Zaratan

FeaturedZaratan

The Zaratan is a giant sea turtle (sometimes an octopus or a whale) that is described in folklore and literature that has a large shell that resembles a sloped rocky mound that is supposedly several hundred feet in diameter. Sailors who came across it always mistook it for a small island and they would anchor on it for the night, but as nighttime approached the turtle would swim down into the water which unfortunately drowned the sailors. The Zaratan has also been described as being a giant fish that tries to bring its tail to its mouth but can’t due to its massive size. When a Zaratan gets hungry it is said to open its mouth extremely wide and release a sweet smell and when the fish come near it snaps its jaws shut in a similar fashion to an alligator snapping turtle. The Zaratan has been depicted as a whale in “Sinbad the Sailor” and is also believed to be the same as the Aspidochelone or the Kraken. It’s also believed that the original city of Atlantis was on top of the turtle and that when the turtle dove it destroyed the city and that’s what happened to it. The most similar type of folklore creature would be the turtle that holds the world on its back from many origins of the world stories.

Lizard Men

FeaturedLizard Men

The Lizard Man, or Lizard Men, are not a specific type of cryptid, but the term is used instead to describe a broad spectrum of bipedal hominid-like reptilian people. There are many sightings all over the world. Some examples would be the intulo of South Africa, the Cherufe Lizard Man of South America, the New Jersey Gator Man, Loveland Frogman of Ohio, Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, Canadian Lizard Man, Nagas of India, Kappas of Japan, and the Lizard Demon in Wood County, West Virginia. There have been many theories as to how these Lizard people came to existence. Some theories suggest that they are living dinosaurs, a form of evolution in which a reptile hierarchy continued to evolve along the same path as the early primates. Other theories suggest that they are reptilian aliens, and that many UFO and alien abduction cases have made notes of the fact that people have claimed that the aliens were reptilian-like. There are many other theories to why these reptile-people are coming to our planet and living among us,  but with so many reports of these being living amongst us you have a reptile person right beside you.

Ebu Gogo

FeaturedEbu Gogo

The Ebu Gogo are a group of humanoid creatures that first appeared in Flores mythology. In the Nage language of central Flores “ebu” means ‘grandmother’ and “gogo” means ‘he who eats anything’. The Nage people of Flores, Indonesia have described the Ebu Gogo as having the ability to walk and run quite quickly at around the height of 1.5 meters (about four to almost five feet tall) and they have flat and wide noses, broad faces with large mouths and extremely hairy bodies. They reportedly murmur in what seems to be their own language and also could repeat what others said to them in a parrot-like fashion. The legends of the Ebu Gogo were attributed to monkeys, but at the time they were believed to be a type of human. During the time of the Portuguese Trading Ship arriving in the 17th century people believed that they were alive during this time. They also think that they were alive up until the 20th century, but are no longer in existence. It would have seemed they were hunted to extinction. Stories say that they used to steal food from human camps and kidnap children, so the people in those camps offered them a gift of palm fiber to make into clothing. They accepted the gift and took it back to their cave to start making clothing. The people then threw a firebrand into the cave and set it on fire. It killed all of the Ebu Gogo except possibly one pair that managed to escape to a nearby forest where they may supposedly be living today.

Amaterasu

FeaturedAmaterasu

Amaterasu (also known by Amaterasu-omikami, Ohirume-no-muchi-no-kami) is part of Japanese mythology and is also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is known as the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. Her name is means “shining in heaven” and her whole name means “the great august kami who shines in heaven”. The meaning of her name is understandable since she is the goddess of the sun and the universe. According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in Japanese mythology the Emperors of Japan are considered to be the direct descendants of Amaterasu. It also appears to be a Japanese expression of a historical pan-Asiatic solar goddess. There are some similarities between Amaterasu and the Korean solar goddess Hue-nim, particularly in regards to shamanistic worship that utilizing the same symbols and practices. Although it seems Amaterasu is highly worshiped in Japan, she is still worshiped as a central figure for other places.

The oldest story of Amaterasu comes from about ca. 712 CE Kojiki and ca. 720 CE Nihon Shoki which are the oldest records of Japanese history. Amaterasu is the sister of Susanoo, who is the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, who is the god of the moon. It was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings to create ancient Japan. All three of them were born from Izangi when he was purifying himself after entering Yomi, the underworld, after failing to save Izuanami. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed his left eye, Tsukuyomi from his right eye, and Susanoo from washing his nose. Amaterasu then became the ruler of the sun and heavens along with her brother the god of the moon and ruler of the night. At first Amaterasu shared the skies with her brother and husband Tsukuyomi until out of absolute disgust he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she supposedly pulled food from her rectum, nose, and mouth. This killing upset Amaterasu and cased her to label Tsukuyomi as an evil god and spirit and split away from him, which caused the separation of night and day.

