STRANGE ANIMALS & CRYPTOZOOLOGY
 There are thousands of recognized Cryptids or "hidden-animals". There is also infinite amount of potential for discovery of new species. In other words, this list will be ongoing and vast. Therefore, there is some necessity to categorize these subjects. We have chosen (for our list) to establish a system of 4 major categories of Cryptozoological creatures and will label them as such: Undiscovered creatures which have never been seen (and therefore do not appear on this list) Uncatalogued creatures which have been observed but not formally documented Remnants which we know existed but are supposed to be extinct Folkloric creatures which may have some root in the other three categories but are primarily driven by myths and legends Like our excellent Paranormal Glossary (which we encourage you to visit as well) we intend to not only list but define and elaborate on these subjects. This system provides a fairly solid foundation for us to do this. The sources for this information are numerous and the knowledge is public.         Etymology: Abkhaz (Northwest Caucasian), “forest man” or “shy boy.” Variant names: Bnahua (Abaza/Northwest Caucasian), Ochokochi (Mingrelian/Caucasian). Physical description: Covered with reddishblack hair. Dark skin. Thick head-hair that hangs down the back like a mane. Low forehead. Eyes with a reddish tinge. Flat nose. High cheekbones. Enormous teeth. Muscular arms and legs. Females have large breasts and buttocks. Fingers long and thick. Splayed feet. Behavior: Skilled runner and swimmer. No speech but makes muttering noises. Sharp sense of hearing. Food includes grapes, hominy, and meat. Sleeps in a hole in the ground. Can apparently breed successfully with humans. Washes newborn infants in cold-water springs. Uses improvised weapons of sticks and stones. Habitually plays with stones, grinding and smashing them. Distribution: Caucasus Mountains, Abkhazia Autonomous Republic, Georgia. Significant sighting: A female Abnauayu, nicknamed “Zana,” was captured in the mid-nineteenth century, possibly in Ajaria, Georgia. The nobleman Edgi Genaba took her to his farm near Tkhina in Abkhazia, where she lived until her death in the 1880s or 1890s. At first, she was kept shackled in a strong enclosure; later, as she became tame, Zana was let loose to wander about. She was trained to do simple tasks such as grinding grain and fetching firewood. Zana was survived by two sons and two daughters fathered by local human males; these offspring grew up and became relatively normal citizens. Two of Zana’s grandchildren were interviewed by Boris Porshnev in 1964. (One of them, Shalikula, was said to have been able to pick up a chair, along with a man sitting on it, with his teeth.) Zana’s grave has not been found, but the skeleton of her son Khwit has been exhumed; the skull combines “modern and ancient features,” according to a 1987 Russian study. Grover Krantz had an opportunity to examine Khwit’s skull, and he says it is a modern Homo sapiens, though with slightly stronger jaws and flaring cheekbones. Possible explanations: (1) Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) sites are known at Sakhazia and Dzhruchula in Georgia. The large teeth and low forehead are characteristic of these West Asian and European hominids. (2) Zana’s ability to breed successfully with modern humans is intriguing, to say the least, and makes it more likely that she represents an anatomically modern human with some archaic retentions, particularly with regard to lifestyle and material culture.   English name for the YETI of Central Asia. Etymology: Coined by Calcutta Statesman columnist Henry Newman in 1921 as a translation of the Sherpa (Sino-Tibetan) METOHKANGMI, which a telegraphist miscoded as “Metch kangmi.” Newman claimed it meant “abominable snowman.” The phrase became a popular term with journalists from the 1920s through the 1960s. The name does not come from the creature’s supposed horrible odor, as some have alleged. The term also serves as a generic name for unknown Asian hominids. Variant names: ABSM, Snowman. Physical description: See YETI. Distribution: Himalaya Mountains of Nepal and Tibet.                                                                                                                                                                                                             One of BEEBE’S ABYSSAL FISHES of the North Atlantic Ocean  Physical description: Length, 4 inches. Scarlet head. Long beak. Blue body. Yellow tail.  