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This Is The Encyclopedia Monstrum, Tesla's ever increasing guide to the unknown


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Alien ParasiteEdit

Alien

DOES ALIEN LIFE EXIST? To date there has been no direct observational evidence of extraterrestrial life, according to scientists. Most of these same scientists, however, believe that it's very likely that life exists outside our planet. Many of them also believe that it's nearly impossible that there is no other intelligent life in the universe. Astronomers have observed dozens of planets orbiting stars other than our sun, suggesting that other earth-like planets exist in the universe.

HAVE ALIENS CONTACTED US? Considering the unimaginable vastness of space, the idea that this intelligent life is actually visiting us remains highly speculative within the scientific community. In fact, most scientists believe that interstellar space travel of this magnitude is so unlikely as to render it impossible. For us to reach the nearest star outside our solar system, Alpha Centauri, a spacecraft would have to travel at one million miles an hour for more than 2,500 years. Even traveling at this speed is theoretical; our fastest spacecraft currently travels at a mere 40,000 miles an hour.

UFO'S AND ALIEN ABDUCTIONS: According to a Gallup poll conducted at the end of the 20th century, one-third of Americans believe that aliens have visited us. According to many of these believers: an alien craft and its occupants crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, the U.S. government recovered the craft and has been meeting with the aliens in a place called Area 51, these meetings are linked to the recent rise in UFO sightings, the aliens themselves have been abducting and experimenting on people, the aliens have been leaving signs of their presence in the form of crop circles, and the government and media have been covering all of this up. To date, all reported UFO and alien activity has been dismissed as Earth-based aircraft, known astronomical objects, hoaxes, etc.

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Bear Lake Monster
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MAKING OF A MONSTER: Since its first reported sighting in 1868, the Bear Lake Monster has been a source of pride for locals in a small Idaho town. A Mormon colonizer, Joseph C. Rich, published a series of articles in the Desert Evening News claiming locals had seen a monster on the lake. Witnesses gave differing descriptions of the monster; some compared it to a walrus, while others described it as a large reptile or crocodilelike creature. Rich later recanted his stories, but the legend of the Bear Lake Monster prompted an influx of tourists hoping to catch a view of the lake beast.

NEW SIGHTINGS: Well over a century later, in 2002, a new report of a sea monster living in Bear Lake surfaced. Brian Hirschi, a local business owner recalled seeing two humps just above the water's surface while out on his boat one summer day. Hirschi said the humps disappeared, and then he suddenly felt his boat move. The monster reappeared right next to his boat and Hirschi came eye to eye with a creature he described as having "dark green, slimy skin and beet red eyes." As quickly as the monster appeared, it disappeared. Bear Lake residents weren't sure what to make of Hirschi's tale, but they all agreed on one thing: The Bear Lake Monster continues to be good for business.


Beast of Bray RoadEdit

SOMETHING WICKED IN WISCONSIN: A strange creature was lurking in rural Wisconsin between 1989 and 1991. On three separate occasions, three teenage girls reported encounters with a manlike beast near Bray Road in Elkhorn, Wis. All accounts described an aggressive "werewolf" creature with pointy ears, dark brown fur and large claws. In spite of the disbelief of many citizens, a local news reporter, Linda Godfrey, began investigating the sightings and stumbled upon a much larger story that gained national attention.

MORE SIGHTINGS: Thanks to Godfrey's reporting, state and national news organizations picked up the story of the beast of Bray Road and more people came forward to relay their own sightings. Among them was an employee of the Elkhorn Burger King who witnessed the beast running along the road; she described it as a "very powerful, fast runner." Several others reported strange footprints around the area and Elkhorn's animal control began a file that held numerous accounts of "unidentified walking animals." One gentleman, Joe Shackleman from nearby Racine, Wis., came forward to tell the story his father shared with him many decades prior. According to Shackleman, his father was a night watchman at a convent and observed a beast standing on a Native American burial ground in 1936. He said the creature had three shriveled fingers and a body covered in dark fur, and that it was more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall. The beast was very menacing with a low growl and emitted a strong odor. Could this be the same creature witnessed in the 1990s? No one is positive, but the similarities are striking. Now, more than a decade later, the media frenzy has died down, but the citizens of Elkhorn still keep watch for the return of the beast on Bray Road.


Beast of ExmoorEdit

THE LEGEND OF THE BEAST OF EXMOOR: In the early 1980s, the Exmoor area experienced a rash of more than 200 mutilated farm animals. One man lost over 100 sheep, claiming their necks had been violently slashed. Royal Marine sharpshooters were sent in to search for the predator. At least one soldier claimed to briefly glimpse the beast, which ceased its attacks while the sharpshooters were present then resumed its assaults after they left. Sightings of a mysterious black beast continue to this day, along with unexplained livestock maulings. trump sucks dick

{C}AN APPALLING APPEARANCE: Various reports describe this mysterious black beast as lithe, muscular, dark-colored, thick-tailed and measuring up to 7 feet in length.

