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Night Walker

How many cryptids have been discovered?

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How many cryptids have been discovered? This is an eternal question which stirs much spirited debate within cryptozoological ranks but the answer largely depends not only on how the term “cryptid” is defined but how its usage is applied.

Definition

For the sake of this discussion let’s adopt George M. Eberhart’s (of the American Library Association) broad definition which describes a “cryptid” as belonging to at least one of 10 catagories (and also notes 6 exclusions from classification):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptid - for a quick run-down

http://www.scientifi..._1_eberhart.pdf - for the list in detail (and article in full)

Application

Retroactively applying the term “cryptid” to such animals as the coelacanth and okapi prior to their discovery is always going to be problematic simply because the term “cryptid” did not exist prior to 1983 when it was first coined by John E. Wall in a letter to the International Society of Cryptozoology (ISC) newsletter.

To by-pass this problem in this discussion I propose that we only consider:

1) species discovered after 1983

AND

2) species described in the scientific\cryptozoological literature as a “cryptid” prior to its discovery (not after).

Do all agree that this is both a fair and objective manner to find out how many (if any) cryptids have been found? If so then let the list begin...

Many new species have been discovered in the last 30 years but how many were actually considered to be cryptids?

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Interesting......and something I'm going to have to study up on.....at least to comply with the specified rules.

Technically speaking, I see no good reason not to apply the word "cryptic" to thing before 1983. It's a perfectly good word just because it hadn't been coined yet is irrelavent really. Besides, if we play strickly by that rule then we can't call Bigfoot a cryptid.

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The colossal squid might be a good one. It could coin the Kraken. That's one of the animals that people used to laugh away and call "impossible". The first was found in 2003. Also, you may or may not consider the Goliath Spider. Really a bunch of things that grew alot bigger than any one expected them to.

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The colossal squid might be a good one. It could coin the Kraken. That's one of the animals that people used to laugh away and call "impossible". The first was found in 2003. Also, you may or may not consider the Goliath Spider. Really a bunch of things that grew alot bigger than any one expected them to.

People have known about giant squid for quite some time. Aristotle wrote about them even.

As for the OP, would being undocumented/unknown to western science yet known by locals still count as a cryptid?

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I think it would be interesting to determine how many were identified by "cryptozoologists" vs biologists/zoologists. It would also be interesting to note how the findings were presented - conference papers, peer reviewed journals vs, say, You Tube.

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Well the yeti was apparently just discovered/solved so...

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The colossal squid might be a good one. It could coin the Kraken. That's one of the animals that people used to laugh away and call "impossible". The first was found in 2003. Also, you may or may not consider the Goliath Spider. Really a bunch of things that grew alot bigger than any one expected them to.

While the first full specimen was found in 2003, pieces of the colossal squid have been found as far back as the 1920's and probably much earlier than that. They have very distinct limbs and mantle. They were not unknown, just very very rare.

People have known about giant squid for quite some time. Aristotle wrote about them even.

Giant squid and colossal squid are two different species, the colossal being the larger of the two.

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Sorry NW, but I am confused by his definitions and its application.


  • 1. Animals not known from the fossil record nor related to any known species [e.g. North America's Bigfoot or most sea serpents]; This is a very confusing definition. How do we know bigfoot is not related to any known species? "Most" sea serpents? Which ones aren't related to any known species?

Exclusion:

2. "Someone needs to observe a mystery animal and someone else needs to discredit the sighting." And this one is ambiguous. Who has to discredit it ? How? Why is discrediting of one sighting even significant?

His lengthy definition reinforces my opinion that the term "cryptid" is confusing and too all encompassing, if it intends to be taken seriously as some sort of scientific term.

How do we even place specific undocumented creatures labeled "cryptids" (by the cryptozoological sector) under any of his definitions if we haven't obtained a specimen yet

Oh, because of the one discredited sighting, I guess.

Edited by QuiteContrary

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Imo, it is impossible to come up with a definition of cryptid that satisfies everyone along the skepticism and belief spectrum.

Because no definition fits both documented cryptids and undocumented cryptids. There are too many definitions needed to explain the definitions.

For me, it is like combining a rumored indigenous tribe of humans and Santa’s elves under one definitive and explicative term.

Also, I don’t know how you’d prove (via his arguable criteria) the “history” of some recent discovery didn’t just follow the normal scientific process and not the “formula” for some vague term in cryptozoology.

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Well, just for giggles guys. Let's not be in such a rush to nail down a wholly comprehensive word that will cover all the possible bases, unknown bases, bases that haven't been built yet but would have had we had the damned word for it.

This is like trying to define pornography. In the immortal words of one Justice William O. Douglas, "I may not be able to give you a definition of it but I certainly know it when I see it."

Now, on a more practical note. Let's say I shoot a Bigfoot and I bring the thing into a college or university. They dive on it, study test it, sample it ninety ways to Sunday, x-ray, MRI, cat scans, Vulcan Mind Meld with it. Then they have a press conference and don't mention me. Who gets the credit for the find? Me or the university who did all the verification?

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wasnt the platipus a cryptid?

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1983 that is no fun at all! If you go by definition of animals known by lay people and not since, so many were discovered its amazing. The dog was a cryptid, and bears, even fish! Birds so many!

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The platipus was not so a cryptid so much an anomaly. When it was first. Reported it was thought to be a joke. An animal put together from parts of different animals.

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This thread is moot. Cryptids aren't cryptids once discovered.

The title should be.. ''Cryptids that have been proven to be true and proven entities of science.''

But.. where is the fun in that?

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True, no fun in that however it appears all we're going to do is quivel over the definition of the word "Cryptid". Not much fun and there either.

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two hundred and fifty eight according to one source

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two hundred and fifty eight according to one source

Could you provide us with a link to this source?

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When you examine the timeline of cryptozoology, you find it's a mixed bag of ancient and recent. The term zoology wasn't invented or coined until 1551 by Conrad Gesner, which in itself could cause a train-wreck in the context of the guidlines offered by the OP.

Cryptozoology Timeline

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You just asked for a link.......you didn't specify where to.

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You just asked for a link.......you didn't specify where to.

Spiritwriter said that according to one source, 258 cryptids had been discovered. I asked for her to provide a link to the source she was talking about. The one that says that 258 cryptids have been discovered. I thought I was being perfectly clear the first time I asked. I know you guys are just joking around, but I actually want to it. Unless that was a joke as well.

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Because she said so.

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Forget it. I'm done here.

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How many cryptids have been found?

That would be a big fat ZERO.

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