Updated: Jun 14
What is the Study of Cryptozoology?
Cryptozoology, deals with the research of mythological or unknown creatures for which there is no tangible evidence or which are considered extinct. These creatures are called cryptozoa, crypto animals, or cryptids and are creatures that are occasionally reported to exist or have existed.
What is Cryptozoology?
There are three paths in the characterization of cryptozoology.
The first is followed by most: Cryptozoology is the study of the cryptozoa.
The second which is not as popular: Cryptozoology is the scientific branch of paranormal with the aim of studying cryptozoa.
And the third, the one followed by the few: Cryptozoology is the science that deals with the study of cryptozoa. However, cryptozoology cannot be described as a science because of the tangible or logical or mathematical evidence on which a science is based. Also, scientists such as zoologists and biologists reject cryptozoology and call it “pseudoscience” by removing it from scientific circles.
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Terminology and Origins
The term “cryptozoology” comes from the Greek prefix “crypto” or “hidden” and the word zoology. According to the above, cryptozoology is literally the study of hidden animals. The invention of the term “cryptozoology” is internationally attributed to the so-called “father of cryptozoology” Bernard Heuvelmans. However, the well-known crypto-zoologist Loren Coleman claims in recent books that Heuvelmans himself attributes the invention to the Scottish crypto-zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson in the 1930s or 1940s.
Although cryptozoology has been a field of study ever since, the first public use of the term was made in 1959 by Lucieu Blancou in his book “Bernard Heuvelmans, the Lord of Cryptozoology”. Since 1982, Heuvelmans has published articles in the journal Cryptozoology analyzing his ideas and defining and redefining the term “cryptozoology”.
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Cryptozoologists and Research
According to Heuvelmans, but also to many others, the cryptozoologist must have specific characteristics and his research must be conducted in a predetermined manner.
Initially, cryptozoology must be served with scientific rigor, but at the same time, with a global approach. The cryptozoologist relies on folk traditions, fairy tales, myths, fossils, reports, witnesses, newspapers and photographs. For this reason they must pay special attention to their data. The right ingredients for a competent cryptozoologist are their ability to carry out a perfect and understandable research, to be patient (due to the endless hours of research and study) and to have a critical spirit. The researcher must be able to synthesize all the information they have gathered from their various sources, to put it in a logical context and, finally, to decide if there is a cryptid that is worthy of continuing the research.
You will have noticed that there are “catchy” crypto animals, such as Nessie (Loch Ness monster) or the Himalayan snowman Yeti. This is mainly due to size. How will the cryptozoologist have more evidence, ie proof, for the existence of the object of research? Answer; The bigger the cryptid, the easier it becomes to watch!
Every year about 5000 new species of animals are discovered, the vast majority of which are insects, but there are also large animals, which we considered extinct or which are the ancestors of known animals.
An example that confirms the validity of cryptozoology is this: In 1912 an aviator crashed on Komodo Island and survived. There he found the existence of huge lizards. When he returned to his homeland and recounted his adventure, he became finger-pointing and was considered insane. However, Komodo dragons are 3-4 meters long lizards!
The truth is that cryptozoologists often write about things they know very little about and make countless fundamental mistakes. This is because, not only do they not have any specialization in the field of zoology, but also because they can not gather as many specialties as the different animals they deal with. Also, some cryptozoologists are so obsessed with the existence of a cryptid that they cease to be objective towards their study.
Statements of eyewitnesses can also be misleading. An example is this: A girl was convinced that she had discovered large footprints in the snow. Eventually, they were deformed traces of boots due to the melting snow. However, they looked amazingly like “bigfoot” footprints. So you understand the number of cases that are sued for fraud or misidentification. The number is large. Especially if we think that unknown exotic birds and wild animals escape from their shelters every now and then, resulting in human statements about the appearance of cryptids. These misidentifications are often due to distorted animal shadows in the dark or the sighting of species unknown to the witnesses.