{C}A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE? In the early 1980s, the Exmoor area experienced a rash of more than 200 mutilated farm animals. One man lost over 100 sheep, claiming their necks had been violently slashed. Royal Marine sharpshooters were sent in to search for the predator. At least one soldier claimed to briefly glimpse the beast, which ceased its attacks while the sharpshooters were present then resumed its assaults after they left. Sightings of a mysterious black beast continue to this day, along with unexplained livestock maulings.


Bigfoot/SasquatchEdit

Bigfoot

BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS: Bigfoot — also known as Sasquatch, Yeti and Skunk Ape — earned its name from the gigantic footprints it is said to leave behind. Thousands of sightings of this large, hairy, ape-like humanoid creature have been reported in forested areas in many parts of North America, with most occuring in the wilderness areas of northern California as well as other parts of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

BIG AND STINKY: Completely covered in dark brown or reddish hair and ranging in height from 6 to 10 feet tall, Bigfoot is said to weigh between 500 pounds and half a ton. And according to some, the behemoth creature stinks; some witnesses report an overwhelming stench when they supposedly encounter a Bigfoot. Others attribute mournful wailing sounds and other unusual vocalizations to the monster — many of these sounds have supposedly been recorded.

SHY AND PEACEFUL: Despite Bigfoot's size and appearance, the creature is hardly ever described as a ferocious predator. The beast is said to be an omnivore who feeds on plants as well as fish and small animals. In fact, Bigfoot is largely believed to be shy and peaceful. Some even say the creatures have a soft spot for kittens and small children, taking the former as pets and attempting to engage in play with the latter.

THE EVIDENCE FOR BIGFOOT: Bigfoot believers insist that photographs and casts of the creature's famous footprints — some nearly 2 feet in length — prove the existence of this behemoth creature. And many Bigfoot enthusiasts point to the so-called Patterson-Grimlin Photo taken in 1967 as irrefutable evidence of Bigfoot's existence. Shot in the northern California wilderness, the controversial video shows what appears to be a female Bigfoot walking across the frame, swinging her arms. Many claim the pictured Bigfoot is a man dressed in an altered gorilla suit, but experts say the long arms of the beast on the video would be impossible for a costumed human to recreate.

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Cave DemonEdit

GIANT BAT PEOPLE: Sightings of mysterious human-sized bats have been reported in all corners of the world. They are described as having black or gray fur, a monkey-like face, clawed feet and a 10-15 foot wingspan. In Brazil they are called "bat people." In Mexico, an ancient Mayan cult worshiped the "death bat." The rainforests of Java echo the cries of a bat creature called the "Athol" because of its distinct "a-hool" vocalization. In Vietnam they are known as "night flyers." These winged humanoids are generally 5 feet tall with eerie feminine features. They are known to swoop down on their victims and attack several times.

AFRICAN CAVE DEMONS: The continent of Africa has reported many sightings of bat-like beasts. In Cameroon, it is called the "Olitiau," an immense bat creature that was seen by famed naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson in 1932 while on expedition. In Senegal, the creature is called "Guiafairo." In Ghana, the bat-like creature is called "Sasabonsam." A similar creature exists in Madagascar and is called the "Fangalabolo," and in Indonesia, tales of the "Organ-Bati" abound where the creature is said to roost in an extinct volcano and snatch children.


ChupacabraEdit

Chupacabra

THE LEGEND OF EL CHUPACABRA: The legend of "El Chupacabra" began when goats and chickens started turning up dead in Puerto Rico in the 1990's, drained of blood and with telltale puncture wounds in their necks but otherwise completely intact. Literally translated as "goat sucker" in Spanish, reports of Chupacabra spread from Puerto Rico to Mexico, Chile, Brazil and into the United States, from Texas to Florida, Michigan, Maine and even Oregon. Soon Chupacabra became a worldwide urban legend as news spread far and fast on a wave of Internet enthusiasm, taking hold of imaginations worldwide.

AN APPALLING APPEARANCE: While descriptions of the blood-sucking beast vary greatly, most describe it as a gray, lizard-like creature about 3 to 4 feet tall that walks upright on its muscular hind legs, similar to an archetypical alien. It reportedly has large eyes, fangs and a forked tongue with a row of sharp quills running down its back. However, others describe the monster as looking more like a giant, vicious kangaroo or disfigured coyote.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE? While reports of Chupacabra are relatively new, the phenomenon dates back to the 1970's when Puerto Rican legend tells of El Vampiro de Moca, a supposed livestock-killing vampire in the small town of Moca. Whether Chupacabra exists or not, reports of bloodless murdered livestock persist. And to date, no satisfactory predator has ever been caught.

