Cyclopaedia 24: Cryptozoology

Welcome to Cyclopaedia 24: CryptozoologyCyclopaedia is a monthly article on the InnRoads Ministries website as part of the Getting Started series. Twenty Four? That means with this article I have completed two years of the Cyclopaedia series. Thanks to all of you for reading along and encouraging me with new topic suggestions. This month’s article was inspired by the Christmas Holiday and one of my favorite shows on TV around this time, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I have always loved Bumble (the Abominable Snowman) and even have a Christmas ornament of him on our tree. As I was thinking about Bumble, I thought about the other folklore of various cryptics. Even with all the books on this topic, Cryptozoology has not been explored that much be tabletop or rpgs providing some opportunities for designers. So dive into this research and learn things like Yukon Cornelius knows “Bumbles *bounce*!”

If you have questions about this article or topics you would like me to consider researching for future Cyclopaedia articles, please leave a comment below.


Overview

Do you believe in bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, or the chupacabra? The pseudoscience devoted to the study of creatures from folklore record, as well as animals considered extinct, such as dinosaurs, is called cryptozoology (“the study of hidden animals”). Cryptozoologists call these creatures cryptids.

The field of cryptozoology originated from the research and publications of Bernard Heuvelmans, a Belgian-French zoologist, and Ivan T. Sanderson, a Scottish zoologist. Where biology regularly identifies new species, cryptozoology focuses on creatures from folklore and legends. Because of some of the practices of cryptozoology and its folklore roots, many view this pseudoscience as completely fake and showmanship.

Yet, over the years, many of these cryptids have been proven true such as the giant squid, the okapi, the platypus, and most recently the coelacanth which scientists had believed was extinct. When science proves folklore true, it only encourages cryptozoologists to seek even more for the most legendary of cryptids.

This article will not address such magical creatures as dragons, fairies, kaiju, lycanthropes, or mermaids. There are debates as to if those are cryptids or mythology. Other Cyclopaedias will explore those topics in greater detail.

Most Common Cryptids Still Being Sought

The list of Cryptids grows constantly, but there are those that are talked about, researched, and pursued the most.

  • El Chupacabra
  • The Jersey Devil
  • Kraken
  • Loch Ness Monster
  • Mokele-Mbembe
  • Mothman
  • Sasquatch/Bigfoot
  • Thunderbird
  • Yeti/Abominable Snow Man

Following are sources of information pertaining to Cryptozoology to assist prospective game masters, game designers, writers, and storytellers in knowing where to start their research.

 

ARTICLES

Cryptozoology, Archaeology and Paleontology: Histories Near the High Table
By Brysse, Keynyn
Source: Annals of Science, v67 n4 (201010): 569-575

Cryptozoology as a Pseudoscience: Beasts in Transition
By Schembri, Elise
Studies by Undergraduate Researchers at Guelph; Vol 5, No 1 (2011); 5-10

Cryptozoology in the Medieval and Modern Worlds
By Dendle, Peter
Source: Folklore, v117 n2: 190-206

 

BOOKS

Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids
By Loxton, Daniel and Prothero, Donald

American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America
By Godfrey, Linda S.

Baby’s First Cryptid
By Farmer, Carl

The Bigfoot Book: The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch, Yeti and Cryptid Primates
By Redfern, Nick

Bigfoot Observer’s Field Manual: A practical and easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to your very own face-to-face encounter with a legend
By Morgan, Robert W.

Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America
By Coleman, Loren

Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal: A Geneticist’s Search for Modern Apemen
By Sykes, Bryan

Chupacabra Road Trip: In Search of the Elusive Beast
By Redfern, Nick

Compendium of North American Cryptids & Magical Creatures
By Brown, Maury & Young, Ben Morrow Mike

Cryptid Cinema: Meditations on Bigfoot, Bayou Beasts & Backwoods Bogeymen of the Movies
By Bissette, Stephen R and Fenton, Steve

Cryptid Hunters
By Smith, Roland

Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature Paperback
By Coleman, Loren

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter
By Gates, Josh

A Field Guide to the Cryptids of North America
By Shepherd, Dr. Courtney A.

Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep
By Coleman, Loren

A Field Guide to Sasquatch Structures: The 50 Most Common Types in North American Forests
By Noël, Christopher

Finding Bigfoot: Everything You Need to Know (Animal Planet)
By ANIMAL PLANET

The Great Orm of Loch Ness: A Practical Inquiry into the Nature and Habits of Water-Monsters
By Holiday, F. W.

