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Top 10 Cryptids That Turned out to Be Real

Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.

Top 10 Cryptids That Really Existed

Once an animal or creature ends up on the cryptid list there is a slim chance it will ever get off it. This is because, to most biologists, Cryptozoology is considered to be nothing other than pseudo-science. But the truth is, this is a major mistake on their part. Over the years numerous cryptids have turned out to be real. Just because something is hard to find, does not mean it doesn't exist. Our list of creatures contains the following animals:

  1. Giant Squid
  2. African Unicorn
  3. Komodo Dragon
  4. Sea Serpents
  5. The Cute Chimera
  6. Hoan Kiem Turtle
  7. Hogzilla
  8. Devil Bird
  9. Ancestral Spirit
  10. Water Owl
The giant squid was once thought to be responsible for ships lost at sea.

The giant squid was once thought to be responsible for ships lost at sea.

1. Giant Squid

The Giant Squid is a rare species of deep-ocean squid that was once considered to be a myth due to its tremendous size. Rough estimates of the creature put its average size at somewhere between 33 and 39 feet in length. The first images of one of these creatures alive were captured in 2002 but stories of its existence have been around for quite some time. It was rumored to attack fishing ships in the search for food but science has proven it mainly feeds on deep-sea fish and other types of squid.

The African Unicorn is a friendly but mysterious creature.

The African Unicorn is a friendly but mysterious creature.

2. African Unicorn

The African Unicorn, or more correctly named the Okapi, is an African animal that was believed to be a myth all the way up until the year 1901. Based on its physical description, the Okapi sounded extremely strange with stripes of a zebra on its hind legs and horns between its eyes. And even after that, the Okapi somehow managed to avoid having its picture taken in the wild until the year 2008. The Okapi is a prime example of how larger cryptids like Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster could avoid detection for all these years.

It's hard to believe that people used to believe the Komodo Dragon was only a myth.

It's hard to believe that people used to believe the Komodo Dragon was only a myth.

3. Komodo Dragon

The planet's largest living lizards, the Komodo Dragons, are something that most people used to consider to be a myth. With the strange lizard being capable of growing upwards to 10 feet long and moving as fast as a large dog it is not hard to imagine why that was. Based on physical description alone they sound more like dragons of European legend than a real animal existing on our planet. Komodo Dragons were not officially documented until 1910 when I scientist traveled to Komodo island to see one of the crazy reptile he heard so many stories about.

Oarfish are believed to be the cause of most Sea Serpent sightings.

Oarfish are believed to be the cause of most Sea Serpent sightings.

4. Sea Serpents

Stories of sea serpents are some of the oldest tales every told with even the Christian bible mentioning gigantic beasts(Leviathan) roaming around the depths of the ocean. These stories were originally tossed aside as being pure fiction, but recently cryptozoologists have begun to believe it was merely a case of mistaken identity. The Oarfish is a reclusive bony fish that is capable of growing to lengths over 56 feet making them easily mistaken for sea serpents. The reason it took so long for this to be determined by scientists is that oarfish rarely approach the surface and prefer to remain at lower depths.

The Platypus was originally called the cute chimera.

The Platypus was originally called the cute chimera.

5. The Cute Chimera

The Cute Chimera was once the name of one of the strangest animals ever to be imagined, must less actually exist, the Platypus. When it was first reported in 1798 many scientists believed it to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax. Even after being presented with a corpse of the animal many people still refused to accept that these animals, which seemingly contracted most of what we know about the animal world, could be real. And while by today most people have accepted their existence, it does not make the semi-aquatic mammal capable of laying eggs and poisoning its prey any less strange. This animal is truly unique.

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The Hoan Kiem Turtle was considered a God for many years.

The Hoan Kiem Turtle was considered a God for many years.

6. Hoan Kiem Turtle

The legend of the Hoan Kiem Turtle is one of the oldest on our list going all the way back to the fifteenth century. At that time it was said that the future emperor Le Loi was approached by a divine turtle and gifted a special sword called Heaven's Will to help him win the war. After the war ended, Le Loi came back to the lake to return the sword to the turtle after which he renamed the lake "Hoan Kiem Lake" which is Vietnamese for "Lake of the Returned Sword". The species was believed to be extinct from 1967 to 1998 when one was spotted in Hoan Kiem Lake. Since that time the turtle was seen several times over the years. Unfortunately, the Hoan Kiem Turtle is believed to have died in early 2016 when someone spotted the body of the floating turtle and contacted authorities.

Hogzilla was possibly the largest hog to ever exist.

Hogzilla was possibly the largest hog to ever exist.

7. Hogzilla

One of the more ridiculous sounding ex-cryptids on our list is Hogzilla. This large hog was a legend of the Southern United States for many years. Turns out that Hogzilla really did exist, at least until 2004 when he was shot and killed outside of Alapaha, Georgia. At the time of its death, Hogzilla was 12 feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds but who is to say much much bigger he could have grown. After examining the corpse, it was determined to be the male hybrid offspring of a wild hog and a domestic pig.

The Devil Bird looks a lot scarier than it actually is.

The Devil Bird looks a lot scarier than it actually is.

8. Devil Bird

The Sri Lankan Devil Bird, also known as the Ulama, is a scary bird that has been said to be capable of emitting violent and terrifying human-sounding shriek from its perch located deep within the jungle. Locals used to believe that the shriek was a bad omen that would often precursor death. Scientists have determined, based on the vague physical description of the bird, that it is more than likely a known species of eagle such as the forest eagle-owl or possibly the crested honey-buzzard.

Local tribes thought the Bondegezou was an ancient spirit.

Local tribes thought the Bondegezou was an ancient spirit.

9. Ancestral Spirit(Bondegezou)

The Bondegezou, lovingly referred to as the "man of the forest", is a cute little animal from New Guinea that is widely considered to be an ancestral spirit by the Moni people. Originally the little "man of the forest" was thought to be a young tree kangaroo by scientists but in 1994 the forest-dwelling marsupial was reexamined due to a large amount of time it spends on the ground and determined to be his own species.

The Dingiso - Narrated By Benedict Cumberbatch

When originally described, the Water Owl sounds more like a bird than an aquatic animal.

When originally described, the Water Owl sounds more like a bird than an aquatic animal.

10. Water Owl(Ziphius)

The Cuvier’s Beaked Whale was once referred to as the “Water-Owl” and was one of the most feared creatures to lurk around the ocean. Named the "Water-Owl" due to its fish-like body and head that has been said to resemble an owl due to its large beak. The natural giant is the most widespread variety of beaked whales in existence with it roaming the oceans from the northern half of North America to the southern tip of South America.

Could Other Cryptids Be Real Too?

With so many of the mysterious animals originally considered to be myths turning out to be real, we have to ask ourselves how many more of them might be? But sadly, the truth is that we may never know. Unless someone finds credible scientific evidence of their existence, we have to assume that they could truly be nothing more than folklore. The biggest problem with this course of action is that these creatures could die before ever being discovered, leaving them to remain on the cryptid list forever.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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