Cryptid sightings aren’t usually taken too seriously by people, but it’s worth noting that it doesn’t always mean something impossible. Some rare animals which were once believed to be imaginary later turned out to be real. For a better idea about a realistic, practical definition of the word, read this article and find out more about what the word “cryptid” means. Still, most people who are into cryptid sightings want to hear the juicy stuff, so here’s the scoop on the weirder ones:
Bigfoot, Nessie, Mothman, Chupacabras…
These classic cryptids have been around for ages, and their legends will never die. Bigfoot hunters continue to comb his “home”, the woods of the Pacific Northwest USA … but did you know that there are more Sasquatch sightings in Staten Island than any other borough of New York City? Most Mothman sightings were in 1966 and ’67, but people still claim to be visited from time to time. Despite originally being a Latin American critter, there have been several Chupacabra sightings in India and Pakistan lately, up to the summer of 2019. And Apple Maps may have accidentally captured a photo of the Loch Ness Monster in April 2014.
Mermaids! Wait, really?
Less popular (but even older) than those other classic monsters, mermaids are a very old legend spread by sailors; the mainstream explanation is that these guys were probably mistaking manatees or other sea mammals for women in the fog and darkness. Whatever the source, it hasn’t been that long since several mermaid sightings occurred in Israel. In 2009 there were multiple reports, and in 2013 a youtube video was captured of what seems to be a mermaid sitting on a rock near the shore before turning to look at the camera … and then swimming away.
Goatman? Dogman? Skinwalkers?
The internet has resulted in a rush of new, strange cryptid sightings, often with conflicting names and descriptions. Sometimes conflated with traditional Native American stories about Wendigos and Skinwalkers, stories often presented in the format of first-person “creepypastas” tell tales of animals behaving like humans, humans behaving like animals, and shapeshifters changing from one form to another — sometimes infiltrating a group of campers by imitating one of their numbers. Some of them seem highly intelligent, while others are just humanoid shapes seen in the distant shadows, resembling a goat or a dog (or other animals) walking upright. The North American Dogman Project has a website to collect stories and evidence, and stories of sightings include Wyoming and Colorado as recently as 2018. Goatman has been seen around the country as recently as 2018.
Rake, Slenderman, and Crawlers
It’s important to note that Slenderman was deliberately created as an internet hoax to see if a new cryptid could find its way into our urban legends, and was largely successful — to the point that two young women committed attempted murder in the cryptid’s name in 2014. A similar being called the Rake may have also been artificially created, or based on real legends going back to the 1600s; three teenagers claim to have seen the Rake near Austin, Texas in 2017. In any event, creepy stories about tall, slender, pale figures are very common today, sometimes collected together under the generic name “crawlers”. A subreddit now exists to track and map crawler sightings around the world and has been updated with first-hand stories as recently as 2019.