STRANGE ANIMALS & CRYPTOZOOLOGY
PAGE 3
  G GAMBO "Gambo" is the name given to a carcass of an unidentified large marine animal that was reportedly washed up on Bungalow Beach in The Gambia. The carcass of the Gambo was reported to have been discovered by 15-year-old Owen Burnham and his family on the morning of June 12, 1983. Owen, a wildlife enthusiast, decided to take measurements and then make sketches since he did not have a camera at the time. According to later testimony, he did not think to take a sample until after he realized he could not identify it in any books. According to Owen, local villagers called it a "dolphin", but that was likely only because of the superficial similarity. The carcass was later decapitated by local villagers, and the head was sold to a tourist. Its body was then buried and attempts to relocate it have failed. After Owen mentioned the carcass in a newspaper article three years after the event, it caught the attention of cryptozoologist Karl Shuker who requested more information on the carcass. According to Owen, the carcass showed little or no signs of decomposition and measured around 15 feet in length. The coloration was brown on top and white below, and the skin itself was smooth. The most specific measurements were taken on the head, which was 4.5 feet in length. It had a beak measuring 2.5 feet long, 5.5 inches tall, and 5 inches wide with 80 uniform and conical teeth. A small pair of nostrils were present at the tip of the beak. The somewhat domed head measured 10 inches tall and 1- foot wide, and had small eyes. The front pair of flippers measured 1.5 feet long by 8 inches wide. One of the rear flippers was badly damaged and nearly torn off, revealing some intestine. The waterlogged and bloated body was around 6 feet long with a 5-foot girth. No fin was present on the top of the animal. The tail was long and pointed, and measured around 5 feet in length.  Some, such as paleontologist Darren Naish, question whether the carcass ever existed in the first place. Naish expresses doubt that the carcass was real, and finds it suspicious that no sample was taken. Cryptozoologist Chris Orrick proposed that it was a severely mangled Shepherd's Beaked Whale that was twisted so that the dorsal fin and genital slit lined up, giving the appearance of a torn off limb. Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe speculated that it may be an unknown form of Beaked Whale. Another common suggestion is that the carcass is some sort of surviving prehistoric reptile. Shuker proposed initially that it was either a pliosaur or a thalattosuchian crocodile, but later referred to it as "the last of the mosasaurs." GAROU Rougarou represents a variant pronunciation and spelling of the original French loup-garou. According to Barry Jean Ancelet, an academic expert on Cajun folklore and professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in America, the tale of the rougarou is a common legend across French Louisiana[citation needed]. Both words are used interchangeably in southern Louisiana. Some people call the monster rougarou; others refer to it as the loup-garou. The rougarou legend has been spread for many generations, either directly from French settlers to Louisiana (New France) or via the French Canadian immigrants centuries ago. In the Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans, and the sugar cane fields and woodlands of the regions[citation needed]. The rougarou most often is described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend. Often the story-telling has been used to inspire fear and obedience. One such example is stories that have been told by elders to persuade Cajun children to behave. According to another variation, the wolf-like beast will hunt down and kill Catholics who do not follow the rules of Lent. This coincides with the French Catholic loup-garou stories, according to which the method for turning into a werewolf is to break Lent seven years in a row. A common blood sucking legend says that the rougarou is under the spell for 101 days. After that time, the curse is transferred from person to person when the rougarou draws another human's blood. During that day the creature returns to human form. Although acting sickly, the human refrains from telling others of the situation for fear of being killed. Other stories range from the rougarou as a rabbit to the rougarou being derived from witchcraft. In the latter claim, only a witch can make a rougarou—either by turning into a wolf herself, or by cursing others with lycanthropy. GAZEKA Monckton's Gazeka, also called the Papuan Devil-Pig, is a cryptid, an animal said to have been seen on Papua New Guinea in the early 20th century. It is said to resemble a tapir or giant sloth, having a long, proboscis-like snout, and some theories suggest it may be the descendant of an extinct marsupial belonging to the family Palorchestidae. Totally separate from that cryptid (to which the name 'Monckton's Gazeka' was confusingly applied by person(s) unknown) is the 'real' Gazeka, which was the creation of the English comic actor, George Graves, who introduced it as a bit of by-play in the musical, The Little Michus at Daly's Theatre, London, in 1905. A contemporary magazine described it thus: "According to Mr. Graves, the Gazeka was first discovered by an explorer who was accompanied in his travels by a case of whiskey, and who half thought that he had seen it before in a sort of dream." Graves's idea became a fad of the season and George Edwardes mounted a competition to encourage artists to give sketches of what the beast might look like. Charles Folkard won the competition, and the Gazeka suddenly appeared in the form of various items of novelty jewellery, charms, etc., and was taken up by Perrier, the sparkling water makers, for a series of advertisements. Children attending matinée performances at Daly's during the 1905–06 Christmas holidays were presented with "a materialized Gazeka, the Unique Toy of the Season". The Gazeka also featured in a special song and dance in the entertainment Akezag, at the London Hippodrome at Christmas, 1905. GIANT ANACONDA Reports of giant anacondas date back as far as pre-columbian times, playing a role in indigenous cultures of the Amazon Basin. European colonization of South America reported sightings of giant anacondas. The size of the largest anacondas has been the subject of debate ever since among cryptozoologists and zoologists. Anacondas have been verified to grow to sizes of 18 ft and 220.5 lb. In particular, the green or common anaconda is the heaviest and largest among all extant snakes in terms of robustness, and it is also the second-longest. While the longest reputably-measured and confirmed anaconda was about 18 ft long, extreme lengths far in excess of this have been reported for this species, without verification. Some claims describe anacondas ranging from 26 to 39 ft, although these remain unverified. The first recorded sightings of giant anacondas were from the time of the colonization of South America, when early European explorers entered the dense jungles and claimed to have seen giant snakes measuring up to 59 ft long. Natives also reported seeing anacondas upwards of 33 to 59 ft. Anacondas above 16 ft in length are rare. Scientist Vincent Roth claimed to have shot and killed a 34 ft specimen, but like most other claims, it lacks sound evidence. Another claim of a large anaconda was made by British adventurer Percy Fawcett. Following his 1906 survey of the Bolivia/Brazil border, Fawcett wrote that he had shot an anaconda that measured some 62.3 ft from nose to tail. Once published, Fawcett’s account was ridiculed. Decades later, Belgian cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans came to Fawcett's defence, arguing that Fawcett's writing was generally honest and reliable. Historian Mike Dash writes of claims of even larger anacondas, alleged to be as long as 147.6 ft.  with some of the sightings supported with photos (although the photos lack scale). Dash noted if reports of a 60 ft. anaconda strains credulity, then a 120 feet long specimen would be an impossibility. Fossils of a Titanboa “titanic boa” have been discovered  in La Guajira, Colombia. By comparing the sizes and shapes of its fossilized vertebrae to those of extant snakes, researchers estimated that the largest individuals of T. cerrejonensis found had a total length around 42 ft and weighed about 2,500 lb; 1.12 long tons; 1.25 short tons. GIANT BATS According to mainstream science, one of  the world's biggest known bat is the Bismarck flying fox, an animal that never