From the Washington Post:
During a time of global crisis, climbing death tolls and widespread uncertainty, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been hailed globally for her compassionate handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
She continued to win hearts Monday when she clarified who exactly has made a list of “essential workers.”
“You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” she said, smiling. “But as you can imagine, at this time they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.”
It's not clear if these essential workers are also deserving of a living wage like all other essential workers, or if trickle-down economics will impact the income of Tooth Faeries across the globe. In my humble opinion, even immortal cryptids deserve fair compensation for their labor.
Tooth fairy and Easter Bunny are ‘essential workers,’ New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern confirms [Jennifer Hassan / Washington Post]
Image: Public Domain via NeedPix Read the rest
With more Webcams online than ever before, and the abundance of time stuck inside, you might enjoy conducting your own armchair expeditions in search of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, ghosts, and other strange phenomena. Over at Mysterious Universe, Paul Seaburn put together a list of "webcams with continuous feeds pointed at the sky, the waters, the buildings and the other places where these anomalies may occur." Here are a few:
Popocatepetl volcano UFOs
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano is active and well-known for UFO sightings both during and independent of eruptions. The multiple webcams serve a useful purpose of providing officials with advance warnings of eruptions but many UFO hunters watch it religiously. (Watch them here.) In fact, there was UFO activity there just this week. (Video here.) Was it birds, bugs, drones, alien spaceships refueling or ships from the alleged alien base that uses Popocatepetl as a portal?
For Bigfoot watchers, the U.S. National Parks provide webcams everywhere for capturing glimpses of Sasquatch as well as the many other animals, birds, natural events and lost hikers that inhabit the park. Yellowstone has some, the Old Faithful cam being the most popular, but its greatest service is a list of links to all of the active webcams in other national parks.
"Stuck at Home? Use These Webcams to Hunt for UFOs, Bigfoot, Ghosts and Monsters" (Mysterious Universe)
Above, "The Surgeon's Photograph" of 1934, known to be a hoax.
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The Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) was a beautiful carnivorous marsupial that went extinct in the 1930s in part due to human hunting and encroachment on the animal's natural habitats. (To this day though, people report occasional sightings in the region.) There are a handful of film clips of the Thylacine shot at the Beaumaris zoo and the London zoo and now researchers from the Tasmanian Tiger Archives Facebook Group collaborating with the State Library and Archive uncovered this additional footage seen above.
More about the Thylacine at the Australian Museum.
Also, enjoy this terrific New Yorker feature from 2018 by Brooke Jarvis: "The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger."
(via The Anomalist) Read the rest
A couple weeks back, I posted about the the Nepal government's new tourism campaign featuring 100 huge yeti statues designed by Ang Tsherin Sherpa to be painted by various artists and placed around Nepal and elsewhere. A delightful idea but as you can see in the video above from January 29, many people were unhappy with how their beloved yeti was depicted. As a result, the government has removed the existing statues and ended the yeti campaign. From Daijiworld:
Some people complained that the mascot looked like a Japanese sumo wrestler and others believed that the statues represented Hindu and Buddhist deities.
Some people even started praying in front of the statues that had religious pictures or symbols painted onto them. Pictures of women and children worshiping the mascot went viral on social media.
The statue placed at the Basantapur Durbar Square had an image of goddess Kumari painted on its forehead and back. The deity is worshiped by Hindus as well as Buddhists.
"The yeti is a mystical beast (and) this (the statues) has damaged the religious feelings of the people," Ganapati Lal Shrestha, a heritage activist, told Efe news.
(image: Visit Nepal 2020 news release)
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As part of the Nepal government's new tourism campaign, officials commissioned more than 100 huge yeti statues designed by Ang Tsherin Sherpa to be painted by various artists and placed around the world to build excitement about visiting the region. A very fun idea but many people in Nepal don't think the statue looks anything like their beloved beast. From the BBC:
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"In folk tales, the yeti has been described as a big monkey-like creature," Ram Kumar Pandey (author of several books about the yeti) tells the BBC. "However, the recent logo depicts it as a sumo wrestler. This does not at all match with the mythical character that has been described in many folk tales..."
"I did not make yeti's sketch by reading any book," (yeti statue designer Ang Tsherin Sherpa) explains. "On the basis of stories that I heard in my childhood, and having Lord Buddha at the back of my mind, I made the design."
There was, however, at least one more practical reason behind his choice: Sherpa says he did not make it furry as depicted in yeti-related literature in order "to make it easier to paint".