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Devil MonkeyEdit

WHAT'S A DEVIL MONKEY?: The United States and Canada aren't home to any modern-day primates, which makes the appearance of a giant monkey-like creature in rural areas even more bizarre to those who've seen it. Dubbed the devil monkey, this primate-looking beast reportedly has pointed ears, a baboon- or doglike snout, a bushy tail and only three toes on each of its narrow feet. Ranging in height between 3 and 8 feet (0.9 and 2.4 meters) tall, this strange monkey gets around on all fours and travels by jumping. Devil monkeys are supposed to be aggressive, especially toward dogs and humans, and by most accounts, they are carnivorous and feed on livestock. This fearsome monkey makes a wide range of evil-sounding noises, including hoots, whistles and screams.

MONKEYING AROUND: According to George Eberhart, author and cryptid expert, the devil monkey can be found in British Columbia and the Appalachian Mountain region of the United States. One of the first reported sightings occurred in 1959 when a "monkeylike creature" rushed the car of a couple driving down a rural road in Virginia. A second encounter happened soon after, when two nurses reported that a similar creature tore the top off of their convertible. Other sightings have occurred as recently as 2001, when a giant black monkey was seen nine different times over the course of two weeks in rural New Hampshire.

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: Some people think devil monkeys could be feral monkeys that have been released into the wild or escaped from research facilities, such as the ones that broke free in Florida due to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. While that's possible, Cryptozoologists Chad Arment and Mark A. Hall suggests devil monkeys could actually be a surviving species once thought to be extinct, like a fruit-eating spider monkey originating from Brazil, or a large baboon that lived 650,000 years ago in East Africa.


Dover DemonEdit

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ONE DAY IN DOVER: On April 21, 1977, the sightings of something otherworldly forever changed a small suburb of Boston, Mass. Four teens witnessed a creature — labeled the Dover Demon by locals — at different times within a 25-hour period. Their descriptions and accounts seemed to confirm there was a new resident in Dover.

DEMON FEATURES: Witnesses described this alienlike creature as having a watermelon-shaped head and a body like a lanky monkey. The demon also had very large eye sockets with glowing eyes, but no other perceptible facial features were reported. The demon appeared to stand no more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall with a hairless body and a bright orange skin tone. What exactly could this creature with such strange features be?

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: Many experts have theorized about the Dover Demon. Experts in ufology believe it could have been an extraterrestrial or mutant animal. Another explanation came from zoologists, who believed the demon could have been a baby moose, which has similar features to the demon. However, Lorne Coleman, a cryptozoologist, thinks that line of reasoning is flawed since no moose existed in eastern Massachusetts during that time, plus young moose are much larger than the creature Dover witnesses saw. Coleman said, "I'm most definitely secure in saying I don't know what this is," and the residents of Dover still wonder, too.


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Giant CentepedesEdit

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A GIANT CENTIPEDE? Are there giant, killer centipedes lurking in the rain forests of South America? As a matter of fact, yes, there are. Scolopendra gigantea, also known as the Amazonian giant centipede or Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede, is the world's largest living centipede, regularly reaching lengths of 10 to 12 inches, with one reported specimen in Venezuela measuring 18 inches in length. This 46-legged monster feeds on frogs, tarantulas, birds, lizards, rodents and even bats, catching them mid-flight as the centipede hangs from a cave ceiling. Scolopendra gigantea is a very swift runner and highly adept climber. Like all centipedes, it has modified claws that curve around its head and deliver venom to its prey.

EVEN BIGGER CENTIPEDES? Some claim that a centipede several times the length of Scolopendra gigantea lurks in the unexplored regions of the Amazon, perhaps a living fossil from an era when giant insects were common. Euphoberia, which lived 300 million years ago, is the largest centipede at record, growing up to 39 inches in length. It lived alongside the largest land invertebrate ever: Arthropleura, a close relative of the centipede. Arthropleura reached 8-½ feet in length. These incredible insects vanished from the fossil record at the end of the Permian period when oxygen levels declined sharply and large vertebrate predators appeared on land.

A MAN-KILLER? The largest living centipede, Scolopendra gigantea, has a toxic, extremely intense bite that's been likened to a gunshot wound or broken bone. It can induce anaphylactic shock in those allergic to bee stings and has been known to kill small children on very rare occasions. If a much larger centipede, like Euphoberia, were to have survived from prehistory, its venom might have the potential to kill a full-grown man.

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HelloundEdit

BEARER OF DEATH? "Hellhound" is only one of many names used to describe ethereal, black dogs that roam hillsides and graveyards. With their glowing red eyes, super strength and speed, and a tendency to trail fire and brimstone in their wake, Hellhounds make for a terrifying messenger from the underworld. They are said to have been created by a group of ancient demons to serve as heralds of death, and seeing a Hellhound — some say once and others claim it takes three sightings — inevitably leads to the viewer's demise. Hellhounds boast many titles, including Black Shuck, Cerberus, Garm and Perro Negro. In the popular Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling referred to a menacing Hellhound as "The Grim."

AN ANCIENT LEGEND: Hellhound legends date back to the time of Vikings and sightings have been reported throughout history. These sightings, which are not confined to one region of the world, have more recently occurred near cemeteries in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana and Ohio.


