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What Is A Cryptid? And Are Cyptids Real?

If you are anything like me then you love a good mystery! As a kid, I was always fascinated by the unknown and unexplained. I remember spending hours paging through old books filled with stories about weird and scary creatures that defied explanation. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered that these creatures had a name: Cryptids!

So you might be wondering, what is a cryptid?

In this article, we are going to take a look at what these elusive creatures are and why they are surrounded by intrigue, mystery, skepticism, and speculation!

What Is A Cryptid?

A cryptid is an animal or creature that people believe is real but there is no solid proof or evidence available to prove that it does actually exist.

Cryptids are elusive creatures that are shrouded in mystery which makes them incredibly intriguing. Stories about them go all the way back to the beginning of human history with myths, legends, folktales, and stories being passed down from generation to generation.

The word Cryptid comes from the green word “cryptos” which means “hidden” or “secret”.

Cryptids form the basis of the field of Cryptozoology which formalizes the study of cryptids, what they are, and whether they are real. It can be said that Cryptozoologists are real-life cryptid hunters!

Cyptid Definition

If you are looking for a more formal definition of Cryptid then here is the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition:

An animal (such as Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster) that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Famous Cryptids

There have literally been thousands of unknown creatures and animals that have been recorded throughout the centuries! And while scientists are still trying to figure out whether they are real or not, this hasn’t stopped people from believing them.

Some of the most famous cryptids today include:

  • Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch)
  • The Loch Ness Monster (Nessie)
  • The Yeti
  • The Chupacabra
  • The Jersey Devil
  • The Mokele-mbembe

As of today, there is no scientific evidence to prove that any of these creatures actually exist. There are however plenty of things like eyewitness accounts, blurry photos, and in some cases video that many people believe is enough to prove that they are real. Unfortunately, none of the evidence so far is conclusive so the debate as to whether cryptids are real rages on!

Types Of Cryptids

Cryptids can be sorted into different categories depending on their general characteristics and where they are found. Here are some of the most common types of cryptids:

1. Humanoids and Hominids

Humanoid and hominid creatures are described as human-like or ape-like creatures. Examples of these types of Cryptids include Bigfoot (Sasquatch), the Yeti (Abominable Snowman), and the Solomon Islands Giants.

2. Water Creatures

This group of creatures is believed to live in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or oceans. Two of the most famous examples include the Loch Ness Monster and Champ, the Lake Champlain monster.

3. Reptilian Cryptids

Reptilian Cryptids are those that are described as reptile-like creatures. These include the Chupacabra, the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, and the Tsuchinko.

4. Flying Creatures

These are creatures that are said to have wings and have been reported as being able to fly. Examples include the Thunderbird and the Mothman.

5. Dinosaur-Like Creatures

This category of creatures includes creatures that look like prehistoric dinosaurs such as the Mokele-Mbembe, Orang Pendek, and the Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu.

6. Hybrids and Unusual Animals

Hybrid cryptids are a mix of different types of animals. They have unusual characteristics that set them apart from typical Cryptids. Examples include the Jersey Devil and the Loveland Frogman.

7. Feline & Canine Cryptids

This group of creatures includes creatures that are described as large feline or canine creatures such as the Beast of Bodmin Moor and Beast of Bray Road.

8. Supernatural And Folklore Beings

These are creatures that have supernatural or mythological qualities and include beings like Skinwalkers, Windigo, and the Kalanoro.

9. Cryptids From Specific Regions and Countries

Some creatures are associated with specific Geographic areas or cultures. These include the Yowie we from Australia, the Mapinguari from South America, and the Tokoloshe from South Africa.

10. Primate Cryptids

Primate cryptids are those that are believed to be members of the primate family which includes lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes. They have characteristics similar to known primates such as long tails and agility. A great example of a primate cryptid is the Kidoki from Madagascar.

Mythical and Legendary Cryptids

There are many mythological creatures from various cultures around the world that are considered to be cryptids. Just like the more modern cryptids that we discussed earlier, these creatures are also described as mysterious, elusive, and have not been proven to be real.

