking to be an elongated serpent-like creature "thick as a barrel, and a head like a horse" roaming the lake. The included video is purported to have be taken in Lake Champlain of the famous monster, but it remains up to the viewer to decide if this is indeed some kind of monster caught inside of a freshwater lake.
Folktale, myth, or some other reasonable explanation? The mothman is so specific in its place of origin that many have considered its existence to be real based on that alone. In mid-November, 1966 near Point Pleasant, West Virginia, men digging a grave reported seeing a winged 'man' fly low over them in the first sighting, and a few days later two couples were said to be followed by a flying man with huge wings. In the days to follow, other folks saw it as well, particularly in the area known as the TNT site: an old WWII munitions dump.
7. Jersey Devil
Is there a flying animal with the head of a goat and leathery wings living in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey? That's what some have been saying after seeing it and hearing its blood curdling screams. Perhaps the tale is explained by the legend of Mother Leeds: her 13th child born on the Pine Barrens allegedly changed into the demon and flew away.
The goat-sucker gets its name from the Portuguese language. It was first reported by people in Puerto Rico, but has been seen all over South America and parts of southern North America. It is supposedly on the heavy side and about the size of a small bear, with a row of spines extending from the back of the neck to the base of its tail.
5. Loup Garou
The Cajun Werewolf is the stuff of legend in the Bayou State. It's said that the Loup Garou is the result of a witch's curse that will cause that person to remain a werewolf for 101 days. Could this be some kind of carnivorous refugee from the Scotland Moors of European lore?
It also happens to have a relative that lives north of the border...
According to an Algonquian myth, once a Wendigo eats a person, it grows immediately, making it impossible for it to ever be full. Due to its gluttony, it is constantly eating yet is never satisfied, and always on the brink of starvation. In November of 1930 a trapper by the name of Joe Labelle stumbled upon the deserted village of Anjikuni Lake and found signs that the people had mysteriously disappeared without taking a thing with them. Could it have been the Wendigo?
"The abominable snowman is not a myth" Those were the words of famed mountaineer Tom Bourdillon when he wrote a letter home after seeing the footprints on the glacier near Mount Everest that started the legend. Since that time the fabled beast has been sighted many times by many reputable people, but still never proven.
2. Loch Ness Monster
Since 1933 Loch Ness has been host to an incredible (and dubious) amount of sightings of Nessie, otherwise known as the Loch Ness Monster. While many have dubbed it a hoax, still more have not only sworn to its authenticity, but have become true believers. While the jury is still out, people in the scientific community have remained to try and find out the final truth of what Nessie could really be.
The most famous cryptid out there has to be Bigfoot, or as Native Americans called it Sasquatch. It is the subject of TV and movies, documentaries, whole magazines, and what seems like half of all YouTube videos. The famous Patterson film started it all, showing a huge bipedal creature clearly moving through a clearcut area and disappearing into the timber. There is the Skunk Ape of Florida, the Honey Island Swamp Monster of Louisiana, the Grassman of Ohio, and even Whitehall, NY is known as a Bigfoot haunt.
These supernatural creatures of the western world may exist, depending upon who you talk to, all bear believing in, or none of them at all. It's still fun to reacquaint ourselves with some of these myths, legends, and possible realities just to entertain our sense of adventure.
And that's what we are at our core: adventurous outdoorsmen and women that love to a challenge and a good argument over what is real or not in our natural world!