Behavior: Abyssal. Swims with a stiff, upright posture.  Distribution: North Atlantic Ocean.  Significant sighting: Observed only once at 2,500 feet by William Beebe in a bathysphere off Bermuda in the early 1930s.     Undiscovered marine INVERTEBRATE. Physical description: Adult Acorn worms (Class Enteropneusta) of the type Planctosphaera pelagica have never been observed. The larvae (tornariae) are larger than those of other hemichordates, and if the size ratio is the same as in other species, the adults could grow to 9 feet long. The larvae are large, transparent spheres with arborescently branched, ciliated feeding bands and a U-shaped alimentary tract. Habitat: Oceanic mud at depths of 250– 1,660 feet. Distribution: Eastern North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. Possible explanation: The larvae may be the abnormally enlarged tornariae of another family of Acorn worms (Ptychoderidae) that fail to  metamorphose into adults.             DOG-like animal of North Africa.   Etymology: Tamahaq (Berber) name.   Variant names: Kelb-el-khela (“bushdog,” in Mauritania), Tarhsit (for the female).   Physical description: Like a wolf.   Distribution: Sahara Desert.   Possible explanation: An African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) outside its usual range. These dogs stand up to 2 feet 7 inches at the shoulder  and are normally found in protected sub-Saharan savanna areas. Earlier in the twentieth century, there may have been enough gazelles in subdesert areas for scattered packs to subsist.       Unknown LIZARD of the Middle East.  Etymology: Madan (Marsh Arab) word.  Physical description: Large lizard.  Distribution: Marshes at the mouth of the Tigris River, Iraq.  Possible explanation: An undescribed species of Monitor lizard (Family Varanidae), large carnivorous reptiles that live in tropical areas.   FRESHWATER MONSTER of Wales.  Etymology: Welsh, “beaver.” The cognate Irish word abhac (“dwarf”) derives from abha (“river”), which may signify a water spirit.  Variant name: Addanc.  Physical description: Variously described as a giant beaver or crocodile.  Behavior: Causes flooding. Drags people into the water.  Distribution: Llyn yr Afanc (Beaver Pool), Betws-y-coed, Conwy, Wales; Llyn Barfog and Llyn-y-cae in Gwynedd, Wales; Llyn Glaslyn,     Powys, Wales.  Significant sightings: King Arthur is said to have slain an Afanc in Llyn Barfog. Oliver Vaughan saw the pale head of an animal in Llyn      Glaslyn from the slope of Snowdon in the 1930s.   GIANT HOMINID of Northern Europe. Etymology: Six Russian teenagers gave a large, hairy hominid this nickname, which is a diminutive of the Russian name Afanasii; however, the term may be derived from the name of a popular 1975 Russian film about a drunken Soviet plumber.  Physical description: Height, 7–8 feet. Body hair mostly light gray with lighter and darker patches. Dark skin. Round head. Wide forehead. Face wrinkled. Reddish eyes, set wide apart. Arms hang to the knees. Light-colored buttocks.  Behavior: Primarily nocturnal. Stooped-over stance. Sometimes knuckle-walks. Runs very quickly and smoothly. Climbs trees with some agility. Call is a mooing sound. May live in cabins when they are deserted. May steal dogs for hunting or companionship. Throws rocks and sticks as weapons.  Tracks: Length, 15 inches. Stride measures over 4 feet.  Distribution: Kola Peninsula, European Russia.  Significant sightings: A group of teenagers on a fishing expedition to Lake Lovozero in the Murmansk Region of Russia were pestered in their cabin and chased for several days in August and September 1988 by an aggressive creature they nicknamed “Afonya.”  It was also seen by a local game warden. Maya Bykova and a team of researchers visited the area shortly afterward and succeeded in catching a glimpse of Afonya. They returned the following summer and uncovered tracks, hair, feces, and additional testimony. Bykova developed a specific call that Afonya responded to and answered, and she was able to entice it to the cabin where the teenagers had stayed. Her assistant, Nikolai Damilin, used a different call equally successfully. The team carried out experiments using tape recordings of animal sounds that included the calls of primates. One of the creatures went to the cabin in response to the sounds and left footprints. Strange whistling was recorded several times and analyzed by Leonid Yershov.   SMALL HOMINID of East Africa.  