Tuesday, January 22, 2008


If you haven't seen it, check out the ongoing Cryptozoo contest, a contest for Photoshopped images of creatures rumored to exist though never scientifically proven. (Now there is the key nostalgic myth of modern society: the myth of the unfound and exotic creature in some white space of the map - the hope that there are white spaces on the map.) Also check out Michael Newton's Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers, a surprisingly thorough almanac to the many Bigfoots, yeti, and surviving dinosaurs of the world.

To whet the appetite, here are several of my own favorites from the Cryptozoo contest:


Marine biologists - of the deep-diving, adventurous kind - are still searching for living specimens of architeuthis dux, the giant squid, which has the largest living eye of any animal, and which Walt Disney's rendition of 20,000 Leagues has made into an iconic creature. Clyde Roper in New England wrote a wonderful article once detailing his early research into the giant squid - I need to track down a copy - in which he described once preserving a part of a deceased, beached specimen in the deep freeze, and then trying it for dinner at a celebration with his fellow marine biologists. (Apparently in the high spirits of their knowledge-sharing, they were attacked by both the munchies and a case of extreme curiosity. Being a sushi lover, I can understand.) Roper reported that architeuthis dux tasted, regrettably, of ammonia.


Not the masterpiece of the original black-and-white, but very classy. This particular Nessie looks like a very beautiful creature.

Sea Eaglephant

My hat goes off to this one. Not since Dumbo without his feather have I seen such grace from an elephant. Look at that leap!

Scuba Dive

Not the best art, but I love the audacity and suggestiveness of it!

Definitely visit Cryptozoo and check out the rest. I believe the contest is still in progress. You can even submit. Some of the entries are just terrible, but all of them are fun.

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