Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Cryptic List of Cryptids and Other Obscure Monsters

Custom User Avatar
More by this author

Very Important Warning:
This was written for entertainment purposes only. NOT for religious purposes, as in not for starting creepy cults or anything else of such a dark nature. Comments and jokes from the author about these creatures have been included. Also, may contain puns, so don't read if you are allergic to wordplay.

 

Introduction
If you're reading this, I hope you're one of the people out there that are getting tired of hearing about cryptids such as Bigfoot and fantastic creatures such as mermaids. I am too, but if you search list of obscure monsters or something similar, you may end up finding about the same list of monsters over and over again. Worse yet, the descriptions might have even been plagiarized over and over again, to the point where reading them gets boring quite quickly. It even happens if you search the name of one particular mythological nobody. The vague and over-copied descriptions and the sources that only mention something with the same name, but are not at all you are looking for must be a nightmare for a researcher.


Now, about just how little-known these freaks are. Some of the entries here did manage to get their fifteen minutes of fame, but are only remembered for whatever book or movie they starred in, or at least played a role, not the actual myths and legends that described them. Others are in fact members of a popular species, but are, in a way, still oddballs, and there are some that never crossed the “not well-known” line at all. The cryptids here might have been hoaxes, but they still exist….in the world of imagination.

 

Akhlut
Nowadays most people know killer whales kill whales, not people, and some call them sea wolves due to their pack mentality. The Inuit and their neighbors used to take the orca and sea wolf relation quite literally, and with dread. Arctic folklore had the idea that some orcas had the ability to take on a lupine form, and spent their time on the ice by terrorizing and eating any people nearby. Until oil rigs and modern science came along, many people avoided any dogs or wolves that lurked near the ocean in fear that they were whale wolves, or ceta-canines if you want a Latin term.

 

Busse Deer
You think since this bulky cervid is featured in Greek mythology, it'd be easy to research, but is it? If it is, do you remember reading about something like a beefy stag that changes color like a chameleon in order to escape hunters? Probably not, but you probably do now! These bullish deer are said to live in an area between Greece, Turkey, and Scythia. I think of it as an especially adorable pet, something like a fat muntjac, but without the messy fuzz on the antlers. Now all you need is a collar and a cute name, and have your protagonist call and hear the clicking of hooves. “Bussie! Come here, girl!”


Unfortunately, the name for the deer is confused with the name for a knife brand, a park, et cetera, so when it comes to pronunciation, no one knows for sure if the deer's name is different from other things with the “Busse” moniker.

 

Carabuncle or Carbuncle
Other than in “Final Fantasy” and “Dungeons and Dragons”, the nocturnal carbuncle hasn't really got into stardom, especially not the Irish variant, which is an aquatic animal with a pearl decorating its head. The much more familiar variant is a feline or canine creature from Argentina and Paraguay (I doubt it looks like Pikachu. Small ears and feline build, please) that is probably green in color, and sports a ruby in its head. The carbuncle (especially the terrestrial South American species) has the ability to sense a nearby human’s desire, which in most cases, is for the possibly scaly creature's gemstone. Every time some greedy hunter tries to get this valuable head ornament, the carbuncle suddenly emits a bright light that may make it seem like the little guy just exploded, and this scares off the little guy's adversary. In those cases where a carbuncle meets someone who can care less about the gemstone, the pearl or ruby simply falls out of the animal's head, and its former owner will wander off to do its own thing. Or at least I think it's that undramatic.

 

Harimau Jadian
In a place (Southeast Asia) where a big cornucopia of creatures, ranging from the first species of vampires to carnivorous sentient trees to possessive ghost-bird-tigers, threaten the lives of humans every day, there needs to be a good guy somewhere. Southeast Asian folklore gives us the weretiger! The harimau jadian therianthrope species doesn't attack humans as much as their truly animalistic counterparts, and instead serve as guardians, unless the werecats are very upset about a human action or are in desperate need of food. They are described in human form as not having the groove in their upper lip, and their transformation (like most weretigers in Asian myth) into big striped cats starts at their feet and hands, then goes up to their limbs and torso, orange fur appears and begins to darken with stripes, the tail manifests, and the shape-shifting finale is the head. By then, they are like normal tigers in appearance, but note that no two tigers have the exact same stripe pattern.

Khodumodumo
Otherwise called a kammapa or khodumodurno or kholomodumo, this gluttonous creature was featured in a story about a legendary king, who defeated the monster after it swallowed all the people in South Africa, but the Basuto, Sesuto, and Sotho tribes don't have much of a description for the creature, except that the animal's name probably means “gaping bush beast” and that it had the eerie ability to sneak up silently on anyone it wanted to devour. Like the upcoming nargun, the khodumodumo is commonly treated as a single being, but unlike the nargun, it was seen by white settlers and was treated as a livestock-snatching pest. More than one hundred angry settlers followed the creature's rounded, clawed, 2-inch long tracks, but the settlers’ hunt ended in failure, and no such creature has been reported since. Some compare the khodumodumo to the more famous Nandi bear, something like a hyena or a baboon, while others may think the khodumodumo is something like a dragon, though I imagine it as a bloated animal that has the features of a bongo antelope and a lion, and maybe a barn owl. Or a hippo, but that's just my idea.