gets larger than six feet from wingtip to wingtip. According to cryptozoology, mainstream scientists might be wrong. Many sightings from seemingly reliable people suggest that this might not be the case. A number of bat species that are just as big or bigger might be out there, waiting for science to formally recognize them. If a giant bat lived anywhere, the dense rain forests of Java would be a likely place. Another plausible place for an undiscovered giant bat to live is Cameroon, a country in Africa where scientists have reported seeing a very similar bat. This creature is apparently called the olitiau by locals (but this might just be a curse word). It also has a twelve-foot wingspan and a monkey-like face, but its fur is pure black. It is regarded with a great deal of superstition and fear. It is not improbable that both of these bats might have monkey-like faces. Bats have a notoriously wide variety of head shapes, and many known species have heads resembling different animals such as foxes, dogs, lemurs or even horses! Another possible African giant bat is the kongamato, which has also been interpreted as a pterosaur by some cryptozoologists. This creature is not quite so large, has reddish fur, and has a long snout instead of a flattened face. Madagascar, a large island just off the coast of Africa, has tales about a bat called the fangalabolo, with a wingspan larger than 5 feet, bigger than any other bat known to live in Madagascar. The Guiafairo of Senegal is described as a giant bat that is very smelly and often manages to terrify people by making its way indoors. It is hated very much, and its name translates to "the fear that flies by night." The mlularuka of Tanzania is perhaps the most tame and ordinary of undiscovered African bats. Like known species of giant bats, it is a fruit-eater and thus is mainly spoken of as a pest to agriculture. It is described as being the size of a dog. Other giant bat reports sound less plausible and shade off into an area where it is nearly impossible to separate the few facts that might exist from the masses of folklore and the paranormal that these alleged facts are buried in. One such creature is the sasabonsam from Ghana in Africa. Depicted in folklore as a bearded human with bat wings, the one known body (which has sadly disappeared, along with the only photograph of it) was described as being far less human than the legends say. It was an animal like a huge bat, with a twenty-foot wingspan and stiff black-and-white spotted fur. It had huge teeth and heavy ridges over its eyes. The Indonesian orang-bati is even more mythical. These human/bat monsters live in an extinct volcano on the island of Seram and abduct children. Still, some researchers working in the field of cryptozoology think that a real bat may be hiding behind these fantastical tales. Giant vampire bat reports are generally kept separate from giant bat reports, mainly because the giant vampire bat is large for a vampire bat, but still medium-sized when compared to bats in general. GIANT DRAGONFISH This fish was only observed one time in a bathysphere by a man named William Beebe in November 22, 1932 off the coast of Bermuda. It looked much like a giant dragonfish. It was named Bathysphere intacta. It was described as having strong pale-blue lights on its side, and having 2 ventricle tendrils each tipped with a blue or red light. Bathysphaera intacta, as its scientific name was suggested as, was 6 feet long while normal dragonfishes are only 15 inches long. It was seen in the North Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 2,100 feet. Average dragonfish are carnivores which prey upon small marine invertibrates, fish, and squid, so this larger creature could possibly kill a small person. It is known in the "Mysterious Creatures" series as a group of cryptids called Beebe's abyssal fish. As Darwin's theory shows, some animals adapt slowly to their surroundings meaning it could be an oarfish that adapted to become a carnivore in order to eat marine snow, the main food source in the abyssal zone. However, the evidence of the Meganeura and other giant bugs in the Paleozoic Era being massive due to the large amounts of oxygen shows that it could have lived in a highly oxygenated part of a cave due to loads of plants and grown massive. GIANT JELLYFISH The Giant Jellyfish, locally known as Nomura's Jellyfish, was sighted only a few times in the past couple of years but has struck people with awe for decades. In 1953, an Australian diver reportedly witnessed an enormous brown mass engulf a shark. In 1969, divers Richard Winer and Pat Boatwright saw a jellyfish 50-100 feet in diameter. They said it was deep purple with a pink rim. They encountered this invertebrate southwest of the Bermuda. Another sighting occurred in 1973 where a ship known as the Kuranda collided with one such jellyfish. Although it was removed using a hose it had stung one of the sailors who died from his wounds. An examination of the slime it left on the ship proved it was a Lion's Mane Jellyfish, which is massive, but not nearly as big as the supposed cryptid giant jellyfish. There have been reports of jellyfish bigger than people in Japan. A young man once called the police because he said a jellyfish the size of a car ate his family when he was swimming in shallow ocean waters. He was put in jail for murder because the cops thought he was just lying to avoid getting caught for the crime that he may have committed. Then when he was released from jail, a polygraph test performed on him showed he did not seem to be lying. It is highly likely he bluffed the test or simply did not kill his family, but some speculate he actually saw a huge, new species of jellyfish capable of eating humans. There are possibly larger and more dangerous jellyfish elsewhere. It has been said that due to global warming, jellyfish species are rapidly growing - but it may be that some of these species are growing in size rather than number.  Another explanation could be a Lion's Mane that grew to gargantuan sizes. The biggest lion’s mane jellyfish ever recorded to this date was discovered on the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1870, it’s body measured at a diameter of 7 feet 6 inches and tentacles 160 feet long, which is longer than a blue whale, the world's largest known animal.  However, these jellies tend to be long rather than wide, so the reports could be of long jellyfish instead of wide jellyfish. It could be a new species of jellyfish with a genetic structure that allows it to grow to massive sizes. GIANT RATS During the first World War within the trenches, Harry Patch and hundreds of soldiers claimed to have seen "Rats as big as cats" that would feast on the corpses of the dead soldiers so much, that soldiers would have to bury these corpses as deep as they could otherwise the rats would get in the way or even attack the living for their food in their pockets or get so use to eating human flesh that they'd attack living soldiers just to get it. The soldiers say that these rats craved human flesh so much, that they'd find corpses with no eyes or even skin and flesh on their bodies. Sometimes when soldiers would be sleeping, other soldiers would walk in on them and there would be giant rats trying to eat the sleeping soldiers. The Sun has reported that gigantic South African rats are being blamed for a series of predatory attacks on  children, resulting in the tragic deaths of two infants. Eyewitnesses claim that the monster rodents are as big as cats — up to 3-feet in length including their tails — and are believed to have teeth over an inch long. These ferocious beasts are said to be responsible for numerous attacks on children in one of slums surrounding South Africa’s larger cities. Sadly, it was reported that 3 year-old Lunathi Dwadwa was killed as she slept in her parent’s shack — which is made of breeze block and corrugated iron — near Cape town. In New York City, Marcy Houses Tenant Association head Naomi Colon told the newspaper there had been reported sightings of the giant rat for at least six years, while other residents said cats living there feared it. Animal experts have identified the monster rodent as a Gambian pouched rat. They are nocturnal, can grow to three feet and weigh four pounds or more and live seven or eight years. The Sun and The Daily Mail have reported that a pest control company was called into a factory in England to catch a pair of over 2-foot long wild rats. While authorities are not sure what kind of creature is specifically responsible for these attacks, they have speculated that the killer