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."
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Vaguely-sourced and the toast of British tabloids, this unfortunate creature reportedly washed ashore on the beach at Destiladeras, Mexico. It has a dolphin-like head, but no eyes and a large eel-like body.
Local media confirmed that no one had been able to identify the strange animal, but there were also no reports in the media suggesting that it was a fake.
I love that they "confirmed" no-one knows anything about it. 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
I'm not usually one for gimmicky kitchen gadgets but OTOTO's Nessie Ladle is cryptozoological comedy genius. Also available as a Sweet Nessie Spoon! (Amazon)
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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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No, we still don't know if 'Nessie' is real. Read the rest
The Indian Army tweeted photos of Yeti footprints spotted by its team of mountaineers near Makalu Base Camp between Nepal and Tibet. Based on the image, this particular Yeti has only one foot. No word yet on whether the Indian Army is, um, joking.
The first Indian Army mountaineering expedition to Makalu in the Mahalangur Himalayas kicked off last month.
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In September, Bigfoot enthusiasts in upstate New York head to Whitehall for the annual Sasquatch Calling Festival, including a contest to mimic the creature's telltale vocalizations --- from howls and yelps to growls and moans. ESPN visited the tournament. Unfortunately, the winner isn't the person who successfully summons the sasquatch. Not yet anyway.
(via The Anomalist)
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Known as a "living fossil," the coelacanth is an order of fish thought to have been extinct for 65 million years until one was caught in 1938 in a fisherman's net off the coast of South Africa and identified by museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. This wonderful paper animation tells the story of the curious creature and its rediscovery.
(hhmi BioInteractive via The Kid Should See This)
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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.
Several years ago, radio journalist Laura Krantz read an article about anthropology professor and pioneering Bigfoot researcher Grover Krantz who died in 2002. Laura was surprised to find out that Grover was her grandfather's cousin. Her interest sparked, she began her own cryptozoological quest. The result is Wild Thing, a fantastic podcast about Bigfoot researchers, Sasquatch and science, legend and myth, pop culture, and other fascinating threads. From the Los Angeles Times:
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Krantz, a self-identified skeptic, says she approached the story from a scientific standpoint like Grover would. For instance, she opted not to talk to people who thought Bigfoot was brought to Earth by aliens or had the ability to move through different dimensions of space and time. Instead, she delves into topics such as evolution, e.g. where Bigfoot would fit on the tree of life. Ultimately, it was the steady stream of wildlife biologists and seasoned outdoorsmen recounting their own Bigfoot sightings that moved the believability needle for Krantz...
The nine central story episodes of “Wild Thing” will be supplemented with intermittent bonus installments, which include in-depth conversations with writer Virginia Wade, who — at her peak — made about $20,000 a month writing Bigfoot erotica, says Krantz. She also talks with William Dear, writer and director of feel-good family flick, “Harry and the Hendersons.” Krantz traveled to Northern California for the 50th anniversary of the quintessential Patterson-Gimlin film, in which grainy imagery captures an up-close Bigfoot sighting that’s long been the source of debate. She also headed back to Los Angeles to speak with experts about the psychology of belief and the “business of Bigfoot” — like why companies use its name and imagery for branding.
Lisa Stout of Bellvue, Ohio was exploring Loch Ness via Google Earth when she found this fantastic shot of Nessie. The Scottish cryptid has previously been spotted on Google Earth but this a much more compelling image. From the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Registry
"I had been searching for Nessie on and off for the past few weeks, spending an hour or so a week on Google Earth as well as other places I like to visit in the app. I had seen some of the latest Nessie sightings and thought that I can definitely find a better image of her than that which I used for motivation to challenge myself to find her. On the 13th at 9.45am, I had got my daughter off to school and began to search for Nessie when I noticed a cluster of pictures taken by an Underwater Earth Contributor all in one area near the Loch Ness Highland Resort in Fort Augustus. I noticed what I believe may be the creature known as Nessie – or at the very least what makes up for most of the accounts of Nessie sightings that residents/tourists are seeing and reporting.”
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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.
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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