The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Abominable Snowman all fall into one category: the pseudoscience of cryptozoology. Wikpedia defines cryptozoology as "The search for animals that fall outside of taxonomic records due to a lack of empirical evidence, but for which anecdotal evidence exists in the form of myths, legends, or undocumented sightings."
I find these creatures endlessly fascinating. Do I necessarily believe there is an ape-man lurking in the Washington forests, frightening hunters and living off the land? No, not really. But I don't necessarily NOT believe, either. There could be such a beast. Even a race of them. Likely? No. Possible? Yes, I think so. But if not Bigfoot, then perhaps Nessie. And if not Nessie, perhaps something else. They could very well be lurking in some misbegotten jungle where no man has stepped foot in many a year. They could be swimming in the bottoms of lakes where townspeople fear to tread. Or, let's face it, they could be hiding in the bushes outside of your house right now. If I were you, I would bring a flashlight with me next time I went outside at night.
The Happy Time CryptoZoo!
Please Don't Feed the Cryptids.
Exhibit #1: BIGFOOT
The creature known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch is probably the most well known of the cryptids. Legends about an ape-like creature in the Pacific Northwest stretch back into the days of the indigenous Indians. In 1967, the infamous Patterson-Grimlin film came to light, claiming to capture the beast on video. The film has been largely debunked since then (including a friend coming forward and claiming to have worn the ape costume in the film), but it nevertheless provides many with the evidence they need to believe. Those who aren't convinced by this film may be interested in checking out more solid evidence that Bigfoot is indeed among us.
Exhibit #2: The Loch Ness Monster
Of all the cryptids, this is my favorite. I think it's because when you look at that vast lake in Scotland, it really does seem possible that a prehistoric creature could be down there. Or maybe it's because illustrations of the ancient plesiosaur (which many Nessie scholars claim the cryptid is) always scared the Loch out of me when I was a kid. But I think most of all it hearkens back to a carcass found by Japanese fisherman in 1977. Though nowhere near Loch Ness, this photo gives irrefutable evidence of a plesiosaur having swam the ocean waters in our lifetimes. Well, depending on how old you are. Take a look and gasp in horror:
Now, this photograph is not without its share of controversy. Because of the horrible stench the carcass gave off, the fishermen quickly threw it back into the ocean. Subsequently, it was never available for detailed research. This has allowed certain scientific killjoys to claim that the carcass has nothing to do with the Loch Ness Monster, a plesiosaur, or anything else that might be halfway fun or wondrous. Instead, they insist that it was nothing more than the rotting corpse of a basking shark.
Well, that thing is even freakier than a plesiosaur. Believe what you want, but I think that this time, science got it wrong!
Exhibit #3. The Abominable Snowman
The Yeti, as he is called in his native land of Tibet, is a creature not unlike Bigfoot, except for his surroundings. I like this one just because I like the word "abominable".
Exhibit #4: Chupacabra
Now we're just getting into some weird crap. Chupacabra (whose name literally translates into "goatsucker") is most often found in Spanish American communities such as Mexico and Puerto Rico. As can be derived from the name, it feeds off livestock, drinking the blood to keep it nourished. Wait. . .that is what you derived from the name, right?
Exhibit #5: The Mongolian Death Worm
If you're ever travelling through the Gobi Desert, you might want to keep an eye out for this fellow. It has a variety of ways in which to kill you, and I don't doubt for a second that it will try each of them in turn. Way number one: spew sulfuric acid on your face and skin. Way number two: kill you with an electric charge from afar. Way number three: you'll likely die of a fear induced heart attack just by seeing a five foot long blood red worm in the middle of the Gobi Desert. What the hell were you doing in the middle of the Gobi Desert, anyway?