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Cryptozoologists, Unite!

April 29, 2009

The Planet Earth is a very complex and strange place, full of surprising phenomena and lots of very strange creatures we’re still learning about. The difference between those links and the discussion is that those links don’t deal with the efforts and enthusiasm of Cryptozoologists, who were very excited at the end of the last month to see their hard work sort of pay off. See, it seems my childhood of watching Unsolved Mystery‘s Robert Stack tell me about Bigfoot and me going off to write stories of the Loch Ness Monster playing with Mega Man were at least partially vindicated. 

 

Cryptozoologists have long speculated on the possible existence of undiscovered species of pinniped, and cryptozoological research methods have been used to investigate reports of pinnipeds or pinniped-like marine mammals. Richards (1994) investigated cases of a supposed ‘upland seal’ reported from the Antipodes and Macquarie islands: suggested by some authors to be a distinct, recently extinct species (Falla 1948; Csordas and Ingham 1949; Shaughnessy and Fletcher 1987), ‘upland seals’ were argued by Richards (1994) to be young individuals of the New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri. Several authors have evaluated eyewitness reports of alleged ‘sea cows’ reported from Saint Helena (Lydekker 1899; Mortensen 1933; Fraser 1935; Shuker 2003), and based on descriptions have concluded that the animals most likely represented known pinnipeds, with the Cape Sea lion A. antarcticus and Southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina being offered as the most likely identifications. Boyd and Stanfield (1998) used interview data to assess the possible survival of the Caribbean monk seal Monachus tropicalis beyond its probable extinction date of 1952. Sporadic sightings beyond this date suggest that the species might survive in the region: the data collected by Boyd and Stanfield (1998) indicated that local fishermen had witnessed the species 1 – 2 years prior to 1997.

 

Freakin’ stupendous right? It means you young adventurers can dig out your woodland survival kits and fuzzy-lens cameras while I trundle through my closet for oversized foot-shaped shoes for reasons I won’t go into. Who knows what other strange mythological creatures might be still out there?

In far less savory and far more spine-chilling news, speaking of very, very large sea creatures, apparently in 1997, The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration was busy recording two very terrifying noises from deep in the ocean around the Nazca Plate off the coast of South America. At the same time that they call these noises amusingly the Bloop and the Slow Down (d’aww), they go on to tell us that the sounds match the pattern of large marine mammals, but that the noise would have had to be made by a sea creature several times larger than a Blue Whale, the largest mammal on Earth. Sleep well tonight, and I hope you enjoy that Galapagos cruise.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. The Mario Test? Mario's a Psycho permalink
    May 1, 2009 1:52 am

    Hey Justin, I decided to leave you a comment!

  2. May 15, 2009 11:57 am

    I continue to be impressed that you used ‘trundle’ without skipping a beat here.

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