Etymology: Kuria or Chagga (Bantu) word.  Physical description: Height, about 4 feet. Brown or russet-colored hair.  Behavior: Upright gait. Said to barter for goods with local tribes.  Habitat: Dense forests.  Distribution: North-central Tanzania.  Significant sighting: William Hichens briefly observed two hairy men in north-central Tanzania in the 1920s. They walked upright across a  clearing in the forest.  Possible explanation: Surviving gracile australopith, suggested by Bernard Heuvelmans. The Laetoli fossil beds that contain perfectly preserved Australopithecus afarensis footprints are in north-central Tanzania, as is Olduvai Gorge where the robust fossil Paranthropus boisei was discovered by Louis Leakey in 1959. Since East Africa is the probable birthplace of early hominid species, its traditions of small hairy men are tantalizing   SEA MONSTER of the South Pacific Ocean.  Etymology: Barok (Austronesian), “fish eel.”  Physical description: Length, 50 feet. Head like a python’s. Neck, 10–15 feet long, 2 feet thick. Four gray-green body loops, 10 feet apart. Frill on the back. Vertical, segmented tail, 2 feet long.  Behavior: Moves with vertical undulations.  Habitat: Seen close to the coast.  Distribution: Ramat Bay, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.   Giant BAT-like creature of Southeast Asia. Etymology: From its call.  Variant name: Aul.  Physical description: In flight, looks like a flying- fox bat but larger. Dark-gray fur. Monkeylike face. Large, black eyes. Flat forearms topped by claws. Batlike wings. Wingspan, 11–12 feet. Feet said to point backward.  Behavior: Nocturnal. Squats on the forest floor with its wings pressed against its flanks. Flies low over rivers in search of fishes. Call is “AH-OOooool,” repeated three times. Said to kill people with its claws.  Distribution: Mountains in the western part of Java.  Significant sighting: Ernst Bartels was sleeping near Cijengkol, Java, Indonesia, in 1927 when he was awakened by the sound of flapping wings and the call of an animal that sounded like “ahool.”  Possible explanation: An unknown large bat with an enormous wingspan, possibly a microbat, suggested by Karl Shuker.   Legendary OTTER-like animal of Mexico.  Etymology: Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan), “water dog.”  Physical description: Looks like a small dog. Smooth, black coat. Small, pointed ears. Paws like a raccoon’s. A bony spur projects underneath its tail. Tip of the tail looks like a human hand.  Behavior: Amphibious. Makes a sound like a baby crying. Said to drag humans into the water with its tail.  Habitat: Rivers or lakes.  Distribution: Mexico. Present status: Known to the Aztecs but probably extinct now.  Possible explanations: (1) The Coyote (Canis latrans), suggested by Ferdinand Anders. However, coyotes do not like water. (2) The Mexican hairy porcupine (Coendu mexicanus), proposed by Eduard Seler, though this is an arboreal animal, not an aquatic one. (3) The Marine otter (Lontra felina), although it is only found on the Pacific coast from Peru to Tierra del Fuego. (4) The Sea otter (Enhydra lutris), but it does not range farther south than California. (5) The Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), which is found in rivers throughout much of Mexico. Except for the odd tail and aggressive manner, this would be an excellent candidate. Andrew Gable writes that the Aztecs knew this otter as the Aitzcuintli; however, the Nahuatl name for the Domestic dog (Canis familiaris) was Itzcuintli, so there may be differing interpretations in Aztec texts. (6) An unknown species of prehensile-tailed otter, proposed by Andrew Gable.   (Folkloric) Akkorokamui is a squid or octopus-like monster. It supposedly lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaido, Japan. It is described as having a red body. This cultural myth is most likely the product of actual sightings of Giant Squid.   Mythical FLYING HUMANOID of Southeast Asia.  Etymology: Itneg or Kalinga (Austronesian) word.  Variant names: Balbal (Tagbanwa/Austronesian), Manananggal.  Physical description: Woman’s face and body. Long tongue. Feathered neck. Wings. Curved nails. Scaly arms with talons. Toes and fingers are said to be reversed.  Behavior: Friendly but mischievous. Hangs batlike from a tree. Lives in a golden house. Said to raise foster human children.  Habitat: Forests.  Distribution: Northern Luzon and Palawan Islands, Philippines.  
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