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Jersey DevilEdit

Jersey-devil
{C}THE LEGEND OF THE JERSEY DEVIL: The legend of the Jersey Devil dates back to 1735. One of New Jersey's earliest residents, "Mother" Leeds, was wife to a drunkard who did little to help care for their 12 children. When she discovered she was pregnant with a 13th, she screamed "Let this one be the Devil!" The child was born on a stormy night. Seemingly normal at first, the baby transformed into a hideous, growling creature with hooved feet, clawed hands, glowing red eyes, bat-like wings and a forked tail. The devilish abomination slaughtered its mother and father, several of the midwives and many of its siblings. It then flew up the chimney and escaped to the Pine Barrens.

DEVIL SIGHTINGS: Many say the Jersey Devil continues to haunt the vast, desolate Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Over 2,000 witnesses have reportedly sighted the Jersey Devil over the past 275 years. Unearthly screams, unidentified cloven tracks and slaughtered livestock point to the presence of an evil force in the woods, according to believers. In January 1909, the Jersey Devil was allegedly spotted several times over the course of a week, causing factories and schools to close down. Those who claim to have seen the Jersey Devil describe it as having the head of a dog with the face of a horse, deer-like antlers, a kangaroo's body, large leathery wings, a forked reptilian tale, cloven hooves and long, razor-like claws.

POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS: According to skeptics, the most logical explanation for the Jersey Devil is that it's nothing more than a story made up by English settlers, frightened of the isolated, desolate Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Fugitives, dissenters and deserters took refuge in the Pine Barrens; some of them became notorious bandits known as "pine robbers" or "pineys," who terrorized the local communities. The threatening atmosphere of the barrens, the criminal activities of the pineys and sightings of real animals, like bears or sandhill cranes, likely inspired the tale of the Jersey Devil.

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KrakenEdit

Kraken-625x450
ORIGINS:
Tales about the Kraken go all the way back to the 12th century, when sailors in Norway and Iceland first reported a sea creature so massive in size it was often mistaken for an island. According to Norwegian mythology, the Kraken had large eyes the size of dinner plates, a high forehead and tentacles the size of ships. Is it possible something so monstrous could be more than a tall tale?

STRANGER THAN FICTION: Once believed to be a mythical sea creature, scientists discovered a giant squid in 1853 that could explain the stories long told by ancient mariners. Though not as enormous as Kraken legends suggest, the giant squid is capable of latching on to a small boat with tentacles that reach up to 55 feet (16.7 meters) in length, and it can swim up to 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour). In 2007, fishermen caught a jumbo squid weighing more than 900 pounds (408 kilograms) in New Zealand's Rose Sea; by most accounts, it's the largest squid ever captured. Could the giant squid be the Kraken? Or does something even larger and more fearsome wait in the darkest depths of the sea?

UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!: The Kraken has inspired countless works of fiction throughout history. The earliest ode to the Kraken is a sonnet (aptly entitled "The Kraken") penned by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson, which inspired the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea published in 1869 by Jules Verne. More than a century later, the fascination with this mythological monster hasn't abated. Hollywood recently unleashed this monster squid on the big screen in films like the remake of Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.


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Lizard ManEdit

LEAPING LIZARD MAN! The Lizard Man is a cryptozoological creature said to inhabit swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina. Humanlike in form, the Lizard Man is said to have many reptilian or dinosaur-like qualities, including green, scaly skin and three-toed feet and hands. According to witnesses, each of its digits has a circular pad that allows it to cling to trees and walls, much like a gecko. Standing an intimidating 7 feet in height, Lizard Man is said to be extremely fast and incredibly powerful, capable of ripping open cars with its bare hands. Most firsthand accounts of this creature also describe its glowing red eyes.

SIGHTINGS AT SCAPE ORE SWAMP: The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp was first reported on June 29, 1988, by a 16-year-old named Christopher Davis, who claims he was chased by the creature after stopping to change a flat tire. Several reports followed during the summer of 1988, many of them mentioning unusual scratches or bite marks on cars parked near the swamp. The local sheriff's department chalked the sightings up to a lone bear, but were later puzzled when biologists were unable to classify a plaster cast of a 3-toed, 14-inch footprint taken from the area.

ANCIENT REPTILIAN HUMANOIDS: While the "Lizard Man" is a relatively recent cryptozoological phenomenon in the Americas, tales of reptilian beings can be traced back several millennia in other areas of the world. Cecrops, the first mythological king of Athens — the leading city of Ancient Greece — was described as a serpent from the waist down. In the Far East, an ancient line of emperors claimed to be directly descended from dragons, and it was thought that they could change form at will. Indian legend tells of underground reptilian beings that once inhabited a continent in the Indian Ocean that sank beneath the waves.