rodents are likely African Giant Pouched Rats; a species of native to sub- Saharan Africa. These rats are huge, nocturnal, omnivorous — eating both plants and animals — and can produce up to 50 young a year. It could also be an undiscovered species of rat. GIGLIOLI’S WHALE Giglioli's Whale is a purported species of whale observed by Enrico Hillyer Giglioli. It is described as having two dorsal fins. The species is not recognized by the general scientific community. On September 4, 1867 on board a ship called the Magenta about 1200 miles off the coast of Chile, the zoologist spotted a species of whale which he could not recognize. It was very close to the ship (too close to shoot with a cannon) and was observed for a quarter of an hour, allowing Giglioli to make very detailed observations. The whale looked overall similar to a rorqual, 60 feet long with an elongated body, but the most notable difference was the presence of two large dorsal fins about 6.5 feet apart. No known whales have twin dorsal fins; the rorqual only has a single fin and some other whales have none. Other unusual features include the presence of two long sickle-shaped flippers and a lack of furrows present under the throats of rorquals. Another report of a two finned whale of roughly the same size was recorded from the fishing boat Lily off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland the following year. In 1983 between Corsica and the French mainland, French zoologist Jacques Maigret sighted a similar looking creature. The whale may have been a genetic mutation, similar to humans born with polydactyly. Another cryptid with two dorsal fins is the fabled rhinoceros dolphin. Given the species alleged size (60 feet) and attributes (it resembles a rorqual), it is extremely doubtful such a species would not have been taken (and reported) by modern commercial whalers. If the animals exist, it is almost certainly a malformed individual rather than a distinct species. GLOBSTER A globster, or blob, is an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water. The term was coined by Ivan T. Sanderson in 1962 to describe the Tasmanian carcass of 1960, which was said to have "no visible eyes, no defined head, and no apparent bone structure." A globster is distinguished from a normal beached carcass by being hard to identify, at least by initial untrained observers, and by creating controversy as to its identity. Globsters may present such a puzzling appearance that their nature remains controversial even after being officially identified by scientists. Some globsters lack bones or other recognisable structures, while others may have bones, tentacles, flippers, eyes or other features that can help narrow down the possible species. In the past these were often described as sea monsters, and myths and legends about such monsters may often have started with the appearance of a globster. Globsters are most frequently studied in the field of cryptozoology. Many globsters have initially been described as gigantic octopuses, though they later turned out to be decayed carcasses of whales or large sharks. As with the "Chilean Blob" of 2003, many are masses of whale blubber released from decaying whale corpses. Others initially thought to be dead plesiosaurs later turned out to be the decayed carcases of basking sharks. Others remain unexplained. Giant and colossal squid may also explain some globsters, particularly those tentatively identified as monster octopuses. Some globsters were examined only after they had decomposed too much and seemed to represent evidence of a new species, or were destroyed—as happened with the "Cadborosaurus willsi" carcass, found in 1937. However, Canadian scientists did analyse the DNA of the Newfoundland Blob—which revealed that the tissue was from a sperm whale. In their resulting paper, the authors point out a number of superficial similarities between the Newfoundland Blob and other globsters, concluding a similar origin for those globsters is likely. Analyses of other globsters have yielded similar results. GLOUCESTER SEA SERPENT The Gloucester sea serpent is a creature reportedly seen around and off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts and Cape Ann area. The heyday of sightings began in August 1817 and continued into 1818-19. The earliest alleged sighting of such a creature off Cape Ann was recorded in 1638 by John Josselyn. Occasional sightings continued over the centuries and into the 20th century. The spate of 1817 sightings caused the Linnaean Society of New England to investigate. General David Humphreys visited Gloucester and interviewed witnesses. The residents of Gloucester later located a small black snake on a beach with humps, which they believed was the offspring of the serpent. Described as being between 80 and 100-feet in length, with a head as broad as a horse and a foot long, horn-like appendage coming out of its skull, this scaly, serpentine monstrosity was compared to a “row of casks” by some eyewitnesses. This comparison seems to be due to the fact that eyewitnesses claimed the creature was “full of joints and resembled a string of buoys on a net,” enabling it to double back upon itself instantaneously. The Society's analysis was published in a pamphlet which announced it was a new species which they dubbed "Scoliophis Atlanticus". However, the specimen was examined by naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur who determined it was only a common snake with tumors on its spine. The most recent reported sighting of the serpent (or one of its offspring) took place in 1962, off the coast of Marshfield, Massachusetts. GNOME OF GIRONA The Gnome of Girona is the name given to the remains of an animal or a fetus found near Girona, Catalonia (Spain), in September 1989 that aroused some attention from the Spanish media, especially some TV programs specialized in parapsychology and the paranormal such as En los límites de la realidad and Otra dimensión. The body was bluish, devoid of hair, with some little spots mainly in neck and face. Its total length was approximately 4.7 in. It showed a protuberance in the forehead area, elongated ears, reddish eyes and a snout similar to that of rodents. Its fingers showed interdigital membranes. According to the original version showed on TV, the being had been captured by some campers about 11 kilometers from Girona, in the route from the villages of Banyoles to Olot. They were near a forest when one of them heard some noises similar to low volume moans. When he looked in the direction from where the noises were coming he spotted the being, that tried to escape moving fast from them. The being emitted "a kind of squeak similar to an old man's laughter". The campers managed to capture the being by throwing a blanket over it. The being then remained alive for approximately 24 hours after its capture, although other versions of the story extend this time to four days. It refused all food offered to it although according to its captors showed some degree of intelligence. After its death, the Spanish parapsychologist Ángel Gordon got the body and preserved it in a jar with formol. American investigator John Altshuler and Spanish doctor Luís Linares concluded that it was not the normal fetus of any known animal. Doctor Linares declared two possibilities: "The first option is that it is a monstruous being, that is to say a teratorogical case in which tissues like limbs, organs, etc. develop but in an abnormal way. It can also be the finding of a primitive being that has been conserved in a cold area, like snow or a glacier”. On the other hand, investigator Pedro Palao and biologists from the Barcelona Zoo stated that the remains could be from the fetus of some ruminant, probably a calf in its third month of gestation, which showed evidence of the whole issue being a fake. GRASSMAN Grassman is described as "a Bigfoot type creature" that is 7 feet tall, 300 pounds, and "leaves 3 toed tracks," according to reports from the territory around Cuyahoga Valley National Park "north of the Akron area." Loren Coleman writes, "Outside of California, I don't know of another state that has as many 'Bigfoot' investigators." ... "one of the best cases issued from Minerva, Ohio ... in early July and August 1978.... [The sightings] began in earnest on August 21, 1978." He then quotes three pages of investigator Ron Shaffner's notes on the case. Because of the occasional "two-toned, multicolored hair pattern" found in creatures in this area, Coleman calls them "marked hominids," a term he prefers to "Eastern Bigfoot." He says they are "more human-looking and somewhat shorter than the classic Neo-Giant," such as the Patterson film Bigfoot. Don Keating, one of those Bigfoot investigators, self-published a report of Bigfoot sighting and "hearing" reports, possible-track finds, reprinted newspaper stories about both,and a videotaping of an ambiguous white Bigfoot in an area within a 25-mile radius of Newcomerstown, Ohio in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Some of the tracks had three or four toes; one of them looked like the Eric Shipton Yeti prints. (Keating has subsequently published a newsletter and organized Bigfoot conferences.) GREEK DOLPHIN MONSTER The Greek Dolphin Monster, also called Grecian Dolphin, is a strange, mutated, dolphin-like animal sighted two times off the coast of Greece by tourists. A picture was posted on Twitter and caused big discussions, calling on some cryptozoologists. Many theories abounded, one saying a hoax, another a mutated dolphin from nuclear waste, another one said it was an alien. Some people suggested it to be some type of pike fish or long snout manatee/dugong. It highly resembles the Zeuglodons ancestor, Ambulocetus. It remains unknown what the thing is. Harvey Robertson was on a boat cruise off the coast of Parga, sailing through sea caves with his family. He was initially just trying to capture the unusual color of the surrounding water with his iPhone camera. Robertson says he didn’t see the animal at the time but when looking back through his camera, Robertson saw that he had captured a grey creature that resembles an elongated manatee. The strange animal appears to pop out of the water in one photo, then disappears under the greenish water in the next. The viral photo has sparked speculation among armchair zoologists and monster lovers about what this bizarre animal might be, ranging from a beaked whale to the “love child of a hippo and crocodile” (best not dwell on the logistics of that coupling). While the image has some superficially similar features to various animals it does not in fact look like any known animal. The sighting closely resembles the extinct Ambolocetus, although it is unlikely that Ambolocetus survived extinction. Ambulocetus was an early cetacean that could walk as well as swim. Along with other members of Ambulocetidae, it is a transitional fossil that shows how whales evolved from land-living mammals. It is also named the walking whale because of this. Ambulocetus lived in the Early Eocene (50 to 48 million years ago) of Pakistan. When the animal was alive, Pakistan was a coastal region of India, which was then an island continent in the Indian Ocean (see Indian Plate). Having the appearance of a 10-foot long mammalian crocodile, it was clearly amphibious, as its back legs are better adapted for swimming than for walking on land, and it probably swam by undulating its back vertically, as otters and whales do. GUGWE The Gugwe is a Bigfoot creature that is said to have a canine like snout. Gugwe reports have been since the 1900’s. Gugwes are very aggressive, which is strange for a primate, let alone an undiscovered one, leading some believe it may be a misidentified werewolf-like creature. Native Americans despise and fear the creature. In 1995, a man was taking scenic photos in 7 Chutes, Quebec, Canada. Reviewing the photos at home, he noticed one had a strange figure in it. Sightings of the Gugwe and similiar creatures have been reported all throughout the USA and in parts of Canada, though are normally drowned out by more popular Bigfoot such as the Sasquatch, who's habitat overlaps with the Gugwe, and the Yeti, who's habitat does not overlap. Some say it is a bear, some say it is a Dogman or Werewolf, and some say it is some type of Bigfoot, due to the fact it appears to have a sagital crest. A sagital crest is a crest on the skull of some apes, notably Gorillas, which gives them an elongated head. This trait is seen in no other animals, including bears and canines, so if the photo is real, it may be a Sasquatch, as most of the time Gugwes are reported to have more Baboon like features - including head shape. However, it is rare that a Sasquatch or any other type of Bigfoot except a select few will be reported having a Baboon or canine like snout, leading some to believe it may be the Gugwe, Woodbooger, or something else entirely. GUNNI The Gunni was a wombat-like cryptid with antlers, purportedly formerly found near Marysville, Victoria, Australia. A stuffed one was on display in the Marysville Visitors' Information Center, along with other local wildlife including a Lyrebird and Leadbeater's possum, until February 2009 Victorian bushfires which destroyed the center. Reportedly, only three Gunnis have ever been found and the creature is generally regarded as a hoax originated in 2003. H HELLHOUND A hellhound is a supernatural dog in folklore. A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include mangled black fur, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and a foul odor. Certain European legends state that if someone stares into a hellhound's eyes three times or more, that person will surely die. In cultures that associate the afterlife with fire, hellhounds may have fire-based abilities and appearance. They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure. In European legends, seeing a hellhound or hearing it howl may be an omen or even a cause of death. They are said to be the protectors of the supernatural, guarding the secrecy of supernatural creatures, or beings, from the world. Some supernatural dogs, such as the Welsh Cŵn Annwn, were regarded as benign, but encountering them was still considered a sign of imminent death. HIBAGON The Hibagon or Hinagon  is the Japanese equivalent of the North American Bigfoot or the Himalayan Yeti. Sightings have been reported since the 1970s in "forested, mountainous areas of the country" around Mount Hiba in the Hiroshima Prefecture. The Hibagon is described as a "black creature with white hands and large white feet, standing about five feet tall.", and has been said to resemble a gorilla. A sighting from 1972 reports that the creature "has a chocolate brown face and is covered with brown hair ... [and] is said to have 'deep glaring eyes', in two reports by a Mr. Sazawa and a Mrs. Harada, the creature took no hostile action and fled from four armed residents intent on hunting it." Japanese Boy Scouts, "claim to find footprints 10 in long and 15 6 in wide." As with "most hominid cryptids, the Hibagon is said to have a most unpleasant stench, like a dead human body." HOAN KIEM TURTLE One example of a Cryptid that does exist is the Hoan Kiem Turtle. The Hoan Kiem Turtle was an important figure of Vietnamese Mythology, however scientists did not actually believe the turtle existed until on March 24, 1998, when a team of scientists video taped the creature, and later caught several live samples. This shocked the entire world, because an animal that was thought to have never existed and was considered a cryptid was proven real. This shows that although Cryptids might seem unrealistic, the turtle was described to have a walrus like head and pig nose, there still is a fairly decent chance that they exist in the remote regions of the world. The Hoan Kiem turtle is rooted in Vietnamese folklore, and some even believe the creature that lives in the lake today is the same mythical turtle that helped a Vietnamese king fend off the Chinese nearly six centuries ago.  