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theotherguy

Non-animal cryptids

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theotherguy

Most unknown reported cryptids are animals, or at least animalistic, to the point where the discipline of studying/chasing after/daydreaming about them is cryptozoology, instead of cryptobiology. I'm looking for organisms that match the description of a cryptid, but aren't animals.  The first one I know of is a Hawaiian mushroom that is purported to induce rapid, intensely pleasurable physical reactions in women who smell it. (I'm keeping this as work-safe as possible.) The mushroom species itself is known to exist (Dictyophora/Phallus cinnabarina), but its effects on human physiology seem to come from a single research paper that has apparently never been fully reviewed, and the methods have not been replicated under test conditions, as far as I can tell. The abstract can be found at http://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,2e5fc0e3182d70db,6f3ed2921c9f3802.html. (The link is just a journal abstract, but given the nature of the article, probably not work-safe.) The most-referenced popular article, from Discover magazine, is at https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/expedition-ecstasy-sniffing-out-the-truth-about-hawaiis-orgasm-inducing-mushroom. There are a lot of popular articles, a very limited number of scientific articles, lots of speculation, and almost no solid proof. General consensus is that the effects are at best highly exaggerated descriptions of physiological disgust, but the idea still floats around thanks to pop culture's general obsession with oddities of this nature.

Another cryptid, this one a plant, is the monkey-trap tree, Mexican snake-tree, or vampire plant, all of which may be different names for the same plant. It (or they) reportedly lives in the American tropics from Mexico to Brazil. The only sources I have for this one are online articles referencing a book I have to admit I haven't read, Karl Shuker's The Beasts that Hide from Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals. Take it (and me) with a grain of salt. 

There's also the barometz, the ya-te-veo, and the hungry grass, but those are all solidly in the realm of folklore and fantasy at this point. I'm leaving these undescribed as a teaser for the interested, curious, and bored.

Does anyone here know of any other modern (i.e., within the last several decades) stories of non-animal cryptids?

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rashore

I don't know about modern or not, but I am aware of non-animal cryptids. Some various plant ones, like what you got listed- big plants that have a sentience or will. 

As a toddler, my grandpa told me Grimms fairytales and other older and more hardcore tales from when he grew up in Germany. He also had been in the service and don't know where, but sometimes he would pepper in his tales with other stuff that wasn't really Grimms. Some was the spooky plants. Weeping trees that could drink your dreams, soul, or even your blood if you got caught by the wrong blood drinking kind. Pines that could swaddle you up like a spider with their boughs and a thousand needles to drink from you. Whole woods that would/could shift/move. Grasslands that could get hungry for flesh, and take down animals or people. Or thick carpets of moss that could do the same. Bracken or seaweed that would lay on the shore and wait for the high tide and something/someone to catch and take back into the water. 

One non-plant or animal one was guarding or warding stones kinds of stories. Stones in the woods that would mark paths or move to change them, be silent and watch through their fringes of moss.  Move to dam up a creek, or to open a floodgate. Maybe helping or not the wee folk, maybe just protecting their woods and such from humans. Kind of a stone cryptid.

 

 

 

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theotherguy

Did the plants or the warding stones have specific names, or was your grandpa just describing them? And do you know if he was actually pulling from German stories, or if he was making up his own? The impression I'm getting here is that you shouldn't trust any plant in Germany that you didn't grow yourself. Either way, thanks for this!

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Orphalesion
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, theotherguy said:

And do you know if he was actually pulling from German stories, or if he was making up his own? The impression I'm getting here is that you shouldn't trust any plant in Germany that you didn't grow yourself. Either way, thanks for this!

No. There are no flesh eating, or blood/soul drinking plants in German folklore. @rashore 's grandfather must have invented them, and my respect to his awesome imagination! Those plants sound hella cool. 

The closest thing in German folklore I can think of right now are trees that are believed to grow ducks rather than fruit. Belief in them was so strong that, during a period in Medieval Times, people ate "tree grown ducks" for lent, since they wouldn't technically be meat.

Edited by Orphalesion
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ThereWeAreThen
24 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

No. There are no flesh eating, or blood/soul drinking plants in German folklore. @rashore 's grandfather must have invented them, and my respect to his awesome imagination! Those plants sound hella cool. 

The closest thing in German folklore I can think of right now are trees that are believed to grow ducks rather than fruit. Belief in them was so strong that, during a period in Medieval Times, people ate "tree grown ducks" for lent, since they wouldn't technically be meat.

I want a tree that grows ducks!

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Carnoferox
1 hour ago, Orphalesion said:

The closest thing in German folklore I can think of right now are trees that are believed to grow ducks rather than fruit. Belief in them was so strong that, during a period in Medieval Times, people ate "tree grown ducks" for lent, since they wouldn't technically be meat.

That sounds similar to the barnacle goose and Tartary lamb.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnacle_goose_myth

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_Lamb_of_Tartary

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rashore
13 hours ago, theotherguy said:

Did the plants or the warding stones have specific names, or was your grandpa just describing them? And do you know if he was actually pulling from German stories, or if he was making up his own? The impression I'm getting here is that you shouldn't trust any plant in Germany that you didn't grow yourself. Either way, thanks for this!