Hunting Monsters: Cryptozoology and the Reality Behind the Myths
By Naish, Darren

The Inhumanoids: Real Encounters with Beings that can’t Exist!
By Nunnelly, Barton M

International Cryptozoology Society Journal: Volume One
By Coleman, Loren

Know the Sasquatch
By Murphy, Christopher L.

The Land That Time Forgot
By Burroughs, Edgar Rice

Living Among Sasquatch: A Primer
By Gibson, Dave

The Loch
By Alten, Steve

The Loch Ness Legacy: Tyler Locke
By Morrison, Boyd

The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence
By Campbell, Steuart

Loch Ness: From Out of the Depths: Original Newspaper Accounts of the Rise of the Loch Ness Monster – 1933-1934
By Gallagher, Patrick J

The Lost World
By Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures
By Gerhard, Ken

Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History
By Shuker, Dr. Karl

Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin
By Gibbons, William J. and Rebsamen, William

Monster Hunt: The Guide to Cryptozoology
By Storm, Rory

Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena
By Godfrey, Linda S.

Monsters of the Midwest: True Tales of Bigfoot, Werewolves & Other Legendary Creatures
By Freeburg, Jessica

Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot
By Gisondi, Joe

Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend
By Wamsley, Jeff and Sergent Jr., Donnie

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science
By Meldrum, Jeff

Search at Loch Ness: The Expedition of the New York Times and the Academy of Applied Science
By Meredith, Dennis L.

Shapeshifters: Morphing Monsters & Changing Cryptids
By Redfern, Nick

Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist
By Halls, Kelly Milner

The Unexplained: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Natural and Paranormal Mysteries
By Shuker, Dr. Karl

The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious
By Budd, Deena West

Whiskey, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster: Traveling through Scotland with Boswell and Johnson
By Starr, William W.

Yeti – The Ecology of a Mystery 1st Edition
By Taylor, Daniel C.

 

GAMES

Bigfoot – Tabletop Game
The Bigfoot Game – Tabletop Game
The Cameron Files: Secret at Loch Ness – Video Game
Conspiracy X: Cryptozoology – RPG
Cryptids TV – Tabletop Game
Darkstalkers – Video Game
Dominant Species – Tabletop Game
The Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology – RPG
Loch Ness – Tabletop Game
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mystery Monsters Revisited – RPG
Smash Up – Tabletop Game
Summit The Board Game – The Yeti Expansion – Tabletop Game

 

CINEMA

Abominable
The Abominable Snowman
Chupacabra Terror
Cryptid: The Swamp Beast – TV
The Family-Ness – TV
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Harry and the Hendersons – TV and Movie
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion
In Search Of – TV
The Incident at Loch Ness
King Kong
Kong: Skull Island
Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep
The Land That Time Forgot
The Legend of Big Foot
The Legend of Boggy Creek
Little Big Foot
Loch Ness
Loch Ness – TV
Lost Tapes – TV
Lost World
The Mothman of Point Pleasant
Pete’s Dragon
The Sasquatach Gang
The Secret Saturdays – TV
Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico
Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster
Snowbeast
Strange Wilderness
Tremors
Trollhunter
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
X-Files – TV
Yeti Giant Of The 20th Century

 

LOCATIONS

Bigfoot Discovery Museum
http://bigfootdiscoveryproject.com/

Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum
https://crypto-para.org/

International Cryptozoology Conference
http://www.cryptozoonews.com/icc17/

International Cryptozoology Museum
http://cryptozoologymuseum.com/

Loch Ness
http://www.lochness.com/

Nessieland
http://www.nessieland.co.uk/

 

PEOPLE

Roy Chapman
Loren Coleman
Charles Darwin
Ken Gerhard
Conrad Gesner
Bernard Heuvelmans
Dr. Karl P. N. Shuker
David Thompson
Craig Woolheater


I hope you find these resources informative and inspiring for your adventures, storytelling, or game design.

Stay Creative!

T.R. Knight

( If you would like to save this list of resources as a convenient PDF for later reference, you can find that HERE )

 

WHO IS T.R. KNIGHT?
He is a freelance editor, proofreader, and writer in the game industry. He is also a Husband and Caregiver to his wife Angie, Father of Twins Emily and Rachel, Foodie and Hobby Chef, and Director of Academic Technology/Associate CIO at Taylor University. You can learn more about T.R. at his blog http://www.freelanceknight.com.

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