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Importance of Cryptozoology

by Kenneth "Zoli" Riggar Jr

On a particularly snowy night in the early part of this year, I was inside my home doing what I normally do when I need to feed my brain. I was watching the National Geographic channel, of course. There was a show on this night called "I Shouldn't Be Alive". Five gentleman were lost out at sea on a fishing trip when their boat capsized and they were living to tell the tale. Imagine my surprise when the narrator uttered a sentence that I never thought I would hear.

The narrator was heightening the fear by mentioning what predators lurk in the particular waters in which these unfortunates happened to be floating. Among those listed were box jellyfish, all manner of shark, and giant squid. My jaw hit the floor. I realize that with the recent captures, by fisherman, of giant squid corpses, that the giant squid has made it's jump from the pages of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The part that floored me was the ease at which the narrator said the words themselves. He said "giant squid" as if he were saying "Scottish terrier". As if it was no big deal. It occurred to me that it was all a little bit unfair.

Cryptozoologists have been spreading the rhetoric for years. They've claimed that creatures that are known but not yet recognized by science exist for years upon years and have received nothing but scoffing ridicule. Cryptozoology is not looked at as a science at all, but a flawed paranormal niche for whack jobs like myself. Cryptozoologists have supported claims from sailors for centuries of a gargantuan cephalopod attacking their ships, only to be focal points for raucous laughter. But today the giant squid is an accepted biological animal.

Cryptozoologists continue to support the existence of creatures long thought extinct. Creatures like Gigantopithacus, which is a large prehistoric ape linked to the being commonly known as Bigfoot/ Sasquatch/ Etc. People in Indonesia still claim to see large Pterodactyl-like flying reptiles in their skies. People near Lake Champlain claim to see an animal resembling Scotland's own Loch Ness Monster in their lake. They are met with the same joking resistance. But through scientific investigation in a quote unquote "unscientific study" they have made important findings to support most of these claims. For instance, it should not be, but there is something in the waters of Lake Champlain that appears to be echolocating.

It was not so long ago that the long list of hidden animals included animals that today are a fact of life. Most recently the giant squid. Not the Kraken of old that supposedly sank the ships of sailors brave enough to venture out into the unknown ocean, but the corpses that were found do not give us any insight as to how big the giant squid is capable of growing.

There is a known animal that not too long ago was on the unknown list. If I told you this animal didn't truly exist today, you would laugh. But it wasn't until the year 1860 that the gorilla was accepted as an actual living, breathing animal. Think of every zoo you've ever been to. I guarantee most of them had at least one gorilla. But before the year 1860, the gorilla was a myth of the natives.

Cryptozoology will forever remain obscure. This is why it needs support. The giant squid's "discovery" is a testament to this. Centuries passed with the giant squid on our list of "fanciful" animals. But now, with the flick of a switch, the giant squid is a known animal and therefore no longer a cryptid. No gratitude or reference has been thrown in cryptozoology's direction. It's almost as if the giant squid has always been classified and known. Thus, the study of unknown animals will never be accepted as a true science.

In closing, the ability to have an open mind can go a long way. If people would open their minds to the possibility of the paranormal you can find a world behind the world. I imagine soon enough I'll be watching Nat Geo and they'll have a special where a family of campers will be lost in the woods and a giant sloth will be listed with bears as one of the possible dangers they could face. Cryptozoology, the study of unknown animals, in my opinion is vital. As free minded people, with our consciousnesses traveling through the aether, we often come across the question "Are we alone in the universe?". I submit that we can't possibly fathom the answers to that all consuming question, if we don't even know what we have on our own planet. I hope to delve further into this subject and many others in future issues of the Paranormal Night Flight.

Kenneth "Zoli" Riggar Jr.

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