Presently, if leloii is considered to be identical to swinhoei, there are four living individuals. Three turtles are in captivity, two of them in Chinese zoos and another in Dong Mo (which appears to be a swinhoei), while the fourth being the controversial specimen in Hoan Kiem lake. By the Spring of 2011, concerned with the Hoan Kiem specimen's more frequent than usual surfacing, and apparent lesions on its body, the city authorities started attempts to capture the giant reptile of Hoam Kiem Lake, and take it for medical treatment. On February 9, a local turtle farm operator, KAT Group, was chosen to prepare a suitable net to capture the sacred animal. The first attempt, on March 8, 2011 failed, as the turtle made a hole in the net with which the workers tried to capture it, and escaped. An expert commented, "It's hard to catch a large, very large soft-shell turtle." On March 31, in an unusual act, the turtle went to the shore to bask in the sun. Finally, on April 3, 2011 the giant turtle was netted in an operation that involved members of the Vietnamese military. The captured creature was put into an enclosure constructed on an island in the middle of the lake, for study and treatment. The turtle was determined to be female, and genetic research suggested it was distinct from the swinhoei turtles in China, and Dong Mo in Vietnam. Some doubt has been cast on the results, given the difficulty of sexing turtles and the lack of the claimed genetic proof. HODAG The hodag is a folkloric animal of the American state of Wisconsin. Its history is focused mainly around the city of Rhinelander in northern Wisconsin, where it was said to have been discovered. It is also mentioned in several Paul Bunyan stories. In 1893, newspapers reported the discovery of a hodag in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It had "the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end". The reports were instigated by well-known Wisconsin land surveyor, timber cruiser and prankster Eugene Shepard, who rounded up a group of local people to capture the animal. The group reported that they needed to use dynamite to kill the beast. A photograph of the remains of the charred beast was released to the media. It was "the fiercest, strangest, most frightening monster ever to set razor sharp claws on the earth. It became extinct after its main food source, all white bulldogs, became scarce in the area." Shepard claimed to have captured another hodag in 1896, and this one was captured alive. According to Shepard's reports, he and several bear wrestlers placed chloroform on the end of a long pole, which they worked into the cave of the creature where it was overcome. A small group of scientists from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. announced they would be traveling to Rhinelander to inspect the apparent discovery. Their mere announcement spelled the end, as Shepard was then forced to admit that the hodag was a hoax. The hodag also lends its name and image to the Hodag Country Festival, an annual country music festival that is one of Rhinelander's largest community events, and the festival's radio sponsor, WHDG, which brands itself as "Hodag Country". It attracts over 70,000 people per year and features singers such as Charlie Daniels, Neal McCoy, Little Big Town, Kellie Pickler, and Reba McEntire. HOKKAIDO WOLF The Hokkaido wolf , also known as the Ezo wolf and in Russia as the Sakhalin wolf, is an extinct subspecies of gray wolf that once inhabited coastal north-east Asia. Its nearest relatives were the wolves of North America rather than Asia. It was exterminated in Hokkaidō during the Meiji Restoration period, when American-style agricultural reforms incorporated the use of strychnine-laced baits to kill livestock predators. Some taxonomists believe that it still survives on Sakhalin island. It was one of two subspecies that were once found in the Japanese archipelago, the other being the Japanese wolf. With the onset of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Emperor Meiji officially ended Japan's long-standing isolationism through the Charter Oath, and sought to modernize Japan's agriculture by replacing its dependence on rice farming with American-style ranching. Ohio rancher Edwin Dun was hired as a scientific adviser in 1873 for the Kaitakushi (Hokkaido Development Agency), and began promoting ranching with state-run experimental farms. As wolf predation was inhibiting the propagation of horses in southeastern Hokkaidō and allegedly causing hardship to Ainu deer hunters, the Meiji government declared wolves as "noxious animals", entrusting Dun to oversee the animals' extermination. HONEY ISLAND SWAMP MONSTER The creature is described as bipedal, 7 feet tall, with gray hair and yellow or red eyes, and accompanied by a disgusting smell. Footprints supposedly left by the creature have three webbed toes, according to local myth. The first claimed sighting was in 1963 by Harlan Ford, a retired air traffic controller who had taken up wildlife photography. After his death in 1980, a reel of Super 8 film showing the creature was allegedly found among his belongings. In 1974, the monster gained national fame after Ford and his friend Billy Mills claimed to have found unusual footprints in the area, as well as the body of a wild boar whose throat had been gashed. Ford continued to hunt for the creature for the next six years. The idea of a large, ape-like creature in the area is not without its critics, notably the local ecologist Paul Wagner who, with his wife Sue, run nature tours in the area. Neither they nor their Cajun guide, Robbie Charbonnet, have seen any evidence for it. A legend tells of a train wreck in the area in the early 20th century. According to the legend, a traveling circus was on the train, and from it a group of chimpanzees escaped and interbred with the local alligator population. It was a subject of an episode of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, "Bayou Beast/River Ghost," showing Mr. Ford's original film. The investigators were able to recreate Ford's footage with a man dressed in a camouflage ghillie suit used by hunters. They deduced the film could simply be mistaken identity on Ford's part, but didn't rule out that such a creature could exist. HONSHU WOLF The Japanese wolf is an extinct subspecies of the gray wolf that was once endemic to the islands of Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū in the Japanese archipelago. It is also known as the Honshū wolf. Its binomial name derives from the Greek Hodo (path) and phylax (guardian), in reference to Japanese folklore, which portrayed wolves as the protectors of travellers. It was one of two subspecies that were once found in the Japanese archipelago, the other being the Hokkaidō wolf. Sightings of "short-legged dog like beasts", proposed to be the Japanese wolf, have been claimed since the time of its extinction until the last claim in 1997, but none of these have been verified. A claim in 2000 was dismissed as a hoax. Some Japanese zoologists believe that these reports "merely derive from misidentification of feral dogs". HOOP SNAKE The hoop snake is a legendary creature of the United States, Canada, and Australia. It appears in the Pecos Bill stories; although his description of hoop snakes is the one with which people are most familiar, stories of the creature predate those fictional tales considerably. Several sightings of the hoop snake have been alleged along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border in the St. Croix River valley, Wake County in North Carolina, and Kamloops, British Columbia. According to folklore, the distinguishing feature of a hoop snake is that it can grasp its tail in its jaws and roll after its prey like a wheel, thus looking somewhat like the ouroboros of Greek mythology, or Tsuchinoko (a legendary fat snake that can roll like a wheel) in Japan. In one version of the myth, the snake straightens out at the last second, skewering its victim with its venomous tail. The only escape is to hide behind a tree, which receives the deadly blow instead and promptly dies from the poison. Sightings are still occasionally reported, though the existence of the hoop snake has never been accepted by the scientific community. Naturalist Raymond Ditmars placed $10,000 in trust at a New York bank for the first person to provide evidence of a hoop snake. Some have suggested it is a distorted description of the sidewinder of the American Southwest, or of mud snakes, which will occasionally lie in a loose hoop shape. The hoop snake possibly is an embellishment of actual instances of snakes swallowing their own tails. Photographic examples of this are readily found on the Internet today. I IGOPOGO Igopogo is a legendary cryptozoological creature which is rumored to dwell in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. The creature's name is ostensibly based on the Ogopogo, of Lake Okanagan, British Columbia, and also the title 1952 book I Go Pogo, a slogan often mentioned in the comic. It is also called "Kempenfelt Kelly" after the bay that extends from the lake into the city of Barrie, Ontario. According to legend, the Igopogo is described with a relatively canine-esque head, differing from other well-known cryptozoological creatures. Because of this, many believers have speculated that it is related to such canine-like aquatic animals as the Irish crocodile; also known as the Dobhar-chu. According to eyewitness accounts, the creature has also been seen basking in the sun for extensive periods of time; implying that it is able to breathe air. ILIAMNA LAKE MONSTER The Iliamna Lake Monster, or commonly referred to by locals as Illie, is a cryptid whose legend has haunted the Alaskan fishing village of Iliamna. The native’s