Top Ten Zoological Myths and Mysteries

Are you one of those people who don’t believe we know everything that is out there in the world? If you cling proudly to your “I Hunted Nessie” shirt and tear up every time you hear about a new Bigfoot sighting, this is the list for you. It chronicles the ten most awesome mysteries that plague the field of Zoology. Technically, these are examples of Cryptozoology, but that would imply they aren’t real, and they totally are—right?


10. Mermaids:

We probably aren’t talking about Ariel and Triton, here, but there have been reports of mysterious pseudo-humans living in the water for thousands of years. There are even cave drawings located at the edge of long-dry ocean beds in the Egyptian desert that seem to depict a group of regular old two-legged people being threatened by creatures that have the torso of people and the tails of fish—and are brandishing spears. One of the prevailing theories of these creatures is that they are an evolutionary hiccup that happened when our ape-like ancestors wandered to the edge of the ocean and eventually just wandered right on in. It is thought that mermaids cooperate with deep ocean animals to hunt for food and stay out of sight of humans. Just don’t tell Flounder.


9. The Yeti

This is not your happy-go-lucky Christmas friend Frosty. The Yeti is also referred to as the Abominable Snowman because he is the often white-furred version of the Bigfoot that tends to live in snowy climates. There’s nothing quite like walking outside to get a nice breath of cold fresh air and admire a newly fallen blanket of snow only to find out that that snow bank you have been leaning on is actually an eight-foot tall monkey thing. Like the mermaids, there are signs of Yeti sightings since before recorded history.


8. Loch Ness Monster:

Nessie is perhaps the most beloved of all the zoological mysteries. Put aside that she might be a dinosaur left over from the end of their world that glides around in the inky black loch just waiting for an unsuspecting fisherman to fall overboard, and you have a pretty romantic tale. Hundreds of years’ worth of accounts speak of an enormous creature in the water, but only ever one. Could this be the oldest and loneliest mystery creature ever? Many people dedicate their lives to not only finding Nessie, but of figuring out what she is and how many more there are. She, of course, is not a unique story. There are apparently similar monsters in New York and Canada.


7. Chupacabras:

Literally “goat suckers”, these interesting little monsters originated in Latin America but have recently traveled their way up to North America as well. The legends began when a whole flock of eight sheep were discovered dead. They each had three puncture wounds in their chests and were completely devoid of blood. The chupacabra is generally described as being about the size of a small bear or large dog with spines down his back and scaly, reptilian skin. In North America the description changes a bit to more resemble a coyote or other wild dog, but with the same spikes. Apparently this creature hops like a kangaroo and goes after animals for the purpose of sucking out all of their blood.


6. Giant Sloth:

This is a mystery that is not so much a mystery but a big question mark. There is actual paleontological evidence that demonstrates that ridiculously huge versions of the cute, super-slow animals did exist in prehistoric times. Now, ridiculously huge is not an exaggeration. We’re talking a skeleton of an animal that looks exactly like the sloths we know and love, but is twenty feet from his head to his tail and would belong to an animal weighing 4 TONS. That’s over 8,000 pounds! The question mark comes in in that there are people who claim to have seen one of these supposedly extinct uber-mammals roaming around in Georgia and the Amazon Rain Forest.

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