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MegacondaEdit

THE BULL KILLER: In 1948, a group of native Brazilians claimed to have captured a 131-foot long snake deep in the Amazon Rainforest. To date, biologists have yet to recognize a living reptile in excess of 33 or 34 feet, but some believe this giant anaconda, or "megaconda," was in fact a real specimen. The natives called the terrifyingly enormous snake a "Matatoro," or bull killer, after the half-swallowed bull they claimed to have found inside of it.
Megaconda

IS MEGACONDA OUT THERE? The well-documented existence of the green anaconda — the world's largest snake — and the fact that much of the 2.2 million-square-mile Amazon Rainforest remains unexplored lends credence to the theory that an even larger snake exists, although scientists have yet to find evidence to support the rumors. Native to South America, the green anaconda maintains its monumental size with a diet of wild pigs, deer, birds, turtles and even jaguars. If the megaconda does exist, it would certainly require even larger meals to survive. Would bulls, anacondas and possibly even entire villages of people be on the megaconda's menu?


Monster of MontereyEdit

THE MONSTER OF MONTEREY: Although it is believed to have gone extinct over 60 million years ago, some believe the plesiosaur — a massive prehistoric marine reptile — still lives today, lurking far beneath the surface of the world's deepest oceans. In 1925, the rotting carcass of the so-called Monster of Monterey — believed by many to be a plesiosaur — washed up on the shores of Moore's Beach in Monterey Bay, California. Its neck is said to have been almost 20 feet long. While some biologists maintain that the remains were those of a basking shark, the evidence was inconclusive. Similar remains were snared by a Japanese fishing boat in 1977 in the waters off the coast of New Zealand. However, the crew dumped the foul smelling carcass overboard before scientific tests could be conducted.

PREHISTORIC PLESIOSAURS: Today, skeletons of the carnivorous prehistoric plesiosaur found off the coast of England and Norway are on display in many natural history museums around the world. The massive reptile is estimated to have weighed as much as 25 tons and propelled itself through the water with four muscular flippers and a long tail. Its long, slender neck is similar to reported descriptions of the Loch Ness Monster. From its pointed beak to the tip of its tail, plesiosaurs are believed to have measured at least 15 feet.

DO WE REALLY KNOW? While marine biologists have made tremendous strides toward revealing the secrets of the deep, unknown worlds remain locked away from human eyes at the bottom of the earth's deepest oceans. Indeed, new species are being discovered daily. Who is to say what does or does not exist in those black depths?


MothmanEdit

Mothman

THE LEGEND OF MOTHMAN: From approximately November 1966 through December 1967, dozens of people reported sightings of a huge, semi-human winged creature with glowing red eyes in and around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. At between 6.5 and 7 feet tall and with a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, the shadowy creature was reportedly able to fly great distances at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. All who encountered this menacing creature were terrified by their experience. In the local media, the giant winged beast became known as "Mothman."

THE SILVER BRIDGE COLLAPSE: Legend has it that the cluster of ominous Mothman sightings of 1966 and 1967 were actually a dark omen predicting a horrific disaster. On December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge connecting Point Pleasant with Kanauga, Ohio, collapsed into the frigid waters of the Ohio River during heavy rush hour traffic, leaving 46 dead. MOTHMAN: MISTAKEN IDENTITY? Sightings of the Mothman ceased soon after the tragic collapse. Some theorize that the creature was actually a large bird, such as a sandhill crane, which can reach a height of over 3 feet and achieve a wingspan of 6 feet. Still others claim Mothman was a supernatural being. Today, all that remains of Mothman is a 12-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture of the fearsome monster in Mothman Park in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.


Mongolian Death WormEdit

THE MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM: Cryptozoologists who've traveled to the Gobi Desert in search of the Mongolian Death Worm have returned with hundreds of descriptive accounts from locals who claim either to have seen a Death Worm or to know someone who has. All the reports are almost uniformly identical — the bright red creature, resembling a blood-filled intestine, is about 2 to 5 feet long and about 2 inches thick with no discernible head or tail. While no photographic evidence of the Death Worm exists, many artistic renderings depict a circular sucker-like mouth with sharp teeth pointing inward. Native Mongolians believe wholeheartedly and almost unanimously that the Death Worm does indeed exist.

OF ACID AND ELECTRICITY: Reported to live in the arid and inhospitable sands of the Southern Gobi Desert in Mongolia, the Death Worm is said to be able to rise from the sand without warning and kill its prey at a great distance by shooting a corrosive, acidic substance into the victim's face. Along with the acidic venom, the Mongolian Death Worm reportedly delivers an electric shock powerful enough to kill a camel. As if the desert itself wasn't dangerous enough!


Monster SpiderEdit

VITAL STATS: Among the Monster Spider sightings across the world, sizes and descriptions vary, but on the extreme end of the spectrum, eyewitnesses have described specimens up to five feet long. They are said to have huge fangs and hairy bodies the size of small dogs. The largest Monster Spiders are said to have fangs as long as eight or nine inches.

HISTORY: People have claimed to have seen giant spiders throughout history. One recorded example took place in the jungles of the Congo in Central Africa. In 1938 British explorer R.K. Lloyd and his wife Marguerite took an adventure safari for their honeymoon. As they were driving down a jungle track in the middle of the rainforest, they saw a large creature crossing the trail ahead of them. They thought it was a large monkey on all fours but were horrified to see on closer inspection that it was a gigantic spider, with a four to five-foot leg span. They were relieved when it turned and fled at their approach.