tales describe a large beast that roams the waters. The monster has many reported sightings along with a few reported causes of death under its belt. Over the years, it has gained enough attention to lure the Animal Planet show “River Monsters” in attempt to find out what may lie beneath the waters. The monster is a reported 10–30 feet in length with a square-like head that is used to place blunt force unto things such as small boats. Although there is no physical evidence to conclude the monster's existence, many reports beg to differ. The earliest reports of a monster living in the lake came from the native Tlingit people, who tell stories of a creature referred to as the "Gonakadet". It was described as a large, water-dwelling animal with a head and tail similar to that of a wolf, and a body like an orca. The Gonakadet was depicted as a "fish god", and was recorded in pictographs along the Alaskan and British Columbian coasts. Other early reports of the monster came from the native Aleut people, who tell stories of creatures they call the "Jig-ik-nak". The fish-like monsters were reported to travel in groups and attack canoes and kill warriors. The creatures were feared and not hunted by the Aleut. This sparked interest in others as pilots and fishermen began to wonder what the creatures were. Many more sightings were reported as people began to fly low over the lake for the purpose of seeing these monster fish. Consistent reports of large, dull, aluminum-colored fish were coming in by the late 50’s. Soon, enough attention was brought to the subject that in 1979 the Anchorage Daily News offered a sum of $100,000 to anyone who could provide conclusive evidence proving the fish’s existence. The evidence is yet to be provided, as sightings have slowed in recent years. INKANYAMBA The Inkanyamba is a legendary serpent said to be living in a waterfall lake area in the northern forests near Pietermaritzburg most commonly in the base of Howick Falls, South Africa. The Zulu tribes of the area believe it to be a large serpent with a horse like head. Most active in the summer months, it is believed that the Inkanyamba's anger causes the seasonal storms. Cryptozoologists have suggested that they might be a form of eel, augmented by local myth. ISSIE Issie is a Japanese lake monster said to lurk in Lake Ikeda, on Kyushu Island. It is described as being saurian in appearance. The name is formed in analogy with "Nessie" (the Loch Ness Monster). According to mythology, Issie was a white mare which had a little foal, and they lived together on the shore of Lake Ikeda. However, when the foal was kidnapped by a samurai, and Issie was unable to find it, she jumped into the lake, and her despair transformed her into a giant, saurian beast, which since then frequently surfaces, trying to find her lost child. The creature was reportedly photographed in 1978, by a man who went by the name "Mr. Matsubara". Twenty other people reportedly also saw the creature in 1978, which they described as black and having two humps, each about 16 feet long, swimming in the lake water. In 1991, another visitor to the lake caught video footage of supposed animal movement in the lake. According to some interpretation there is a bizarre-looking creature estimated to be 30 feet in length, but the footage could be of surface-swimming 5-foot eels as well. IVORY-BILLED WOODPECKER The ivory-billed woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, at roughly 20 inches in length and 30 inches in wingspan. It is native to the virgin forests of the southeastern United States (along with a separate subspecies native to Cuba). Because of habitat destruction and, to a lesser extent, hunting, its numbers have dwindled to the point where it is uncertain whether any remain, though there have been reports that it has been seen again. Almost no forests today can maintain an ivory-billed woodpecker population. The species is listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The American Birding Association (ABA) lists the ivory-billed woodpecker as a Class 6 species, a category the ABA defines as "definitely or probably extinct." Reports of at least one male ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas in 2004 were investigated and subsequently published in April 2005 by a team led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. No definitive confirmation of those reports emerged, despite intensive searching over five years following the initial sightings. In late September 2006, a team of ornithologists from Auburn University and the University of Windsor published reports of their own sightings of ivory-billed woodpeckers along the Choctawhatchee River in northwest Florida, beginning in 2005. J JBA FOFI "The J'ba Fofi (Baka: "giant spider"), also known as the Congolese Giant Spider is a cryptozoological creature that is said to exist in the Congo, possibly representing a new species of arachnid. It is considered a cryptid and only in recent years has received publicity." said Robert B. Durham. "The J'ba Fofi is described as having a brownish body similar to that of a tarantula, with a legspan of four to six feet. Juvenile versions possess yellow coloring that turns brown as they grow older." said Robert B. Durham. "Sightings of the J'ba Fofi have been primarily in Africa, and achieved the most recent publicity due to the work of Mokele-Mbembe researcher William Gibbons," said Robert B. Durham. William Gibbons is a creationist who is associated with the Institute for Creation Research. In 1938 Reginald and Margurite Lloyd were driving a Ford truck through a trail when they reportedly spotted a spider as large as a monkey. It resembled a tarantula, but had an estimated leg-span of 5 feet. Their daughter, Maurgurite Lloyd, would later relate this story in the 1990s to William Gibbons. An Australian soldier at the Kokoda Trail said that he encountered a puppy-sized spider inhabiting a 10 to 15 foot sized web back in 1942. It was described as being black with a bulky body, as well as hairy like a tarantula. British cinematographer Richard Terry traveled to the Amazon in 2011 to investigate reports of giant spiders in the June 13th episode of Man v. Monster. At a remote village, he was informed that giant spiders lived in holes deep within the jungle. These spiders measured roughly four feet in diameter. The spiders are described by Baka natives as weaving lairs made of leaves and spinning a circular web between two trees. The animals are said to prey upon birds, duiker, and other small game animals. The Baka told Gibbons that these spiders are now rare due to dwindling habitat. JERSEY DEVIL In New Jersey and Philadelphia folklore, the Jersey Devil (a.k.a. the Leeds Devil) is a legendary creature said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The common description is that of a kangaroo-like or wyvern-like creature with a goat- or horse-like head, leathery bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. It has been reported to move quickly and is often described as emitting a high-pitched "blood-curdling scream". According to popular folklore, the Jersey Devil originated with a Pine Barrens resident named Jane Leeds, known as Mother Leeds. The legend states that Mother Leeds had 12 children and, after finding she was pregnant for the 13th time, cursed the child in frustration, crying that the child would be the devil. During 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night while her friends gathered around her. Born as a normal child, the thirteenth child changed to a creature with hooves, a goat's head, bat wings, and a forked tail. Growling and screaming, it killed the midwife before flying up the chimney and heading into the pines. In some versions of the tale, Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the devil himself. Some versions of the legend also state that there was subsequently an attempt by local clergymen to exorcise the creature from the Pine Barrens, or that the creature proceeded to kill local children. Brian Regal, a historian of science at Kean University, theorizes that the story of Mother Leeds, rather than being based on a single historical person, originated from colonial southern New Jersey religio-political disputes that became the subject of folklore and gossip among the local population. According to Regal, folk legends concerning these historical disputes evolved through the years and ultimately resulted in the modern popular legend of the Jersey Devil during the early 20th century. Regal contends that "colonial-era political intrigue" involving early New Jersey politicians, Benjamin Franklin, and Franklin's rival almanac publisher Daniel Leeds (1651–1720) resulted in the Leeds family being described as "monsters", and it was Daniel Leeds' negative description as the "Leeds Devil", rather than any actual creature, that created the later legend of the Jersey Devil. During 1728, Daniel’s son Titan Leeds began to include the Leeds family crest on the masthead of his almanacs. The Leeds family crest depicted a wyvern, a bat-winged dragon-like legendary creature that stands upright on two clawed feet. Regal notes that the wyvern on the Leeds family crest is reminiscent of the popular descriptions of the Jersey Devil. The inclusion of this family crest on Leeds' almanacs may have further contributed to the Leeds family's poor reputation among locals and possibly influenced the popular descriptions of the Leeds Devil or Jersey Devil. Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon, is also claimed to have seen the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown estate about 1820. During 1840, the Jersey Devil was blamed for several livestock killings. Similar attacks were reported during 1841, accompanied by tracks and screams. In Greenwich during December 1925 a local farmer shot an unidentified animal as it attempted to steal his chickens, and then photographed the corpse. Afterward, he claimed that none of 100 people he showed it to could identify it. On July 27, 1937, an unknown animal "with red eyes" seen by residents of Downingtown, Pennsylvania was compared to the Jersey Devil by a reporter for the Pennsylvania Bulletin of July 28, 1937. In 1951, a group of Gibbstown, New Jersey boys claimed to have seen a 'monster' matching the Devil's description and claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil's description arose in 1957. During 1960, tracks and noises heard near Mays Landing were claimed to be from the Jersey Devil. During the same year the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if it was captured. Skeptics believe the Jersey Devil to be nothing more than a creative manifestation of the early English settlers, bogeyman stories created and told by bored Pine Barren residents as a form of children's entertainment; the byproduct of the historical local disdain for the Leeds family; the misidentification of known animals; and rumors from negative perceptions of the local rural population of the Pine Barren (known as "pineys"). K KAIAIMUNU On Papua New Guinea and its neighboring islands number of obscure sightings have surfaced of a dinosaur-like creature. Referred to as a Kaiaimunu, it has been compared to a Therizinosaurus by researchers. It is noted for having a long neck, leading to comparison to a sauropod, but other sightings specify that it stands on 2 legs and has front claws. While it is unlikely the creature is actually a Therizinosaurus, it could be a descendant of the raptor family of dinosaurs, which also stood on 2 legs, had long neck (although not as long as a Therizinosaurus), and had front claws. Sauropod-like creature have been seen on the islands in recent years. Since the 1990s, a large ‘reptilian’ creature has been sighted occasionally on Ambungi Island in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Ambungi Island is located on the south coast of West New Britain between Kandrian and Gasmata. The creature has also been sighted on Alage Island, about 1km to the south of Ambungi Island. The creature was described as having a long tail and a long neck and was 30- 50 feet in length, with an appearance like a ‘very large wallaby’ and having a head like a turtle’s head. It walked slowly on two legs and had smooth, shiny brown skin. The top of the head was estimated to be as high as a house and the underbelly of the creature was as high as an adult. KASAI REX The Kasai Rex is a gigantic theropod cryptid from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is said to be a surviving theropod dinosaur, such as Tyrannosaurus rex, though it has also been depicted as a species of huge monitor lizard or as a species of a terrestrial crocodile. In 1932, Swedish plantation owner John Johnson (sometimes spelled Johanson) was traveling with a servant in the Kasai Valley. They encountered a rhinoceros and tried to avoid detection when a large creature rushed from the undergrowth and attacked the rhino. Johnson fainted and the servant ran away. When Johnson recovered, he saw the creature eating the rhino. "It was reddish in color, with blackish-colored stripes," he said later. "It had a long snout and numerous teeth." He decided that the creature, 43 ft long, was a Tyrannosaurus, and also said "The legs were thick; it reminded me of a lion, built for speed". However, no tyrannosaurids were known to live in Africa, but two theropods similar to the size report and lived in Africa. One is the Carcharodontosaurus saharicus. The other was the Spinosaurus Aegyticus Carcharodontosaurus, an apex predator of Early Cretaceous Africa, and was also known to compete over food with Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. KAWEKAWEAU The kawekaweau , also commonly known as Delcourt's sticky-toed gecko or Delcourt's giant gecko, is an extinct species of lizard which is one of the largest known of all geckos with a snout-to-vent length of 14.6 in and an overall length of at least 23.6 in, surpassed only in size by the 16 in Rodriguez Island night gecko, Phelsuma gigas. The Kawekaweau was endemic to New Zealand, and is now believed to be extinct. According to his own report, in 1870, a Māori chief killed a kawekaweau he found under the bark of a dead rata tree in the forests of the Waimana Valley (now protected as part of the northern section of Te Urewera National Park). This is the only documented report of anyone ever seeing one of these animals alive. He described it as being "brownish with reddish stripes and as thick as a man's wrist." Whether his story was true or not is unknown. A single stuffed museum specimen was "discovered" in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Marseille in 1986; however, the origins and date of collection of the specimen remain a mystery, as when it was found, it was not labelled. Scientists examining it eventually concluded it was from New Zealand and was in fact the lost "kawekaweau", a giant and mysterious forest lizard of Maori oral tradition. KAWUK The Kawuk is a cryptid native to the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan. It is reported as a reptilian creature, bipedal in stance, and known to attack humans. Nusakambangan locals know the Kawuk as a vicious corpse eater. The locals say that the Kawuk have the shape of a monitor lizard, four limbs, and are carnivorous. Their sense of smell is very strong, just like the Komodo dragon, but the difference between the two creatures is that the Kawuk “stands”, and wildly attacks humans on sight. They also exhibit pack-hunting traits, and are usually seen when darkness falls. Because of this, locals of the island prefer not to store the corpse or carcass of any creature in their homes. As reported by Merdeka News in 2014, Heri, a fisherman and guide of the island, saw the creature with his friends. A pack of Kawuks were tracking his deceased friend’s corpse. Prior to this, one of his friends had died near the village of Solok Timur. At that time, it was very late and the corpse had to be moved to a ship so the Kawuks wouldn't attack. Because about 10 or so Kawuks had arrived, they hurriedly moved the corpse. Reported sightings like this are rare because few media agencies come to the island. Movement of people in and out of the island is also controlled by authorities. KIKIYAON The Kikiyaon or soul cannibal is one of the most terrifying and at the same time one of the least seen and understood of all the forest creatures. Its very name can conjure a look of horror. It is described as resembling a large owl, especially its head. It has a huge beak and raking talons on its arms and feet. In many respects it is a mixture of bird and human. The Bambara people say it has a huge pair of feathered wings which grow from its back; the shoulder joint of which is tipped with a sharp spur, a deadly weapon if its talons fail. The most terrifying feature is the presence of razor sharp talons, much like those of a large owl, at the end of well-muscled legs. Kikiyaon is said to be covered in short greenish gray hair and some reports speak of it having a short tufted tail. The smell of the Kikiyaon is said to resemble that of a dead snake that has lain in the sun too long. The Kikiyaon is the denizen of the darkest forest. It rarely ventures from the