Cryptozoology studies cryptids or animals whose existence is or has been questioned by the scientific community. Some people refer to it as “monster hunting.” Finding and proving the existence of these creatures is a great mystery to stimulate the imagination.
1. Big Foot, Yeti, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman — one cryptid, many names.
This cryptid is the most famous. In North America, it’s referred to Big Foot. In the Himalayans, it is the Yeti. The exact description varies, but in all descriptions it is a bipedal ape about 7′ tall. There have been numerous reports around the world. Find out more about this type of cryptid.
2. Loch Ness monster.
Nessie lives in Scotland. It is a dinosaur-like creature. A photo was taken and published in 1934, but there still is no proof that it exists. Many people have tried to find proof in Loch Ness (lake). Another dinosaur-like creature supposedly lives in Lake Champlain in the US. Find out more about this type of cryptid.
In relation to other cryptids, the chupacabra is new with first sightings in 1995. It is supposed to be between the size of a dog and small bear. It has been reported in Latin America and up into Maine. Some believe they are diseased coyotes. Find out more about this cryptid.
The ogopogo is believed to be in Lake Okanagan in Canada. Sightings have been reported since 1860. It looks like a cross between a dinosaur and a serpent. Find out more about this cryptid.
5. Jersey Devil.
The Jersey devil is believed to be a winged bipedal horse in the United States. It dates back to the 1700s. Claims of red eyes and a high-pitched squeal as well as many more are made every year. Find out more about this cryptid.
The mokele-mbembe is believed to be a reptile in the Republic of the Congo. This is a modern dinosaur with a body like an elephant and a long neck. Sightings go back to 1776. Many expeditions have failed to bring back proof. Find out more about this cryptid.
The mothman is believed to be a winged biped in the United States since 1966. It is man-sized and gray with glowing red eyes. Find out more about this cryptid.
The naga is believed to be a large snake found in Thailand and Laos. It is a serpent which creates fireballs which raise into the air and disappear. Find out more about this cryptid.
Many believe merpeople (mermaids and mermen) are hoaxes. They are said to be a combination of humans and fish that can be found in waterways worldwide. Find out more about this cryptid.
10. Do you own search.
Find out if there are any cryptids in your area. If not, find one that interests you and research it. How does it compare with the other cryptids? What proof exists?
No longer cryptids
The platypus was isolated in its Australian habitat. George Saw wrote about in 1799. Its unusual physical characteristics prevented it from zoological acceptance for a long time. Find out more about the platypus.
The okapi in central Africa looked like a zebra or donkey. It is related to giraffes. It wasn’t officially described until 1901. Find out more about the okapi.
13. Giant squid.
Found in the ocean depths, reports of giant squid date back to Aristotle. The first confirmed carcass was in 1870, but modern researchers didn’t obtain one until the 2000s. It can grow over 40 feet in length. Find out more about the giant squid.
14. Komodo dragon.
This previous cryptid from Borneo wasn’t accepted until 1910. Living in an isolated area helped keep it hidden. Find out more about the komodo dragon.
15. Do your own search.
Find out a creature that was previously listed as a cryptid. Find out what happened to give it authenticity to the scientific community.
Activities for kids
16. Color sheets.
Coloring sheets are a great way to introduce cryptids to kids. Pick a cryptid or two and find color sheets for them.
17. Design a cryptid.
Using Legos®, clay, drawing or any other materials, create your own cryptid. In addition to a physical representation, also create a habitat and other descriptive elements for your cryptid. Remember the following:
- Cryptids tend to be found in isolated areas
- Cryptids tend to be solitary and avoid humans
- Cryptids tend to be small on land
- Cryptids can be animals believed to be extinct
18. Trading cards.
Make trading cards of existing or imagined cryptids. Include information to help identify your cryptid. Make copies to share with others.
19. Finding proof.
What kind of proof is needed to prove a cryptid exists? Explore the following:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Historical evidence
- Expert interviews
- News reports
- Footprints or other physical evidence
- Bones / parts of creature
- Actual creature
20. Collect evidence.
Learn how to make footprint casts, collect hair samples, document sightings and collect other evidence for scientific research. What tools do you need to collect evidence? Create a field journal to document your work.
21. Believers versus skeptics.
Pick a cryptid and look at both sides of a specific cryptid. If you are working with others, create two groups and have one present a believer’s point of view and one a skeptic’s.
22. Cryptid hunt.
Create a cryptid hunt for others to try. What “evidence” can be placed to find on the adventure? If you are unable to provide the actual experience, roleplay a cryptid hunt.
Sites to Explore