MOST RECENT SIGHTING: American G.I.s in Iraq have claimed they have seen massive flesh-eating arachnids the size of small cats. They are known as "Camel Spiders" and have been reported to race along the desert floor at speeds of 25 miles per hour. A photograph of an enormous spider surfaced on the Internet after the start of the Second Gulf War but was quickly found out to be a hoax. The real Camel Spiders are not actually spiders but are close cousins called Solifugue.

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OwlmanEdit

LEGEND OF THE OWLMAN: The Owlman of Mawnan (or "Death Raptor") was first reported in the rural village in Cornwall, England in 1976. The creature was described by two young girls as a giant, human-sized owl. Over the next 30 years, more reports of the demonic beast were recorded. The sightings caused a collective madness in the community. Owlman is described as half-man/half-owl, 4-5 feet tall with gray feathers and large clawed feet. It's said that the Owlman makes loud screeching and hissing sounds.

SIMILARITIES WITH MOTHMAN: The Owlman of Mawnan is often compared with West Virginia's Mothman in cryptozoology because eyewitness accounts dictate similar qualities. They're both described as winged, birdlike humanoids about 4-7 feet tall with a wingspan of about 10 feet. According to cryptozoologists, they both have large, red, glowing eyes and live in wooded areas near rural towns. Owlman and Mothman are also both associated with paranormal and UFO activity.

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QuetzlcoatlEdit

{C}WHAT'S A QUETZALCOATL?: The Quetzalcoatl is the most respected symbol in Mexican mythology. Its name comes from the Nahua words "quetzalli," meaning green feather, and "coatl," which means serpent. The appearance of this highly regarded idol is a combination of a quetzal bird's head and tail with a snake's body that's covered in feathers.

ORIGINS: Many different groups in Mesoamerican history have worshiped Quetzalcoatl, but its exact origins are unclear. The Aztecs kept the Quetzalcoatl as the central figure in their temples, but this deity existed long before the Aztecs did. Many think that the ancient city of Teotihuacán in Mexico was the first culture to revere the Quetzalcoatl as a religious icon, and you can still find images of the serpent on ancient temples and other buildings in the area today.
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MTYHOLOGY AND RELIGION: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different myths about Quetzalcoatl. He was known as the provider of maize, and images indicate a clear association to rain and water, causing some people to believe Quetzalcoatl was the god of vegetation. Aztecs also believed the Quetzalcoatl could take human form as a warrior who would appear wearing a tall crown and a jade pendant. The pendant supposedly represented another role as the god of wind and movement. Mesoamerican groups aren't the only religions to believe in the Quetzalcoatl. Followers of both the Mormon and Catholic faiths think Quetzalcoatl could actually represent Jesus Christ.


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SkinwalkerEdit

A WITCH IN ANIMAL FORM: In the lore of some Native American tribes, particularly the Navajo, the "skinwalker" is an evil witch that can shift into animal shape. Although generally believed to take the form of a wolf, coyote, crow, fox or owl, it is said skinwalkers can take any animal shape they desire. Those who report having seen skinwalkers say they are slightly deformed in their animal state with dull and unreflective eyes — the opposite of a real animal. In human form, their eyes are said to shine with an inhuman animal glow.

THE SKINWALKER'S EVIL WAYS: Once in animal form, the skinwalker possesses the attributes of the animal whose shape it takes. Skinwalkers are most feared for the power they are said to have to place curses on their victims. Some Native Americans believe that a skinwalker can use a person's spit, hair, clothing or shoes to put a curse on that person or to inhabit the person's mind and control his or her behavior. It is also believed that by locking eyes with its victim, the evil skinwalker can infiltrate the person's body, causing them to sicken and even die. According to legend, skinwalkers are very fast and almost impossible to catch. However, when an injured skinwalker resumes human form, his telltale wound will give him away.


Sasquatch/ BigfootEdit

SASQUATCH SIGHTINGS: Bigfoot — also known as Sasquatch, Yeti and Skunk Ape — earned its name from the gigantic footprints it is said to leave behind. Thousands of sightings of this large, hairy, ape-like humanoid creature have been reported in forested areas in many parts of North America, with most occuring in the wilderness areas of northern California as well as other parts of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

BIG AND STINKY: Completely covered in dark brown or reddish hair and ranging in height from 6 to 10 feet tall, Bigfoot is said to weigh between 500 pounds and half a ton. And according to some, the behemoth creature stinks; some witnesses report an overwhelming stench when they supposedly encounter a Bigfoot. Others attribute mournful wailing sounds and other unusual vocalizations to the monster — many of these sounds have supposedly been recorded.

SHY AND PEACEFUL: Despite Bigfoot's size and appearance, the creature is hardly ever described as a ferocious predator. The beast is said to be an omnivore who feeds on plants as well as fish and small animals. In fact, Bigfoot is largely believed to be shy and peaceful. Some even say the creatures have a soft spot for kittens and small children, taking the former as pets and attempting to engage in play with the latter.

