Ok, a few mythological creatures have been debunked in this mini blog series: we've figuratively torn man from beast, (from the waist down in the case of the half-man, half-horse Centaur); we've speculated how exposed dinosaur fossils may well have sparked the fertile imaginations of early travellers; and also looked at how cultures perceived previously unknown beasts.
But at The DM Collection we celebrate an air of mystery, so - not wanting to be spoilsports - let us now have a look at some of the mysterious creatures that have eluded science and reason to this very day: the beasts who exist in the murky waters of the unproven, and dwell in the forests of uncertainty.
One of these creatures has many aliases, and so - depending on whereabouts on the planet you reside - you may know it as Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, the Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman. Most of you will know it as Bigfoot; named after the massive footprints this creature leaves behind. Not sure what it looks like? Here's the clearest photo ever (above) taken from the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film sighting of Sasquatch. .
As I'm sure you can see, Bigfoot is a large ape-like animal which predominantly dwells in the vast dense forests of North America, and its colder climate cousin, (the Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman), prefers the snow clad mountains of the Himalayas. The Yeti is effectively a Bigfoot, but with a cosy white winter coat, and both specimens are reported to walk upright, just like us; 'bearing' that in mind, black bears, who are also known to walk upright on their hind legs, are usually the prime debunker for Bigfoot. But that doesn't stop our obsession with the large-footed-one, and many people dedicate their entire lives to the quest for Bigfoot - and they say romance is dead.
Cries of Bigfoot sightings have even come from the likes of Norway, but closer to home in the British Isles we have our very own mythical creature who lives beneath the waves of Scotland's second largest lake. Yes, you've guessed it, we're talking about Nessie. But if the Loch Ness Monster were real, then what in the world could it be? Well, like the 'King of all Creatures' (the Griffin) its roots could well be prehistoric. It's speculated that Nessie could be a surviving water dwelling dinosaur known as the Plesiosauria.
However Nessie isn't the only loch monster in Scotland - let alone the rest of Europe. In 1980 a Swedish naturalist called Bengt Sjögren hypothesised that current beliefs in lake monsters derive from Kelpie legends. These suggest that the water monsters were shape shifters whose descriptions changed over time, and were used in folklore across northern Europe to ware children away from potentially dangerous waters. Other Kelpie guises include sea-serpents, man eating horses, and even attractive but malevolent humans.
If this has awoken the cryptozoologist in you, (the study of mystical creatures yet to be disproven or proven), you may like to look at other cryptids, such as the ship devouring Kraken, a gigantic shark known as the Megalodon, or the bizarre flying spectacle know as the Mothman. But it's wise to do your research behind the safety of your own computer screen before you go hiking with a Bigfoot, or attempt a swim with a Kraken!
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It seems that wherever man has been, and a cat of some sort, you’ll find tales of people shapeshifting into felines. In fact the only places on earth where it’s safe from the werecat are Australia and Antartica; two continents which don't have a native cat - I hear they have their hands full with werekangeroo’s and werepenguine’s as it is!