When I was a kid, my dad and I always talked about Nessie or Bigfoot or whatever else. We read about them, watched TV shows about them, and on and on. It wasn’t just cryptids, though, it was anything weird, unexplained, unsolved, or just generally mysterious. Over the years it led me into an interest in true crime via unsolved killings/disappearances/etc. as well as a weirdly broad knowledge of famous hauntings. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for a few mythical-ish animals beyond Nessie and Co.
In Ireland there is a story of a half dog/half otter (or half dog/half fish). Look at those teeth, guys. That otterdog will mess you up then float down the Loch holding hands with its little dobhar-chú friends. Did I mention they travel in pairs so one will get you if the first doesn’t? They do. As I have never been to Ireland, I have no idea if this is true, but according the very legit-seeming Cryptid Wiki (and the actual Wiki page) there are dobhar-chú referenced on at least one gravestone from the 17th century. The image to the left was drawn by an eye witness named Sean Corcoran fairly recently. I like the idea of a vicious otterdog.
According to my Google Translate research, Orang Pendek is Indonesian for ‘shorty people’ which seems fair. The tallest of the Bigfoot-ish cryptids are said to get to 5 feet, so I’ve beaten them by 1.5 inches. They are found on the island of Sumatra in a crazy remote rainforest. The first white dude who recorded a sighting of the Orang Pendek was an Italian traveler in the 1300s, but his writings were apparently a mess. It’s been reported that the people who live on the island of Sumatra have legends dating way back about the people who live in the forest alongside them. The majority of this paragraph comes from the Wikipedia article and is pretty loose on where the claims come from. The entire idea intrigues me, though. A lost hominid roaming an island rainforest is a pretty cool thought. People have launched searches for them at least as recently as 2011, by the way. In case you want to add something really weird to your resume
That’s a ridiculous image of the Ogopogo, a lake monster that lives in Okanagan Lake in British Columbia. Apparently it’s been hanging out since at least the 1700s, but the first ‘recorded’ sighting (ie – a white lady saw it) was in 1873. A man named Bill Steciuk saw Ogopogo in 1978 and runs a website dedicated to the creature and documents sightings, etc. He also sells t-shirts, if you’re interested. I love this site because people have sent in their experiences and you can read actual reports instead of ‘these people toootally saw X’ articles. I sort of hope that Ogopogo is chilling in Canada just being super reclusive because humans are the worst.
Lizardman of Lee County
While I definitely prefer my cryptids to be of the ‘ehhhhh…..could be possible I guess’, this is a home state legend that I can’t not mention. Also, Shane’s family lives in rural Lee County, so I travel through the Lizard Man’s hunting grounds regularly. Basically, this gigantic lizard-like fella roams Lee County in central South Carolina being a creep, attacking people/cars, and generally being obnoxious. He’s 7ish feet tall, with red glowing eyes, and is a bipedal reptilian. Lee County loves the Lizard Man; besides the sign for Harry & Harry Too, a restaurant in Bishopville, 2018 was the first year of the Lizard Man Festival and Comic Con. There are other random bits of local flair that have to do with the Lizard Man, and everyone has an opinion on what he was/is. Alien or mutated lizard are the two most popular theories. Mysterious Universe has a really good, really comprehensive article about the Lizard Man with some really great images.
On the opposite end of the spectrum of cryptids, there’s the thylacine, aka the Tasmanian Tiger. Everyone can agree that there was a large marsupial roaming Australia/Tasmania/New Guinea that looked like a dog but wasn’t a canine. The last scientifically accepted thylacine died in 1936. The zoo thought it would be able to find a new thylacine rather quickly and they were super wrong. There have been literal thousands of sightings of thylacines since the 1936 extinction even though indisputable proof has yet to be produced. The Wikipedia article’s references section is incredibly extensive if you’re interested in learning more. The protections for thylacines put into place 2 months before the last captive died are still in place, just in case. I always root for the underdog and I honestly hope there are pockets of thylacines out there.
This is by far the longest post I’ve written, so I’ll sign off now. I hope you enjoyed a little bit of the weirdness that is cryptozoology, even if I didn’t go too in depth.