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Book: Cryptozoology A to Z

September 9, 2010

…because sometimes I totally geek out and have to indulge my fascination with Bigfoots, Chupacabras, and Mokele-Mbembes.

This book is pretty much what the title says: a pretty wide coverage of cryptids and the people who study them.

This was completely absorbing for short periods of time before bed. Nothing like reading about the estimated 300+ Lake Monsters (a few variations of these), Bigfoots and Abominable Snowmen and Yetis, Kraken, and Merbeings to put you in a nice vague contemplative mood before drifting off. I like to read stuff like this when I’m stressed. It has nothing to do with me or my life, is interesting and amusing, and makes me think.

My favorite cryptids include:

  • Coelacanth: I first read about this fossil-fish when I was probably under 10, maybe in a National Geographic. I think it’s so interesting that this guy remained completely unknown for thousands of years, and suddenly here he was being pulled up by native fishermen.
  • Kraken (or, Giant Squid): Little-known fact about me — in high school I was completely torn between studying marine biology or art when I went to college. I chose art, but I sometimes wish I had studied marine biology. Anyway, I love sea life (but not to eat!!) and I love to think about giant squid, up to 43 ft long, swimming in the deep. So mysterious and unstudied.
  • Bigfoot: I grew up in Oregon, and all of the Pacific Northwest and Northern California is Bigfoot country. Come on — what’s not to like about Bigfoot? Big, hairy, shy, humanoid, aloof… and quite possibly real. No, really! I think it’s possible, don’t you? Side note: my friend Vanessa calls Cleo a Baby Sasquatch. I’ll post a Kitty Bigfoot photo soon and you’ll see why.
  • Loch Ness Monster: Another classic. When I was little we used to have slide shows all the time. My dad did a lot of traveling all over the world when he was a track athlete, and he had some photos from Scotland and Loch Ness. I would always scan the slides (projected on our living room wall) carefully, just in case I’d missed a neck or a fin somehow. This book claims that perhaps Nessie and her relatives are actually prehistoric whales called zeuglodons. This book claims the Loch Ness Monster(s) are also highly probable.

Oh, so many animals both discovered (like the mountain gorilla and the okapi) and undiscovered. So interesting. A fun book to peruse if you are into geeky things like, you know, cryptozoology.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2010 4:36 am

    Our lake a camp is called Sacandaga — my kids created Saggie (a miniature Loch Ness monster) who resided in the deep. Lake Champlain also has “Champ.”

    Please tell me that raging fire in San Bruno is not your new neighborhood. I thought of you this morning while watching the news.

    • September 10, 2010 8:01 am

      Oh, too funny. Saggie. I love it. No, thankfully we are (and won’t be) anywhere very close to San Bruno, but what a horrific tragedy. We watched it last night and it was just horrible. Can’t imagine what it looks like today — I’m sure we’ll find out soon when the news starts broadcasting.

  2. September 10, 2010 7:03 am

    Coelacanth are cool. I saw one once (preserved) on a field trip to the natural history museum. Very cool. My sister wanted to be a marine biologist, too. She loves all things shark, but her downfall was severe motion sickness on boats so she majored in English instead but is still obssessed with sharks.

  3. September 10, 2010 8:02 am

    I love sharks too! I have a mild shark obsession. Also whales. I also like nudibranchs. My downfall was the math required to get a science degree. Dangit!

    • September 10, 2010 1:25 pm

      Well if you are ever in LA, swing by her place and you two can talk sharks! I wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarin but my downfall was the math. But we still ended up in happy places, right? πŸ™‚

  4. September 10, 2010 7:21 pm

    Oh, I gotta read this one. I love creepy shit like that.

    • September 11, 2010 9:02 am

      It was more faux-science-y than creepy, but definitely fun.

  5. September 11, 2010 8:42 am

    i love this kinda stuff. creepy, but not to creepy, ya know?

    jay and i thought of you also when we saw the gas explosion. how awful. but glad its not your neighborood.

    • September 11, 2010 9:02 am

      Just enough for a wee shiver if you think about it too long, right? πŸ™‚

      I know — the fire was so scary. Glad we are nowhere near it.

  6. D'Arcy permalink
    September 12, 2010 8:15 am

    I saw nudibranchs when we were diving in Hawaii. Very cool. Ryan saw a shark. I’m okay with the fact that I somehow missed it πŸ™‚ I do like seeing very cool underwater creatures when diving – I loved swimming with the moon jellies in Monterey and the mantas and eagle rays in Hawaii.

  7. September 13, 2010 4:44 am

    I’m reading a book about whales now that makes me think of you! I wanted to be an oceanographer when I was in elementary school. πŸ˜€

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