Cryptid is the official name for semi-mythical beasts, the sasquatches and swampmen of the world. The kind of critter that your uncle saw during a mescalin bender back in '68, and has never shut up about. Some of them are awesome figures of myth and legend, designed to scare little children at night. Some have entered the cultural lexicon, like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Others? Well, they're just lame.
15. The Nessie Name-alikes
Bessie, Chessie, Tessie, Messie, and Pressie. Any time a large, reptilian lake creature is found, they all take on rhyming names with their most famous cousin, Scotland's Nessie. However, instead of having a lake monster of international repute, you get Chessie, of Chesapeake Bay. While large aquatic cryptids are firm part of the overarching supermyth of modern monsters, copying an already famous one? That's just lazy.
14. Kala Banda, the Indian Monkey Man
Many of these cryptids are things we think of as being rooted in a time when people were more gullible and foolish. Then we get something like the Monkey Man of India, a mass hysteria event that popped up in New Delhi in 2001. Apparently, a short monkey/man was attacking people all throughout the city, and people died trying to escape houses where he was thought to be killing. A number of people were badly beaten because they were mistaken for the Monkey Man. The only reason he isn't higher on this list of lame cryptids? His description is actually kinda scary! He was " about four feet tall, covered in thick black hair, with a metal helmet, metal claws, glowing red eyes and three buttons on its chest"
13. The Beast Of Bray Road
Oh, Wisconsin. The state of beer and cheese; but all the beer is Miller, and all the cheese Velveeta. Only you could come up with a legend so ill-defined as the Beast Of Bray Road. See, the only thing people can agree about this guy, is that he's hairy. He might be a shaggy man/sasquatch. Or, he might be a bipedal bear creature. Or a two legged wolf. Or a werewolf. So, he's big, hairy and carnivorous, and a few people thought they saw him. Great work there, Wisconsin.
The Batsquach retains at least a tiny degree of awesomeness, due to it's descriptive name. Bat+Sasquatch=Batsquatch. Pretty much says it all. He's meant to hang around Mount St Helens, and is described as having purple skin, red eyes, pterodactyl wings and a primate/bat head. In other words, he's a purple version of Man-Bat. Except, the fundamental physical limitations of this creature are just mind-boggling. A winged primate would require exceedingly light bones, and very high muscle density in order to lift its body, if it had the mass above, say, a house cat. It would most likely be a glider rather than much of a flier, like heavier birds tend to be. And purple skin? What sort of evolutionary advantage would that have? You'd just stand out, day or night.
11. The Jersey Devil
No, not Snooki. Rather, a flying bipedal horse, which is said to haunt the southern area of the state. Tales of it have been kicking around since the 1700, when a demon child was said to have been born of "Mother Leeds". She already had 12 children, and said if she had a 13th, it would be from the Devil. Sure enough, one dark and stormy night, she popped out her 13th, and it transformed into "a creature with hooves, a horse's head, bat wings and a forked tail". 300 years later, and its still being spotted pretty regularly, as recently as September of last year. In 1960, a $10,000 reward was offered for its capture, but its greatest fame was in 1909, when thousands of people claimed to have seen the cryptid over the course of a week. Another $10,000 reward was offered at this point, causing a hoax entry, made by sticking wings on a kangaroo. Where in the hell did they find a kangaroo in Jersey, is what I want to know.
10. The Sea Monk
The Sea Monk is a hilarious example of what happens when you base all your knowledge of a creature on hearsay, and half-seen glances. The Sea Monk was, well, an evil fish monster that looked a little like a monk. It was thought to be hanging around the North Atlantic in the 1500s, doing the usual monster stuff, you know, eating maidens and terrorizing bumpkins. Except, it was most likely a seal or walrus. That's right, large sea mammals that were widely hunted throughout northern Europe for thousands of years. But now it's a monster! Oooohh...creepy! Actually, that image of the Sea Monk is kinda scary. Imagine waking up to see that looming over your bed.
You know you're a shitty cryptid when a) you're named after the least scary insect ever, and b) you get a Richard Gere movie made about you. It's a Mothman, what's it going to do? Fly into your face at night, and get weird dust on you? Flutter about a light source uselessly, until someone squashes it? Seriously, if you're going to cross a human with a horrific giant insect, try something a little scarier. Maybe a Bombardier Beetle? Because moths haven't creeped out anyone who isn't a 12-year old girl in hundreds of years.