THE EVIDENCE FOR BIGFOOT: Bigfoot believers insist that photographs and casts of the creature's famous footprints — some nearly 2 feet in length — prove the existence of this behemoth creature. And many Bigfoot enthusiasts point to the so-called Patterson-Grimlin Photo taken in 1967 as irrefutable evidence of Bigfoot's existence. Shot in the northern California wilderness, the controversial video shows what appears to be a female Bigfoot walking across the frame, swinging her arms. Many claim the pictured Bigfoot is a man dressed in an altered gorilla suit, but experts say the long arms of the beast on the video would be impossible for a costumed human to recreate.

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ThunderbirdEdit

A LIVING FOSSIL? Native American legend speaks of a Thunderbird, an enormous flying creature with a wingspan more than twice the length of a war canoe (approximately 20 feet). According to myths
Thunderbird
from Pacific Northwest, Plains and Northeastern tribes, the Thunderbird was actually a god in animal form, and the thunderous sound of its flapping wings was meant to scare humans away from its territory. Although many stories claim the Thunderbird's favorite prey is the killer whale, other myths from the Illini tribe depict these monstrous birds as vengeful hunters, prone to grabbing children in their talons and carrying them away to kill them. Some cryptozoologists today compare thunderbirds to pterosaurs, giant birds of prey that roamed the skies 115 million years ago.

WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE: Even before the turn of the 20th century, a group of cowboys in the southwest United States claimed to have killed an enormous bird, which they nailed to the side of a barn and photographed (the photo has since been lost). In July 1977, a boy from Lawndale, Illinois claimed to have been attacked by a giant bird, which clamped onto him and then lifted him for a distance of at least 30 yards. He managed to escape unharmed. Other sightings of enormous birds in New Mexico, Alaska, Texas and Pennsylvania have been reported in recent years. But some think the witnesses may simply have misjudged the birds' size. The largest scientifically recognized bird in North America is the California condor, with a wingspan of up to 10 feet.


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WendigoEdit

YOU SAY WENDIGO, I SAY WINDIGO: Most people use these two spellings interchangeably to describe the same being, but some believe the words have different meanings. Those who fall in the latter camp think "wendigo" describes a lonely man-beast who lives in the forest waiting to feast on human flesh, while the "windigo" is a cannibalistic spirit that possesses humans. Both concepts originate from Native American folklore and have ties to cannibalism.

THE CREATURE: The wendigo is a cold climate creature that's been spotted in Canada and in northern states like Minnesota. Some locals who've encountered the beast consider it a relative of Bigfoot, but reports describe the beast as more of a werewolf than a Sasquatch. Ethno-historian Nathan Carlson says the wendigo is often described as a creature with owl-like eyes, large claws and an emaciated body. Others describe it looking like a skeleton with ash-toned skin. This strange being is said to live alone in the forest and feeds on human flesh. The Algonquian tribes called the wendigo the "spirit of lonely places," and they blamed many unsolved disappearances at the turn of the 20th century on wendigo attacks.
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THE SPIRIT: One of the most widely reported cases of a windigo spirit possessing a human is that of Swift Runner, a Native American who murdered and ate his entire family in the winter of 1879. He claimed to be possessed by a windigo at the time of the murders and was hanged for his crime. Although his case is one of the most well-known historically, there were many reports in the early 20th century of windigo spirits possessing people in dozens of communities from northern Quebec to the Rockies.


WerewolfEdit

WHAT'S A WEREWOLF? The werewolf, or lycanthrope, is commonly described as a person with the ability to transform into a wolf or wolf-like humanoid, whether by choice or by uncontrollable forces, like a full moon. The werewolf is said to have extra-human senses and strength far beyond that of a normal wolf or human. According to legend, the werewolf can be identified in its human form by its low-set ears, curved fingernails, swinging stride, eyebrows that meet at the bridge of the nose and bristles under the tongue. Some claim that, if cut, a werewolf will have fur in its wound. In its wolf form, the werewolf of legend commonly looks like a regular wolf with no tail, human eyes and the capability of speech.

BECOMING A WEREWOLF: The idea that a werewolf is created through the infectious bite of another werewolf is a modern invention. Werewolves of legend were commonly evil men who voluntarily performed witchcraft in order to become a werewolf. One common method was to remove all of one's clothing and wear a belt made of wolf skin. Other methods included drinking rainwater from a wolf's paw print, sleeping outside on a specific night and letting the full moon shine on one's face and performing a Satanic ritual involving magic ointment and an enchanted girdle. It was also believed that those who invoked God's wrath or were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church were turned into werewolves by divine punishment. And some were simply born into lycanthropy, notably those with epilepsy or children birthed on new moons.

