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<   No. 1955   2008-06-03   >

Comic #1955

1 {scene: Somewhere in the Himalayas, a yeti surveys a panel of sophisticated electronic displays}
1 Yeti: I say. Loch Ness Monster sightings have spiked significantly in the past week.
2 Yeti: {to another yeti} Mobilise the Secret Action Squadron Team of Cryptid Hunters!
3 {scene change: a close up of phone}
3 [sound]: RIIING!
4 Jane Goodall: {answering phone} What is it now?!

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Cryptids are creatures unknown to science, which have been reported but not confirmed to exist. It's quite a wide category, including creatures that may in fact turn out to be real, creatures known to be real but believed to be extinct or not extant in a given region, as well as myths and legends founded on misunderstood encounters with other creatures or sheer superstition and rumour.

For example, when Europeans first encountered the gorilla and the platypus, reports of these animals were sketchy and initially not believed by many zoologists. At that point, they could have been considered cryptids. The animals eventually proved to be real. Once this was accepted, they no longer qualified as cryptids.

A different type of example is the thylacine - known to be a real animal, but believed to have become extinct in 1936. Occasionally people still claim to have seen wild thylacines in the forests of Tasmania, qualifying the thylacine as a cryptid.

Between the first discovery of a living specimen in 1938, and subsequent confirmation that it was indeed the long-thought-extinct species, the coelacanth could also have been considered a cryptid.

But perhaps the most famous examples of cryptids are the ones which remain a mystery, such as the Loch Ness Monster, and the Yeti.

I just thought the idea of Jane Goodall being on a secret international team of cryptid hunters was amusing.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 3 June 2008; 03:11:01 PST.
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