Have you ever been driving at night and accidentally run over an animal and thought…? "Oh no, somebody's pet." Only to get out of your car and find something that looks like it came from an episode of Star Trek. Have you ever seen a strange looking creature staring at you from the woods behind your house only to discover the next morning that it was an just an unusual shape in a tree trunk? Have you ever seen your mother-in-law first thing in the morning and mistook her for a new species of weird alien animal with no signs of intelligent though processes? If so, read on. You are not alone. Introducing the Ten Unbelievable Animals… For a Good Reason!
This amazing fictitious animal gained such notoriety as to become the provincial animal of Sundsvall, Sweden. Being the town's official animal has its advantages as the critter has a sign on the outskirts of town warning driver's of its possible crossing. It originated as a tall tale of a local hunter attempting to amuse guests. It supposedly has the head, shoulders, and legs, both front and back, of a hare but its back and tail are that of a wood grouse. (a wild game bird that makes great eating) The story caught on and a painting of the animal has been donated and is on display at the local museum. The curator of the museum knew a taxidermist who created a lifelike model of the weird little rabbit-bird. It just goes to show you that life can be just as strange as fiction. You could say that this is a hare brained and bird brained idea.
Leave it to P.T. Barnum to popularize something as ugly as the Fiji Mermaid. When one thinks of mermaids, one conjures up an image of a beautiful girl with a sleek, if not smelly bottom half of a huge fish that we could just about overlook in light of her beautiful face and seductively long, flowing hair. The creature in Barnum's freak show, however, is more akin to the sirens of sailor's lore that shriek malevolently in the misty night, luring mariners to their deaths against the rocky shores. Note: When in doubt, follow your nose.
In Godalming Surrey, England, an obviously deranged woman miscarried her baby and then seized the opportunity of her aborted pregnancy to try to make a name for herself, believing she would make money on her fame and not have to work in the fields. Mary Toft put animal parts, mostly that of rabbits and cats, into her vagina and pretended to give birth to them. So convincing was her performance that over the course of several weeks, she duped several prominent doctors of the time of this notion. By the time she confessed, several doctor’s careers were in shambles.
People will believe just about anything if it sounds crazy enough. The more unbelievable a story, the more people want to believe it. Take, for instance, the Tree Octopus. Twenty-five students were tested on the subject in an internet literacy school. Out of the twenty-five, a whopping twenty-four believed the story to be true. The tree octopus is a supposed endangered species of the cephalopod family. It can live either in or out of water and makes its nests in the branches of trees that hang over the Olympic National Forest Rivers and lakes. Its main predator is the Sasquatch and its Latin name, Octopus Paxabolis means Pacific Tree Octopus. Sure, I believe it.
Deep in the coldest reaches of North America, lurking in the murky depths of its rivers and lakes swims the legendary Furry Trout. The waters of Canada, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and the regions of the Great Lakes are so cold that these trout have evolved to grow an extremely thick coat of fur to maintain a body heat sufficient enough to survive the frozen winter waters. There is another theory, however in that someone accidentally spilled a large amount of hair tonic in one of the feeding rivers. Of course, you could believe the rumor of a mold or mildew that infect the fish and gives the dead carcass the appearance of having thick, white hair. You decide.
In Clearwater Florida as lately as 1948, weird, three-toed footprints began to turn up along with several reported sightings of a giant penguin like creature that stalked around the costal wooded areas. The creature was again spotted by a plane as it basked in the sun while floating in the ocean off Clearwater. Of course, many years later, the footprints turned out to be a hoax. They were made with a forged, three-toe shaped piece of metal. The sightings, however, have never been explained. They were reported by credible people including a well-known Zoologist. Hmm, what do you think?
Tim Folger, ex editor of Discover Magazine made this creature up in an article as an April fools joke. This scary looking critter is supposed to travel underwater in packs. The theory went that they had the ability to heat a bony growth on their heads filled with blood vessels and boring upwards from under their prey, they would melt the ice beneath it and then devour the helpless lunch when it fell through the hole in the ice. Too bad they are not real. I could train a couple of these to clear my sidewalks this winter and ditch the snow shovel.
Is it possible that there could there be a representative of the T-Rex family alive and well in the Kasai region of the Belgium Congo? Two separate eyewitness reports say there is. Both accounts describe a giant lizard-like creature eating a rhinoceros. Experts have picked apart both stories, pointing out details that do not fit and a flaw that make the events unlikely but who is to say. I mean, something has to eat Rhinos or they would be everywhere. It is just like that pink elephant I saw in my bedroom that time. Hey, it looked real to me.
Why is it, that the discoverers of these local creatures are always described as "local pranksters" in the new reports? The Hodag of Rhinelander, Wisconsin is a cross between a frog, an elephant, and a dinosaur. Any idiot could see that. This report is obviously true. By the way, did I mention that I have an ocean- front view property for sale? It is in Arizona. Call me, we'll do lunch. I hear the Hodag is particularly good.
I would be remiss if I did not point out that not all creatures of folklore are easy to rebuke. The Mothman, for one, is a very interesting study in that one, It cannot be disproved, and two, it foretold a catastrophic event that killed 46 people. This is not the first time that the Mothman has been reported and always, just before some catastrophe. Could it be that there is some other earthly being that values the lives of the living, has access to future events, but has no valid way of warning us when disaster will strike? The point of this added material is to simply advise that if you encounter this creature, hoax or not, follow your gut and at least try to ascertain any immanent danger forecast as a result of your encounter.