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4 Crypto-Creatures That Will Keep You Up At Night

When I was a kid – I was well on my way to being the Neil deGrasse Tyson of cryptozoologists.

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“Myth Understood” by David Olenick

I studied more about cryptozoology and cryptids (the “science” of maybe real creatures like bigfoot, Nessie, etc.) more than I studied history. What year was the Revolutionary War? Not sure I could tell you, but I can tell you that Ogopogo in Canada is the most likely lake monster to exist. How about them possibly non-existent apples?

While I’ve since grown out of, say, setting traps for trolls and planning a trip to Loch Ness (well, that one’s still on the list), it’s still fun to think about the weird creatures that inspire episodes of shows like Supernatural and X-Files.

But not all weird creatures are created equal. Here are four weirdos that you may not have heard of, but might keep you up at night.

Squonk

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Photo Credit

The Squonk goes back to the 19th century and is said to inhabit the Hemlock forests of Pennsylvania. The earliest of these accounts was listed in a book by William T. Cox called “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts,” which 1000% sounds like a way less magical version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

Despite having the best name on this list, le Squonk leads a sad existence, hiding out of site and crying most of the time due to being ashamed of its loose, lumpy skin. Not making that up. Its defense? To disappear into a pool of tears. Ultimately, it sounds like a pug with a problem or someone projecting their own sadness onto a weirdly shaped boulder.

Real World: Substances in biology and chemistry are Squonks if they can’t be kept on their own without dissolving into their own puddle of their own “tears.”

(Source)

Mongolian Death Worm

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Photo Credit: Animal Planet

This is by far my favorite thing on this list. Said to live in the Gobi Desert, the Death Worm is supposedly a bright red sausage-like worm about a meter in length that apparently spews acid or can kill from a distance via electricity. This is the stuff that the worms from Tremors were based on, and sounds like the worms from Dune.

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Real World: It’s been thought that the Death Worm might actually just be one of these freakin adorable fat little legless lizards, called amphisbaenas.

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Photo credit: Diogo B Provete

And they may not be a meter in length or dwelling in the sand oceans of the desert, but there are some seriously terrifying worms in the real world.

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Take the Bobbit worm that is, thank goodness, a small ocean dweller and not people-sized.

Bunyip

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Photo credit: 1 and 2

This critter stems from Australian aboriginal mythology and is said to lurk in swamps, billabongs (which are apparently a thing and not just a brand. Maybe there’s a type of river called Threadless…), creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. It’s been described as everything from looking like a giant starfish, to like something with a dog-like face, crocodile head, dark fur, horse tail, flippers, and walrus-like tusks. Australia’s already known as the place where all the venomous snakes and giant spiders hang out – we don’t need anything else, thank you.

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Photo credit: Dmitry Bogdanov and  Nobu Tamura

Real World: skulls of ancient, extinct creatures (above) have been found in caves. Could these perhaps be the origin of the myth?

(Source)

Dover Demon

Crypto_8Despite having just a couple of sightings in Dover Massachusetts, this one is genuinely creepy. Multiple witnesses in the ’70s reported something that looked like the “gray” variety of an alien, a la X-Files. Except it had rosy orange skin and marble-like eyes that glow orange or green. It has a big head on a stick-like body and can walk on two legs but prefers walking around on all fours. One person described it as a freakin’ baby with super long legs.

There were really only accounts given in the ’70s…which was the time of psychedelics, so, y’know. And it’s been described as possibly being a baby moose…sure.

Real World: Don’t do drugs, kids. Don’t start.

(Source)

Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.