Not all German, not all Grimms- but all kind of dark like Grimms. Hans Christian Anderson was Danish, Aesop was Greek, lol. Hungry grass can be Irish, but sometimes legends of it come from places that have other large grasslands and savanna's, trees that eat people have more than one nation of origin. There were people and fairies, talking animals, weres, shapeshifters, and curses- golems, jinn and elementals that I know are more Middle-Eastern, dragons and strange demons I know are more Eastern. I know a lot of the folklore he told me was actual non-embellished folklore, but I wouldn't rule out him making up something or taking an obscure something and making it a better tale.

I think he liked collecting and very likely telling folklore while in the service. We didn't talk about his time in service, just had the impression he had been all over the place and one single story of a fellow soldier somehow getting lost going from one barracks to another one night and freezing to death. 

He was kind of the reason why I grew up fascinated with folklore. I assume he grew up with Grimms and probably Anderson and became interested in folklore, and that's why he collected and told stories. He was a very good storyteller and often would tell me these bedtime stories. He passed away when I was 7-8 years old, so I only got to have a few years as a kid to hear him tell them. 

But back to topic. Though there was a lot of stuff in grandpas stories and a lot of lore I've learned over the years, there isn't much for non-animal cryptids. The few plants and the rocks are the only ones that came to mind.

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Earl.Of.Trumps
22 hours ago, ThereWeAreThen said:

I want a tree that grows ducks!

I'd settle for a duck that grows trees!  <smile>

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theotherguy
11 hours ago, rashore said:

Not all German, not all Grimms- but all kind of dark like Grimms. Hans Christian Anderson was Danish, Aesop was Greek, lol. Hungry grass can be Irish, but sometimes legends of it come from places that have other large grasslands and savanna's, trees that eat people have more than one nation of origin. There were people and fairies, talking animals, weres, shapeshifters, and curses- golems, jinn and elementals that I know are more Middle-Eastern, dragons and strange demons I know are more Eastern. I know a lot of the folklore he told me was actual non-embellished folklore, but I wouldn't rule out him making up something or taking an obscure something and making it a better tale.

I think he liked collecting and very likely telling folklore while in the service. We didn't talk about his time in service, just had the impression he had been all over the place and one single story of a fellow soldier somehow getting lost going from one barracks to another one night and freezing to death. 

He was kind of the reason why I grew up fascinated with folklore. I assume he grew up with Grimms and probably Anderson and became interested in folklore, and that's why he collected and told stories. He was a very good storyteller and often would tell me these bedtime stories. He passed away when I was 7-8 years old, so I only got to have a few years as a kid to hear him tell them. 

But back to topic. Though there was a lot of stuff in grandpas stories and a lot of lore I've learned over the years, there isn't much for non-animal cryptids. The few plants and the rocks are the only ones that came to mind.

He sounds like he was an entertaining guy. I would have liked to meet him.

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Nobu

I grew up in the most rural of places... the ozarks. There exists a tree there called the Black Locust. Or the witches tree. It’s poisonous and all sorts of concoctions can be made from it.... as tales go. It has a brother of notorious designs that I have never seen (but heard of) that I’d consider a crypto-tree.

nice thread. I enjoy stuff like this.

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ThereWeAreThen
8 hours ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

I'd settle for a duck that grows trees!  <smile>

How about I try and train a duck into planting seeds, then I'll video it. Would you settle for that? :tsu:

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theotherguy

@Nobu Interesting. I've seen black locust furniture, and I know that it's toxic, but I didn't know about the stories, or about its crypto-relatives. Do you have any more details?

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Nobu
1 minute ago, theotherguy said:

@Nobu Interesting. I've seen black locust furniture, and I know that it's toxic, but I didn't know about the stories, or about its crypto-relatives. Do you have any more details?

There exists (at least in ozark lore) a red or blood locust. That is where a witch made a pact with the devil and consummation of pact occurred. Any one that spends too much time around a red locust will come under sway by demons.

 

now.... let me tell you this is hogwash. But I had relatives that believed this every bit as much as they believed that rain was wet. And they swore they saw red locusts. Likely it was a red mold or fungus that started this “holler lore”. You have to remember that in the hills we were and still are to some extent a very backwards suspicious people.

On an interesting note- seems as I’m getting older these old stories are dying with the older generation. Maybe a good thing but kind of a sad thing. Growing up in the hills we had all sort of legends and myths that I don’t find on the internet that I suspect will die with my generation. Probably an inconsequential thing but an interesting and sad point for me.

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Oniomancer

While not that recent, William Corliss' Sourcebook Project has a volume on botanical anomalies. Only thing I can recall seeing mentioned from it is alleged reports from the American west of flesh infection by spores from a species of puffball.

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the13bats

I have to call it crypto-botanical as zoology makes we think more of animals not plants my fav is the folklore of Naree pon the little girls that grew on trees to get the attentions of bandits.

