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A cryptid is an animal whose existence is not confirmed by science. The study of these creatures is known as cryptozoology. Those that study the existence of cryptids are called cryptozoologists. Cryptids have been sighted and documented for centuries. There are hundreds of creatures thought to be in existence today. Some of the more popular cryptids include, Bigfoot, the Lochness Monster, and Werewolves.
 Famous Cryptids
Bigfoot is probably the best known cryptid and was first sighted in the 19th century. The creature is described as being nearly eight feet in height with thick, brown fur covering its entire body. Bigfoot is "frequently reported in the Pacific Northwest area of America (roughly the states of Washington, Oregon and the northern part of California) and also found in similar habitats in western Canada, possibly as far north as Alaska. The creatures are often sighted in family groups, with arrangements that would suggest they seem to follow the human rule of pair-bonding with one male and one female staying together to raise their young. They seldom use tools more sophisticated than a branch, do not wear clothing, and cannot speak, although they have a wide variety of calls that might count as language to another Bigfoot." There are several different theories surrounding the Bigfoot mystery. One theory suggests Bigfoot came from the creature and Neandertal mating sometime around 28,000 years ago. Many people have dedicated their lives to finding the creature. Bigfoot, sometimes referred to as Sasquatch, is one of the world's greatest mysteries.
The Loch Ness monster, another famous cryptid, was first sighted in Scotland in the 1930s. Nessie, which the creature is often called, is described "as having sleek, rubbery blackish-gray skin, about twenty feet long." The creature has a serpentine-like body, like that of a sea monster and a head shaped like that of a horse. "The typical Nessie does roughly resemble the average sea serpent, but it lives in the biggest freshwater lake in Scotland instead of the ocean." Experts offer a variety of different explanations, one of which is that the Loch Ness monster is in fact a zeuglodon due to the fact that Nessie has been spotted several times with horns. "The idea of horns may sound ridiculous, but they would make sense if the Loch Ness monster is actually a zeuglodon, a weird primitive whale, because the zeuglodons were only a few steps removed from the mesonychids, ungulate predators, and ungulates often have horns." Whether or not Nessie truly does exist is up for debate, but reports of sightings continue to catch the attention of avid crytozoologists today, like they did 90 years ago.
Werewolves "In folklore, werewolves are people who sometimes shapeshift into wolves. Because werewolves are usually thought to be part of the supernatural, they are seldom investigated by people working in the field of cryptozoology. After all, cryptozoologists are trying to discover new species of animal to be accepted by the mainstream scientific establishment, not resurrect mythical beasts. And werewolves seem to be about as far to the mythical side as beasts can get." Still, cryptozoologists are not quite ready to rule them out. Werewolves, also known as Lycons, have been sighted all across the world for centuries. There have even been several books and movies on the creatures and the legends surrounding them. Legend has it that werewolves are men that can transform themselves into a wolf like creature. They turn on full moons and can only be killed by silver bullets. Professional cryptozoologists in the fringe department offer a few other explanations. "Some researchers think that these sightings may represent a hidden species of hyper-intelligent wild dogs that evolved to become bipedal and therefore, these dogs coincidentally ended up looking something like a cross between a person and a wolf. Other researchers try to classify these cryptids as a subcategory of Bigfoot with long snouts and pointed ears, or as sightings of Bigfoot where the witnesses panicked so much that they superimposed werewolfish features on what was actually an ordinary Bigfoot. Only a few cryptozoologists think that werewolves are actually people who can shapeshift into wolves, because it is hard to think of a scientific, biological explanation for shapeshifting that doesn't involve dozens of absurdities. The few researchers working in fringe cryptozoology who actually believe in shapeshifting tend to ascribe this power to aliens in one way or another, either by saying that werewolves are actually aliens masquerading as human, or by saying that werewolves are the result of alien experiments on human beings."
 Lesser Known Cryptids
While there are several well-known cryptids thought to be in existence today there are also a number of secret animals that hide in the shadows and are not as recognized by the public. Some include: Moth man, the Chupacabra, the Jersey Devil, and the Yeti.
Mothman-According to the legend Mothman was first spotted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the 1960s around the towns TNT area. He is described by those who have seen him as being grey and wearing no clothing. His body has a human shape but "has huge wings instead of arms, and he has gigantic red eyes that glow." He is about five feet in height. He has been spotted several times over the past fifty years by those who live in town.
The Chupacabra is found in Mexico and has been spotted there since the 1970s. In appearance the Chupacabra has "large eyes that are usually red or orange and about the same size and shape as an egg, a mouth full of big fangs, sharp claws on the hands and feet, a bunch of spikes or spike-like fins running in a row down the spine, a bipedal stance, three-toed hind feet that might also be webbed, and a hind portion shaped like a kangaroo with oversized legs for jumping."
The Jersey Devil is a cryptid that has been spotted several times over 200 years in the state of New Jersey. "The Jersey Devil of folklore is a creature that may or may not be vaguely human-shaped. It has hooves, a snake's tail, bat-wings and a head that looks something like a horse. Altogether, except for being hairy in some reports, it roughly resembles a dragon."
The Yeti, also referred to as the Abominable Snowman, is similar to Bigfoot of the Pacific Northwest. The creature is spotted in the Himalayas. It is very similar in appearance to Bigfoot. The creature is around six feet in height and has long, shaggy hair, usually a whitish color. It has been reported that the Yeti has been spotted since the 19th century.
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