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Updated on January 7, 2014

Myths, Mysteries and Monsters

There have been monstrous creatures in every culture since prehistoric times. Folktales and legends about bizarre creatures and epic battles between good (hero) and evil (monster) are found all over the world.

Do these legends and myths form the basis for the strange creatures people report seeing or are these stories based on happenings with real beasts?

drawing by Sandra Wilson
drawing by Sandra Wilson


Monsters from Myths

Hidden animals are defined as cryptids and are classified as humanoid (human-like); draconic (reptile-like) or animals. Many of our ideas of monsters are influenced by the creatures of mythology we read about.

photo from wikimedia commons
photo from wikimedia commons

Are there really hidden animals to discover?

Discovering cryptids

In the late 18th century stories of an Australian beaver that had the bill of a duck and could lay eggs were told in Europe, it was then that they discovered the Platypus. Natives of East Africa had centuries of stories about mountain men or monstrous apes, they were later classified as Mountain Gorillas. It may seem strange that these animals were once cryptids since we have known about them all our lives. But, discoveries of cryptids are still being made today

Download the entire unit study to find out about more cyptid discoveries.

Extinct, Endangered and Threatened

Some animals stay hidden for so long because there is only a small number of them that still exist. And sometimes, animals that were once deemed extinct are rediscovered. Animals that are low in population numbers can be classified as extinct, endangered or threatened.

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

How do animals stay hidden?

Each year scientists discover new cryptids. Some are classified, others are re-discovered and still others remain cryptids until more evidence can be found.

Where are all these creatures hiding?

Animals can remain to be hidden creatures because of aspects of environment or biological characteristics of the animal. If animals live on the outer edge of places inhabited by people they are less likely to be discovered. You are less likely to see an animal if it lives in an area that you never go to. Also, if the land or climate of the area is harsher for people to exist in, they will not be roaming around so much and therefore not chance upon seeing the creature.

photo from wikimedia commons
photo from wikimedia commons


Some cryptids are downright monstrous. Although many of the cryptids discovered and classified become part of the animal kingdom, some stories and sightings that keep cryptozoologists busy feature, what people claim to be, monsters, aliens and who knows what!

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

Sea Monsters

Stories of sea monsters date back to ancient times when sailing was hazardous. Many ships would disappear without a trace leading people to imagine that sea monsters had dragged them down. There are more than 1200 written accounts of people seeing sea serpents or sea snakes. Are these stories based on real monsters or imagined out of fears?

Did You Know

The largest Giant Pacific Octopus ever found weighed 600 lbs and had a tentacle span of 30 ft.

Loch Ness - One of the most famous cryptids


another famous cryptid

Stories of a big ape-like, upright walking creature covered in dark brown hair have existed for centuries. The creature has been called many different names usually depending on the area the sighting occurred.

Bigfoot is the name the creature is called in the United States. In Canada he is called Sasquatch. A creature spotted in the Himalayan Mountains is called a Yeti. In China it is a Yeren, in Australia a Yowie and in South America a Mapinguari.

Did You Know

Giant footprints near a worksite in California in 1958 led to a newspaper story penning the name Bigfoot for the first time.

Science of Sasquatch - Cryptozoology

Be a Cryptozoologist - discover cryptids yourself!

photo by Sandra Wilson
photo by Sandra Wilson

Start your own study of hidden animals - what kind of creature do you think is in this picture?

Discover more about the Science of Cryptozoology when you download the entire unit study.

For the complete unit study message us through hedremp at yahoo dot ca

Do you think Loch Ness or Bigfoot exist?

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    • cyberflutist profile image

      cyberflutist 4 years ago

      No, I don't think so.