The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted a photo of Bigfoot caught on a webcam overlooking the mountainous Sherman Pass that crosses the Colville National Forest. People with overactive imaginations argue that what we're seeing is actually a shadow or even a human. Of course it's much more likely that this is a rare photo of the undiscovered large primate species residing in the Pacific Northwest.
Watch the webcam yourself here.
(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest
In 1936, the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was declared to be extinct. Yet in the last three years, there have been eight reported sightings according to Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. I hope it's true. From CNN:
While stories abound that some continue to live in the remote wilds of Tasmania, an island state off Australia's south coast, there has been no hard evidence to support this -- only claims of sightings, like the ones newly released.
One report last February said that two people, visiting Tasmania from Australia, were driving when an animal with a stiff tail and striped back walked onto the road.
The animal "turned and looked at the vehicle a couple of times" and "was in clear view for 12-15 seconds," the report read. Both people in the car "are 100% certain that the animal they saw was a thylacine."
Another report filed the same month described a striped "cat-like creature" moving through the mist in the distance.
image: Thylacines in a Washington DC zoo, c.1906 (public domain)
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Champ, the lake monster that reportedly lives in Lake Champlain, may soon appear on Vermont license plates. Representative Dylan Giambatista (D-Essex Junction) introduced legislation to create the plate to raise money for the state's clean water fund and raise awareness about water conservation. From WCAX:
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"For me, it involves thinking out of the box about how are we gonna fund our challenges," (Giambista says). One way we could do it is to offer a license plate. I would call it a 'Be a Champ' water license plate..."
The bill creates a conservation plate -- several styles already exist that feature deer and loon. But Giambatista says it could also be a special issue plate. like the Vermont Strong ones issued after Tropical Storm Irene that helped raise a million dollars for recovery efforts.
"We would want to put Champ on it because we want folks to be a water champ and to focus the conversation about water quality in this state. We gotta go to what people know, so let's start with a beloved figure like Champ. Let's get the conversation started and let's raise money for a good cause," Giambatista said.
Move aside Fail Whale, now the internet has a Snail Whale (and other strange beasts).
Digital Culture's interactive Hybridizer app allows you to digitally create cryptozoological creatures using the 17th c. art of engraver Matthäus Merian. His work has been digitized, split in half, and animated by the team of Kajetan Obarski, Igor Hardy and Tukasz Kozak.
Give it a whirl.
(Nag on the Lake) Read the rest
Real or not, the Loch Ness Monster brings in $54 million to the Scottish economy each year, an increase of $14.4 million from four years ago. The data comes from accountant Gary Campbell who also happens to be the official keeper of the Nessie sightings register. From the UK Press and Journal:
“We analysed the number of people that visit the attractions around the loch, along with those who took to the water to try to get a closer look for Nessie and then took other research into tourism spend on overnight accommodation and food,” said Mr Campbell.
“We then added in the day trippers and from this we conservatively estimate that the draw of the monster is adding £40.7m to the local economy each year...."
The research has been endorsed by tourism ambassador and director of Loch Ness Marketing, Willie Cameron.
“From my perspective and from the numbers and spend we see at the loch, I’d say that this is a very conservative estimate but at over £40m per annum, it shows that Scotland’s rural economy can make a significant contribution to the health of the overall Scottish economy,” he said.
Image: "The Surgeon's Photograph" of 1934, known to be a hoax. Read the rest
Former Air Force spy Denver Riggleman is the GOP Congressional candidate for Virginia's 5th district, and he's caught flack for campaigning with the notorious white supremacist Isaac Smith, co-founder of Unity & Security for America.
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Over the weekend, Jeff Warren and his family spotted this mysterious sea monster washed up on the shore of the Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge near Darien, Georgia. It is either:
• Altamaha-ha (aka Alty), a cryptid, said to live near the mouth of the Altamaha river, that reportedly looks very similar to what's in the photo
• A frilled shark, according to a marine science educator at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center
• A basking shark, in the opinion of a Savannah State University marine scientist
• Or a hoax, according to scientists at Georgia Southern University.
Either way, the story ends well.
“My son, who is twelve, thinks it is the child of the legendary Altamaha-ha and has now decided he wants to be a marine biologist,” Warren said.
(Savannah Morning News) Read the rest
A fellow named Alain Ducas posted video that he says he shot in Bangor, Maine from the roof of the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor overlooking the Penobscot River. I don't think that's a new river cryptid though. More likely it's the Loch Ness Monster on vacation in Maine. After all, Nessie hasn't been spotted in her Scotland home since May 7 when the video below was captured. That said, the Penobscot River Monster could just as easily be Champ, the monster residing in Lake Champlain. (Mysterious Universe)
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The Bigfoot Show is the best bigfoot podcast you're not listening to.