I just love sideshow gaffs and have pondered how to make a few like these.

images(23).jpg.0e01f0d08b536173ad6450dcb1ed09fd.jpgimages(22).jpg.42ae2aaf8086c0c298b548681703fc28.jpg

I do not believe they grew but very well might be plant based.

 

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theotherguy
On 5/24/2021 at 9:15 PM, Oniomancer said:

While not that recent, William Corliss' Sourcebook Project has a volume on botanical anomalies. Only thing I can recall seeing mentioned from it is alleged reports from the American west of flesh infection by spores from a species of puffball.

That one looks fun. I'll check it out.

On 5/24/2021 at 9:48 PM, the13bats said:

I have to call it crypto-botanical as zoology makes we think more of animals not plants my fav is the folklore of Naree pon the little girls that grew on trees to get the attentions of bandits.

I just love sideshow gaffs and have pondered how to make a few like these.

images(23).jpg.0e01f0d08b536173ad6450dcb1ed09fd.jpgimages(22).jpg.42ae2aaf8086c0c298b548681703fc28.jpg

I do not believe they grew but very well might be plant based.

 

Carved, or something? If they were carved, that's some fine craftwork. If you manage to make something like these, please post them!

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the13bats
24 minutes ago, theotherguy said:

Carved, or something? If they were carved, that's some fine craftwork. If you manage to make something like these, please post them!

My dad who passed 2014 at 89 was a lot of things one was a taxidermy he made a lot of gaffs using real dead creatures , i would rather use non animal materials.

when i showed good pictures of naree pons to dad he thought they had a very organic quailty and considered them being plants, leather or even a fetus that had been worked on,

He said to reproduce it he would have cared a wood form and used leather on that, 

My work has been mostly mud creatures and fake pickled punks, ill see if i can dig up some pix.

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Abramelin
On 5/24/2021 at 7:24 AM, Nobu said:

I grew up in the most rural of places... the ozarks. There exists a tree there called the Black Locust. Or the witches tree. It’s poisonous and all sorts of concoctions can be made from it.... as tales go. It has a brother of notorious designs that I have never seen (but heard of) that I’d consider a crypto-tree.

nice thread. I enjoy stuff like this.

I thought that the Black Locust tree is nothing but the Robinia pseudo-acacia.

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Nobu
1 hour ago, Abramelin said:

I thought that the Black Locust tree is nothing but the Robinia pseudo-acacia.

 Not sure without google. But it looks like a mimosa tree a lot. But you don’t want to make lemonade with it!

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DieChecker
Posted (edited)

What about robots, or rock based, or animated object, crypos? Those aren't living creatures.

I've always thought of the Flatwoods monster as a robot, but often people consider it a crypto.

There's the story of the golem. And in ancient Greece a statue named Talos came to life.

What about the Undead?

Edited by DieChecker
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theotherguy

Undead are still mostly animals, unless you want to count the pumpkin vampire or something. I suppose the Golem counts--I've seen stories that it's still being kept in a secret attic over a synagogue in Poland or something, I'll look back into that. Talos is pretty firmly in the realm of story, unless someone comes up with a bronze robot on the shores of Crete.

I hadn't heard of the Flatwoods monster being robotic. That's an interesting one.

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WolfHawk
Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2021 at 10:52 PM, Nobu said:

There exists (at least in ozark lore) a red or blood locust. That is where a witch made a pact with the devil and consummation of pact occurred. Any one that spends too much time around a red locust will come under sway by demons.

 

now.... let me tell you this is hogwash. But I had relatives that believed this every bit as much as they believed that rain was wet. And they swore they saw red locusts. Likely it was a red mold or fungus that started this “holler lore”. You have to remember that in the hills we were and still are to some extent a very backwards suspicious people.

On an interesting note- seems as I’m getting older these old stories are dying with the older generation. Maybe a good thing but kind of a sad thing. Growing up in the hills we had all sort of legends and myths that I don’t find on the internet that I suspect will die with my generation. Probably an inconsequential thing but an interesting and sad point for me.

For heavens sake! Write them down!! Publush them!!! There are a number of academics who study folklore and fairy tales. Contact them!! Don't let your goldmine of information wither and die!!!

Edited by WolfHawk
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DieChecker
On 7/3/2021 at 7:15 PM, theotherguy said:

I hadn't heard of the Flatwoods monster being robotic. That's an interesting one.

Here's the first artists impression drawn in 1952. It just looks like a robot to me.

flatwoods-sighting_4.thumb.jpg.044c2400324e90add1d95f47c570108d.jpg

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theotherguy
On 7/5/2021 at 9:12 PM, DieChecker said:

Here's the first artists impression drawn in 1952. It just looks like a robot to me.

flatwoods-sighting_4.thumb.jpg.044c2400324e90add1d95f47c570108d.jpg

Looking at it and thinking "This is a robot," I definitely see where you're coming from.

But the guy on the right has no shadow and is trying to shake the Monster's hand. I want to know more about that.

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