Werewolf
VANQUISHING A WEREWOLF:
Silver bullets may stop a werewolf in Hollywood, but there's no evidence of this belief prior to the 20th century. It was commonly believed that rye and mistletoe would stop a werewolf in its tracks, but not kill it. Others believed that if one's house was situated under a mountain ash, it would be safe. Wolfsbane was also believed to ward off werewolves. In medieval Europe, alleged werewolves were commonly cured through medical or surgical means, or through exorcism. Others believed that repeating the werewolf's Christian name three times, or scolding it, would destroy the curse.

WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE? Some historians believe the werewolf legend was conceived to explain the activity of serial killers. Cyclic attacks, mutilation and cannibalism were all characteristics of alleged werewolf attacks and are commonly ascribed to serial killers today. The wolf being the most feared predator in Europe at the time, it was perhaps inevitable that it ended up being partially blame for the slaughters. Rabies may also explain some werewolf beliefs. Today few believe in werewolves, though sightings are still reported.


White River MonsterEdit

EARLY SIGHTINGS: The legend of the White River Monster begins in the town of Newport in northeastern Arkansas. In 1915, local farmers began filing reports of a large, unknown creature off the banks of the White River. In July 1937, a key eyewitness account described the creature as having gray skin and being "as wide as a car and three cars long." A county deputy said the creature itself "looked like a large sturgeon or catfish."

THE MONSTER RETURNS: The White River Monster was sighted again in the summer of 1971. That year, eyewitnesses who encountered the creature described it as "the size of a boxcar" with a bone protruding from its forehead. "It looked as if the thing was peeling all over, but it was a smooth type of skin or flesh," said one, and it made strange noises that sounded like a combination of a "cow's moo and a horse's neigh." Other accounts of the White River Monster described three-toed tracks, 14 inches in length, on Towhead Island leading down to the river through a path of bent trees and crushed bushes. Following the reports, in 1973 the Arkansas State Legislator created the White River Monster Refuge, making it illegal to "molest, kill, trample, or harm the White River Monster while he is in the retreat."

MISTAKEN IDENTITY? According to scientists, the White River Monster is likely a case of mistaken identity. Cryptozoologist and biologist Roy P. Mackal has suggested that the creature is "a clear-cut instance of a known aquatic animal outside its normal habitat or range and therefore unidentified by the observers unfamiliar with the type." Mackal believes that the creature is in fact a large male elephant seal that wandered up the Mississippi River into White River. Measuring an average of 5,000 pounds and 14 feet in length, a male elephant seal shares many of the characteristics described by those who've encountered the "monster": gray skin, three-toed tracks, summer molting and a farm animal's call. Even the "bone" on the creature's forehead can be explained by the male elephant seal's inflatable trunk. So are male elephant seals visiting White River? No one's been able to confirm that they are, and the mystery continues.

EARLY SIGHTINGS: The legend of the White River Monster begins in the town of Newport in northeastern Arkansas. In 1915, local farmers began filing reports of a large, unknown creature off the banks of the White River. In July 1937, a key eyewitness account described the creature as having gray skin and being "as wide as a car and three cars long." A county deputy said the creature itself "looked like a large sturgeon or catfish."


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YetiEdit

NO ORDINARY SNOWMAN?: The Yeti is known as the "Abominable Snowman" since it hails from the cold climate of the Himalayan Mountains -- and because its name loosely translates to "metoh-kangmi," which means "man-bear snowman." However, this elusive creature doesn't look like a snowman at all. Covered in brown fur, the Yeti reportedly resembles a human-gorilla hybrid or possibly even a bear, and it stands more than 11 feet (3.3 meters) tall. With a menacing howl and eyes that glow, this beast reportedly protects the mountains from evil-doers.

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YETI SIGHTINGS:
The first report of a strange creature living in the Himalayas dates back to 1832, when climber B.H. Hodgson of Nepal witnessed a tall beast covered in dark hair walking on two feet. At the turn of the century, sightings multiplied as more adventurers set out to conquer the mountains, but it wasn't until the 1950s that Yeti sightings reached a fever pitch. Eric Shipton made one of the best cases that the Yeti exists in 1951, when he photographed strange footprints on Mount Everest. Other expedition teams returned from the mountains with hair and fecal samples, but nothing proved conclusive. Since then, Yeti enthusiasts continue to visit the mountains in search of this elusive creature. Sightings have occurred as recently as 2008, when a team of Japanese climbers photographed more strange footprints.

YETI SKEPTICS: The Yeti has been labeled the "guardian" of the Himalayan Mountains, but it's the natives who have become protective of this obscure beast. Many tribes in the area consider the Yeti a divine being and don't appreciate cynics who question its existence, or simplify the sightings as nothing more than rare Himalayan wildlife. One well-known detractor is Reinhold Messner, who claims to have killed a Yeti and wrote a book about his experience. Messner says the Yeti is actually the endangered Himalayan Brown Bear. Despite skeptics who set out to disprove its existence, the Yeti is a pop culture icon. Interpretations of the Yeti can be found in numerous video games, television shows and movies. Although it's impossible to predict when the Abominable Snowman might be seen again in real life, there is an annual sighting on the holiday TV special Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

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