Some great examples of legendary cryptics include:

  • Dragons – Legends of dragons exist in many cultures and they are often described as enormous, fire-breathing, reptilian creatures.
  • Kraken – Legendary sea monsters found in Scandinavian folklore that were believed to live off the coast of Norway and Greenland which were described as colossal squid or octopus-like creatures.
  • Unicorns – Mythical horse-like creatures with a single horn on their foreheads.
  • Kappa – Kappa are found in Japanese folklore and are described as mysterious water spirits that resemble turtles or frogs.
  • Banshee – Banshees are supernatural beings from Irish folklore that it’s known for their eerie cries.
  • Werewolves – Mythical creatures that can transform between human and Wolf forms.
  • Fairies – fairies are small, mischievous spirits or magical beings that live in natural environments like Forest Meadows and gardens.
  • Selkies – Mythical creatures that can transform from seals to humans.

These examples perfectly illustrate how mythological creatures can blur the lines between fact and fiction especially when it comes to creatures like fairies that are surrounded by skepticism and are mostly considered to be fictional.

Skepticism About Cryptids

There is a fair amount of controversy, criticism, and skepticism around these creatures and cryptozoology in general which people often use to question the validity of reported sightings.

Arguments Against The Existence Of Cryptids

There are a few reasons why the scientific community in general doesn’t take the idea of cryptids that seriously. Here are a few of the arguments against the existence of cryptids:

Misidentification of Known Animals

One of the main criticisms against cryptozoology is that many creatures can simply be explained as known animals that have been misidentified. For example, many people say that Bigfoot is nothing more than a bear or ape rather than a new species.


Unfortunately, there have been many cases where alleged cryptid sightings have ended up being deliberate hoaxes. This does not bode well for the cryptozoology community who would like their work to be taken seriously.

Lack of Scientific Evaluation And Testing

Cryptozoology is often criticized for not using the same careful methods that traditional science does when investigating a subject. Many say that cryptozoologists rely too much on unverifiable stories rather than strict scientific methods.

Arguments For The Existence Of Cryptids

While there are many people who argue that cryptids aren’t real, there are just as many who do believe that there are elusive creatures in our world that we have not managed to confirm as real yet. These believers give the following reasons for their beliefs:

Credible Witnesses

There are many reported cryptid sightings and eyewitness accounts from people who are credible and cannot be dismissed as misidentifications and hoaxes. These witnesses are often from respected professions such as wildlife biologists, law enforcement, pilots, etc.

Unanswered Questions In Traditional Science

Cryptozoologists and other cryptid enthusiasts also argue that there are still many unanswered questions in mainstream science, especially when it comes to the diversity of life on Earth. They argue that there are new species being discovered all the time and that many of those challenge the norms of animals that we already know.

Our Scientific Understanding

Many Cryptozoologiests suggest that cryptids offer us alternative explanations for unusual activity that can’t be explained by our current understanding and knowledge of the world. For example, they argue that some cryptids might not in fact be biological animals but rather supernatural or paranormal creatures.

Ultimately no one really knows whether Cryptids are real or not. However, there are many creatures from the past who were once considered to be cryptids that have now been found to be real! So who’s to say that creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster don’t exist?!

Fun Facts About Cryptids

Lastly, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about cryptids!

  • The word “cryptid” was first used by zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans in his book “On the Track of Unknown Animals.”
  • There are thousands of different cryptids that have been reported all around the world.
  • Some cryptids are based on real animals that have been extinct for centuries, such as the dodo or the giant ground sloth.
  • Other cryptids are based on mythical creatures, such as unicorns or dragons.
  • Cryptozoology is not a recognized scientific discipline, but this hasn’t stopped people from studying it.
  • Some scientists believe that cryptids may actually be real, but simply haven’t been discovered yet. After all, until relatively recently, many scientists thought that giant squids and okapi (a giraffe-like animal native to Africa) were just myths. Now we know they’re real!
  • Bigfoot is probably one of the most famous cryptids today. But did you know that it is known by different names around the world? For example, in the Himalayas, it is called the Yeti, in Australia, the Yowie, and in the Pacific Northwest, the Sasquatch.
  • Despite the name, not all cryptids are necessarily scary or monstrous. Take the shy Jackalope for example. This rabbit is adorned with antlers and some might even say it is cute!


Cryptids are intriguing creatures that remind us of just how big the world truly is and of how many unchartered territories still lie within our own planet waiting to be explored. Whether you believe in cryptids or not, one thing is for sure, the world of cryptids is full of wonder and possibility just waiting for the next cryptid hunter to explore. Could that be you?

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