Nargun 

Considering that these stone beings (or this female stone being. Some argue the stone parts are in fact scales. I’d rather think the stone areas have carved-in scales) have arms, hands, and the front of their chests made of human flesh, they might not have a heart of stone, right? According to people that have heard of this monster, the answer is no. Even the book that made the weird part therianthrope (according to the tribes that think more than one nargun exists, they don't completely resemble humans) part stone creature famous portrayed the monster as a destructive force. The mythical nargun is said to be a sinister cave dweller that eats travelers that dare to pass its territory as well as children who wander away from the camp in the middle of the night. The more famous type is the single creature resembling a seven-foot-tall woman. Either breed of cat has what must be very quick reflexes, because legend has it they (or she or it, whichever you prefer) can reflect any weapon thrown or shot at them, boomerangs and bullets included, and return the projectile to the sender, sometimes with deadly accuracy. Some even say you will know one is nearby if you hear something like a “Nga-a-a-a!” call.

 

There is a largely forgotten tale about an aboriginal woman named “Lilly” or whomever who somehow killed one, but nobody knows how she pulled off such a daunting stunt, or if she ever succeeded. Did she sneak up on this nargun or lured it into letting its guard down and stab it in the soft chest with a knife? Did she give the creature poisoned food? Or did she break the monster into pieces with a pickaxe? And if she did, did this person find gemstones inside the igneous beast? The version that says this girl won the fight say her adventures, as well as her life, ended when she was devoured by a bunyip (scary aquatic marsupial) at Lake Mystery. Like I said, nobody knows the details, or much else for that matter.

 

The story of a ferocious lump of stone was originally a myth made up to keep nosey folk away from caves sacred to the natives. And before science and scoffing became a phenomenon in Australia, it had worked quite well.

 

Pascuense Bovine
The mythology of Easter Island has been largely ignored. Instead, most would focus on the famous stone statues or moai and the mystery behind them (I once had a book that had an account on how the ancients transported and lifted them). It's even sadder to think that the glyphs (called rongorongo, which were written on wood slabs) that probably contain valuable information are still undeciphered. What some eager adventurers and anthropologists can find in what's left of the island's folklore came from what the islanders can remember, and one story had a type of goat or antelope that supposedly lived on Easter Island when the legendary king and founder, Hotu Matua, discovered the volcanic landmass. The animal was described as having wide spreading horns, but nobody knows if the horns were smooth or spiraled or moniliform. It is also noted that the obscure animal had litters of six kids at a time. Perhaps the reason why none of the goats or gazelles or whatever are no longer around might be that the islanders killed them off before the animal can be thoroughly ingrained in their culture, and this may explain why there are no murals featuring the mammal. Either that or the drying climate and erosion played a role. The likely reason why no bones are found is the volcanic soil of the island is probably not good for preservation or the bones were ground up for a certain use. Even though the book where this strange animal “dwells” states the possibility that it never existed, perhaps it once did.

 

Piranu
I'm sure no one will think of seahorses as terrifying animals. At one time, however, boatmen cruising their vessels in the rivers of the Argentinian pampas once feared a species of big, bulky, black fish (that's right, I said fish) with the head of a horse with big eyes. The unfriendly fishy broncos would attack boats by butting their heads against the hull, if the boats get too close to their territory for comfort. If this animal ever existed, it has likely died out.

 

Rainbow Tiger
I think it really is sad that Bigfoot is the only cryptid, other than the thylacine, that the newsgroups will ever mention, because some Ecuadorians think there's a much more colorful creature lurking in their forests. Think of an aggressive, big, gray or black cat similar to a jaguar that lives in the trees and has a pink or red, yellow, and white striped chest and hand-like paws, and you have what some will call a rainbow tiger, or a tshenkutshen as the Shuar tribesmen call it.


Strangely enough, there is a rainbow of stories about hunters meeting with natives and hearing about the most terrible and colorful big cat in South America, but I don't know just how reliable they are, considering these encounters are mostly recorded in blogs.

 

Wulver and Similar Werewolves 
The seemingly modern idea of benign werewolves is not so new. Scottish myth has a werewolf that occasionally leaves some food at a poor person's door. Otherwise, the Scottish wulver has pretty much nothing to do with its human neighbors.


Some of the werewolves in Portugal are even more harmless than the wulver. This werewolf is sometimes described as having a yellow tail, probably because these werewolves are quite yellow. Instead of attacking people like a demonic animal, the benign Portuguese werewolves are thought to be easily frightened by everything, especially suspicious light, so when someone is covering their windows during one of those howling fits caused by wolves, that person might be showing some sympathy. A type of werewolf in Finland has the same behavior.

 

Works Cited

Bane, Theresa. Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth, Legend and Folklore. Jefferson: McFarland and Company Inc., Publishers, 2016. Electronic.

Eberhart, George M. Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. N.p.: CFZ Publishing, 2013. Print.

---. Eberhart, George M. Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. N.p.: CFZ Publishing, n.d. Print.

Guynup, Sharon. Why Have Tigers Been Feared and Revered Throughout History? National Geographic, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 June 2017.
 

Largo, Michael. The Big Bad Book of Beasts. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. Print.

Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters, & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. Electronic.

Thomson, William Judah. Te Pito Te Henua; Or, Easter Island. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891. Electronic.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback