Let's play a word association game. I say a word, and what comes to mind. The word is cryptozoology.
What did that make you think of? Chances are, it's something along the lines of Bigfoot, Nessie, a dinosaur walking around in some rainforest, maybe
The question I'm asking is thus: within the field of cryptozoology, what happened to the cryptids? The real cryptids. Not the ones everyone has heard
about, but the ones no one has heard of. The ones that scientists discover constantly in the rainforest. The ones that have been discounted to the
point that they become mythical or legendary, and we have forgotten about them even as a story.
I'd like to post a few related questions as well. Why do we choose these specific cryptids, such as Bigfoot or Nessie or dinosaurs, to discuss most
often? What do we consider necessary evidence for a cryptid to even be discussed- is any evidence necessary?
I'm often asked- how do I get my ideas for my threads? Where do I find these cryptids? It doesn't take an expert at Google searching to find the
information. But the truth is that many people aren't finding true cryptozoology interesting anymore.
What is interesting these days is debate. Hoaxes. Paranormal (which has been brought into the entire upright primate or hominid debate with Bigfoots
and Yetis, and even in some cases with lake or sea cryptids such as Nessie). People like to talk about what they know, and most people have an opinion
on Loch Ness. Nessie is THE most well known aquatic cryptid. Probably the second most well-known cryptid ever. Ever. Second only to Bigfoot-types, I
believe. That's my own personal opinion, globally. This list from Top Tenz (www.toptenz.net...
) disagrees me, although I
think I'm right.
The difference is that when people think of upright hominid-type hair-covered man, they think of Bigfoot. And Yeti. And Sasquatch. When people think
of lake monsters, they think of Nessie. Bigfoot-types have been reported more globally. Lake monsters, although there are more reports (possibly),
they are isolated to specific bodies of water. Ogopogo. Chessie. This lake monster. That lake monster. But Nessie seems to come to mind first. It's
had lots of controversy, but honestly, why pick this specific lake-based cryptid over the hundreds of other. It's because of the hoaxes. The evidence
that has been proven fake. Not only does it draw unnecessary attention to a cryptid that is not supported as much as many may think, but it takes
attention away from all of the other cryptids. I guarantee that if expeditions had spent the time and money on research in other lakes where cryptids
have been reported, they would have found something. It's that simple. The geographical features of the loch are poor. We don't find out anything
new when Nessie is brought up. And honestly there are many other worthy aquatic cryptids out there.
People like Bigfoot because they feel better than a hairy-ape-man. If they could, they would capture him and study him. (I'm using the term him very
loosely.) I've actually read scientists talk about hominid cryptids in such hypocritical ways as to say "Wow, they have a language and a culture.
How noble. Let's put them in cages and study them." Skeptics like Bigfoot because there is a history of hoaxes, and since the public's posterchild
for the cryptozoological movement has been proven a hoax in some reports, it is all a hoax. The other perspective seems to be paranormal. "If these
guys are around, they're psychic or this or that." I think this reduces cryptozoology as a subject, but that might just be me.
That is why chupacabras, Mothmen, and Jersey Devils are so popular. They have strong paranormal legends behind them, with little physical proof. They
have the same form of sightings as those who see phantoms. Chupacabras are a little different because they have previously been identified as dogs.
But they are mostly legends or myths. The Umdhlebi trees. They may have been based on something, like a bat, or a dog, or a tree that gives off
toxins. But it warps into a huge tale, and people get excited about a story that is blown out of proportion. This happens with cryptid sightings, but
it seems to be very common with paranormal-linked cryptids.
Dinosaurs. In my last thread, I discussed this in some detail. But evidence for the existence of dinosaur-like cryptids is fueling the Young
Creationism movement in Christianity. What puzzles me is why use the word dinosaur. Horseshoe crabs are dinosaurs technically. So are sponges. Really,
they've been around ages. Why not talk about herpetological cryptids. This way, you can see what's actually lurking around without using words that
will attract or detract people like "dinosaur." It's fine. It's just not accurate. Some people have ulterior motives for supporting the existence
of these cryptids, and that makes me question how many people are out there bending sighting reports and things.
Cryptobotany is something I've just touched on in my threads, and the interest level confused me. There is so much room for research in this area,
and yet we still gravitate towards the "popular" cryptids.
If you know what a KaweKawau is, I applaud you. But chances are that you don't. I didn't until about an hour ago. It's a cryptid. It's not like
the cryptids that people seem to find interesting. But it's a huge gecko cryptid that we have discovered a specimen of in the basement of a museum.
But people will always care more about the popular cryptids, while the important ones evade pop culture and exist only through tribal sightings and
stories. Yes, it takes discretion to tell what is a myth and what is a real sighting. But in many cases, cryptids have shown up and been real. It
would of course be a huge deal if someone just finds a Bigfoot, or Nessie. But people have already found interesting cryptids, sightings are being
reported everyday, but most people will knock off a report from anyone who isn't a popular scientist.
We need to branch out. We don't know all the cryptids that are out there, and we don't even know a tenth of the ones that have names and lists of
sightings. People stop caring if it doesn't live near them, or if the only evidence is from 1531, or if the only evidence is a lizard in a jar.
Are you really interested in cryptozoology? Or are you in it for the debate, the popular beliefs, and the cryptids that only affect your own lives?
My rant is done. I'll be posting more lesser-known cryptids soon. You know. Ones that aren't already posted about a trillion times. Watching this
thread sink down the "recent posts" page really just cracks me up.
So really though, what does cryptozoology mean to you?
[edit on 6/2/2009 by ravenshadow13]