gloom and despite its ferocious appearance, it contents itself with ambushing travelers who are desperately trying to get home before darkness falls. Bernard Heuvelmans, a noted cryptozoologist, suggested that the stories of the Kikiyaon may have been borne out of sightings of a giant, unclassified species of African bird or bat, one which, over time, tribal folklore and legend mutated into an undead monster. KOOLAKAMBA The Koolakamba or Kooloo-Kamba is a purported hybrid species of chimpanzees and gorillas. This alleged hybrid ape species has been reported in Africa as early as the mid 19th century though no empirical evidence has been found to substantiate the existence of the creature and it has no entry in the NCBI taxonomical database. The Koolakamba was referenced in the mid-19th century in French work by Franquet (1852, as cited by Shea, 1984) and in some descriptive work of Paul Du Chaillu from 1860, 1861, 1867, and 1899; some of which was republished in 1969 (Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa). The Koolakamba is believed to be larger, flatter faced, larger skulled and more bipedal than a chimp; though, it may also be a mutation. According to DuChaillu (DuChaillu 1861 and 1869), the physical characteristics described for Koolakamba include a short and broad pelvic structure, large supraorbital ridge, high zygomatic ridges, less prominent "muzzle", dentition in which the upper and lower incisors meet squarely forming a grinding surface, and a larger cranial capacity than that of the common chimpanzee. In November 1996, a picture of an unusual ape (taken by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby at the Yaounde Zoo, Cameroon) was featured in the Newsletter of the Internal Primate Protection League (IPPL). This picture showed a seemingly hybrid ape with wider face and a larger skull than that of a chimpanzee and smaller than that of a gorilla. The ape in the picture had features that seemed to belong to both the gorilla and the chimpanzee. KONGAMATO The kongamato ("breaker of boats") is a reported pterosaur-like creature said to have been seen by the people of and explorers in the Mwinilunga district's Jiundu swamps of Western Zambia, Angola and Congo. Suggested identities include a modern-day Rhamphorhynchus, a misidentified bird (such as the very large and peculiar saddle-billed stork), or a giant bat. No film has ever been taken, nor have any bodies been examined, leaving all of the stories to rely on large wounds and eyewitness accounts. Frank Melland, in his 1923 book In Witchbound Africa, describes it as living along certain rivers, and very dangerous, often attacking small boats, and anybody who disturbed the creature. They are typically described as either red or black in color, with a wingspan of 4 to 7 feet. Members of the local Kaonde tribe identified it as similar to a pterosaur after being shown a picture from Melland's book collection. Biologist Ivan T. Sanderson described a close encounter with a creature alleged to be a kongamato in the 1930s. In 1956 an engineer, J.P.F. Brown, allegedly saw the creature at Fort Rosebery near Lake Bangweulu in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). It was about 6:00 p.m. when he saw two creatures flying slowly and silently directly overhead. He observed that they looked prehistoric. He estimated a wingspan of about 3 to 3 1⁄2 feet and a beak-to-tail length of about 4 1⁄2 feet. It reportedly had a long thin tail, and a narrow head which he likened to an elongated snout of a dog. The following year, at a hospital at Fort Rosebery, a patient came in with a severe wound in his chest, claiming that a large bird-like creature had attacked him in the Bangweulu Swamps. When asked to draw the creature, he allegedly drew a creature resembling a pterosaur. This drawing does not appear to have survived to the present. KRAKEN The kraken is a legendary cephalopod-like sea monster in Scandinavian folklore of giant size. According to the Norse sagas, the kraken dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland and terrorizes nearby sailors. Authors over the years have postulated that the legend may have originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 40–50 in length. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works. The kraken has been the focus of many superstitious sailors passing the North Atlantic and especially sailors from the Nordic countries due to their close proximity and its Scandinavian origin. Throughout the centuries the kraken has been a staple part of sailors' superstitions and mythos being heavily linked to sailors ability of telling a tall tale. After returning from Greenland, the anonymous author of the Old Norwegian natural history work Konungs skuggsjá (circa 1250) described in detail the physical characteristics and feeding behavior of these beasts. The narrator proposed there must be only two in existence, stemming from the observation that the beasts have always been sighted in the same parts of the Greenland Sea, and that each seemed incapable of reproduction, as there was no increase in their numbers. Since the late 18th century, kraken have been depicted in a number of ways, primarily as large octopus-like creatures, and it has often been alleged that Pontoppidan's kraken might have been based on sailors' observations of the giant squid. The kraken is also depicted to have spikes on its suckers. In the earliest descriptions, however, the creatures were more crab-like than octopus-like, and generally possessed traits that are associated with large whales rather than with giant squid. Some traits of kraken resemble undersea volcanic activity occurring in the Iceland region, including bubbles of water; sudden, dangerous currents; and appearance of new islets. KTING VOAR The kting voar, also known as the khting vor, linh dương, or snake-eating cow is a bovid mammal reputed to exist in Cambodia and Vietnam. The kting voar is normally described as a cow-like animal with peculiar twisting horns about 20 inches long and spotted fur. It often has some sort of connection with snakes, varying between stories. For Western scientists, the first evidence supporting the kting voar's existence was a set of horns found by biologist Wolfgang Peter in a Ho Chi Minh City market (Peter & Feiler, 1994a). The horns were so unusual that Peter believed them to belong to a new species. All supposed kting voar specimens that were subject to DNA analysis to date have turned out to be artificially shaped cattle horns. Skeptical opinion is that the kting voar is a mythical animal. Cow horns are often sold as imitation kting voar horns in Kampuche markets. However, some scientists, notably American mammalogist Dr. Robert Timm, consider it probable that the root of the folklore is a real, distinct species of wild bovid.  If so, this animal would be highly endangered or more probably recently extinct, because rampant hunting and deforestation decimated populations of other big mammals in the region. KUMI LIZARD The Kumi Lizard is a cryptid reptile, possibly a giant monitor lizard, which allegedly once lived in New Zealand. It is similar to the giant extinct Australian lizard Megalania except that it allegedly lives in trees. In New Zealand Mysteries, author Robyn Gosset refers to a sighting of a Kumi in 1898 by a Maori bushman. Its length was estimated at 9 feet. In the first edition of the book, Gosset refers to several more accounts of the lizard which are absent from the second edition. These include an account from captain James Cook, who was told by Maori in Queen Charlotte Sound that huge, arboreal lizards were present in the surrounding bushland, and that they were greatly feared, as well as a sighting from 1875 of a large lizard washed up in a flooded Hokianga river and the discovery of bones possibly from the animal that same year. In more recent times sightings have become rarer. The most recent reports both come from 1898, one describing a large reptile seen near Gisbourne, the other a huge creature akin to a monitor lizard which threatened a bushman in Arowhana before retreating into a Rata tree. Although the animal itself was not spotted again, photographs of its footprints were taken. One possible explanation could be the crocodile monitor, Varanus salvador, which is native to New Guinea. Crocodile monitors can grow to 13 feet in length, and, throughout their lives, spend at least part of their time in the trees. Since monitors are good swimmers, and crocodile monitors do live on an island, it is not impossible that the crocodile monitor is the source of the legend. A-B C-F G-k
TWITTER