8. The Goatman of Maryland
Now then class, what do you call a half-human/half-goat? That's right, a faun! Or satyr, if you're Ancient Greek. If we follow the classical description, they just drink huge amounts and have orgies all day, or in the more modern style of C.S. Lewis, they wear scarves and invite little girls to tea. In one situation, you have a party animal who would feel at home at any university function, and the other a gentle avuncular type. Neither is a cause of fear or terror, unless you're a tea-merchant, low on stock. Again, if you want to make a crazy mythical scary human hybrid, go for an animal that doesn't produce delicious milk products. A goatman is about as scary as a cowman. Perhaps, next time, try hippopotamusman. They are the most dangerous animal in the veldt, after all.
7. The Dover Demon
Why is it that almost all of the creatures appear in America? Is there something about the psyche there that makes people think they're seeing creepy crawlies? Or is it just people hit the moonshine more than they should? Anyway, the Dover Demon was spotted in Dover, MA, in the 70s, and stands out as being a rather particularly freakish sounding cryptid. It had a large, watermelon shaped head, glowing orange eyes, thin arms and legs with slender fingers, rough brown skin, with no nose, ears or mouth. It was thought to turn transparent at night. While creepy in the unsettling and gross way, hardly the stuff of nightmares. In fact, it sounds a lot like some of the descriptions of prototypical-aliens—the Greys.
6. The Beast of Busco
The Beast of Busco is at least a vaguely scary concept, even if utterly impossible. Deep in the backwoods of Indiana in 1949, a story arose of snapping turtle that was 15 feet long. It killed a number of farm animals before it was allegedly caught. A farmer spotted the animal, and called the police. They came to the scene, who devised a plan to drag it from the water with chains pulled from four Clydesdales. The animals were evenly matched, and eventually the chains shattered, and the turtle escaped. Busco is a little cool, that at least it's a creature that isn't usually cryptid-associated, but I'm pretty sure that the square cube law means that a turtle could never, ever grow that big. And even if it did, do you honestly think it would be agile enough to kill a farm animal?
5. The Flatwoods Monster
Another of these possibly alien types, the Flatwoods Monster appears to be someone's hellish vision of a nun, mixed with alien effects budget of the final season of the original Star Treck. Standing 10 feet high, with bulging eyes, a heart shaped red face, and in a pleated green skirt, the Flatwoods Monster terrorized a group of preteens, who couldn't decide if it had short stubby claw arms or not, when later asked. It reportedly made a shrill hissing noise, and glided around. You know what else has a shrill hiss, heart shaped face, glides, and could easily be misconstrued by terrified 12 year olds? A barn owl. Oh, hey there Occam, how're you doing, and how's your razor?
4. Canvery Island Monster
This cryptid is a prime example of people jumping to conclusions, without asking even basic questions about what's going on around them. In 1954, a 2 foot long ugly mess of flesh washed up on the beach of Canvery Island. It was said to hav thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and gills. It was also described as having hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches but no forelimbs. It was promptly cremated. A second one washed up a year later, double the length of the first. My lord there must be a whole family of pink, squishy, two-limbed ocean dwellers! Only, it seems that this horrific, terrifying, physically abnormal cryptid was most likely either an anglerfish or batfish that washed up on-shore. A little decomposed, just enough to make it hard to identify, and a fish type that wasn't very common in those parts.
3. The Elmendorf Beast
This creature was accused of killing livestock around Elmendorf in Texas. It was a hairless dog-like creature, that supposedly killed a number of animals owned by farmers in the area. In 2004, a rancher shot what he thought was the creature, which only weighed about 20 lbs. Since then, two other similar animals have been killed. On examination, the general consensus is that they're either Mexican Hairless Dogs, or Coyotes with a bad case of mange. Nice one, guys. You just killed either a very sick coyote, or a rather pathetic excuse for a dog. Way to blame mythological creatures for you just being a dick.
2. The Globster
Lets say you're on the beach, and you happen upon a decaying mass of flesh, washed up on the shore and rotting. It has no distinguishing features, and no bone structure as far as you can tell. What's the most logical explanation: a) a heavily disfigured animal corpse, b) a chunk of whale blubber or c) a monster! If you chose c), congratulations, you've spotted a cryptid. That's right, whenever anyone finds something they don't understand washed up on beach, it's automagically a monster. There have been at least 17 globsters, most of which were probably just a rotted hunk of a large sea mammal, that came in with the tide.
1.The Montauk Monster
What did I just say about washed up animals? Jesus, are you folks even listening to me? I swear, jeez. Okay, lets run through the list of features. Animal washes up on beach. Check. Media panic? Check. Monster claims? Double check. This time it was in 2008, in Montauk, NY. This ugly mess was found on shore, and rapidly became the center of media storm? What was it? It's a mystery! Scramble the Scooby gang! Except, you know, it was just a decomposed raccoon. Wow, exciting! That's it. I give up on you lot, if you think a rotten raccoon is media-worthy.