The texts also state that Amaterasu and her brother Susanoo had a long standing rivalry. At some point Izanagi ordered him to leave Heaven and so he approached his sister to say goodbye. She was suspicious of Susanoo, but he proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity and she accepted the challenge. They both took an object from each other and birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo’s sword and he birthed five men from Amaterasu’s necklace. After this she claimed that the gods were her’s since they were birthed from her necklace and that the goddess were Susanoo’s since they were born from his sword. Through this kind of logic, she claimed she won the challenge, and they both accepted it and were content for a while. After a while, however, Susanoo became restless and angry that he went on a rampage and destroyed Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, and even killed one of her attendants. Amaterasu was in grief and was angry over this rampage and hid away in the Ama-no-Iwato, or heavenly rock cave, and so the sun was gone for a very long time.

She was finally persuaded to leave the cave, and Susanoo was punished and banished from Heaven. Later Amaterasu and Susanoo amended their conflict when Susanoo got her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift. When they both reconciled the moon became visible again. According to the legend she bequeathed to her descendants Ninigi the mirror, Yata no Kagami the jewel, and Yasakani no Magatama the sword. This sacred mirror, jewel, and sword became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan.

The Ise Shrine located in Ise, Honshu, Japan houses the inner shrine Naiku which is dedicated to Amaterasu. The sacred mirror Yato no Kagami is said to be kept at this shrine as one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. At this shrine is a ceremony known as Shikinen which is held every twenty years to honor Amaterasu. Each time the ceremony is held the main shrine buildings are destroyed and rebuilt at a location adjacent to the previous site. After this, new clothes and food are offered to Amaterasu. This practice is part of the Shinto faith and has been around since about the year 690.

Akkorokamui

FeaturedAkkorokamui

The Akkorokamui (or also known as the Ashketanne Mat which means “Long-fingered Woman) is a half-human half-octopus monster from the Ainu and Shinto folklore in Japan. It supposedly lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaido. It’s also been sighted in several other locations such as Taiwan and Korea for centuries.

According to the Shinto mythology, the creature is human-like and has a bright red color. John Batchelor wrote in his book “The Ainu and Their Folklore” he states that the creature is 120 meters (about 394 feet) in length and its color was “liken to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon water”. It also has the ability to self-amputate like an octopus and regenerate limbs like one as well. This characteristic manifested itself in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. As a result of that belief among followers believe that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, mainly those that are disfigured or have broken limbs.

The legend of how this creature became starts a long time ago in that spirits cursed a person named Rebunge who was a villager of Abuta Toyoura to see the destruction of his own village. They sent a half-spider half-human monster called Yaoshikepu to fulfill this curse. Yaoshikepu set out to destroy the village and slaughtered so many people that the streets were filled with blood. After hearing the townsfolk trembling and screaming with fear the sea kami (“kami” means divine beast in the Shinto religion) Repunkamui transformed Yaoshikepu into an octopus and sent her into the sea. After she was sent into the sea she began to grow and was consuming larger prey such as whales and attacking ships. One day Akkorokamui ate a boat full of fishermen and once in her stomach, the fishermen called out for help. After hearing these cries, Repunkamui poised Akkorokamui and caused her great pain. As she yelled in pain the fishermen managed to escaped. Akkorokamui learned how to harness the poison, however, and used it to attack her prey, including more ships with fishermen in them.

The Ainu reverence of Akkorokamui has become a permanent part of Shintoism which incorporated it as a minor kami. The self purification practices for this kami are strictly followed. One’s hands must be cleaned with water, with the exception that one’s feet must also be cleaned. While it is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge it is also capable of doing harm. Also because of the nature of it being part octopus it means that it is persistent and it’s nearly impossible to escape its grasp without permission. Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and so the offerings that are the best would be fish, crab and mollusks. There are shrines dedicated with Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity which can be found throughout Japan. The most well known shrines are found in Kyoto and the island of Hokkaido.

This beautiful yet dangerous mythological creature is somewhat a cryptid in its sightings. Many would argue it is just visions of those who strongly believe in a higher power and that it is not a cryptid at all. I like to believe that there is always some truth in these types of stories. Who are we to say it isn’t so?

Nightcrawler/Fresno Alien

FeaturedNightcrawler/Fresno Alien

The Nightcrawler (no I’m not talking about the cute devil mutant from X-Men) , or the Fresno Alien, is an elusive cryptid that’s made just two appearances so far one being in Fresno, California and the other being in Yosemite National Park. In both of the sightings the only evidence was video footage. It shows the creature to be relatively short (about 4 feet tall), is extremely thin, white, with no noticeable arms. It seems to be either wearing a white cloak of some sort.

According to certain groups of Native Americans in the surrounding area the Nightcrawlers have existed for a long time and come from a planet that consists mostly of swamp. It is thought that their long legs help navigate the terrain. They are believed to be here to assist in an “awakening” to help rebuild the connection between man and nature and to bring peace back to Earth.

They seem to be gentle creatures that mean no harm to us and this planet. In fact, bringing peace back to Earth would be amazing. Hopefully we’ll see more of these humanoids sometime in the near future.

Atmospheric Beasts

FeaturedAtmospheric Beasts

As mentioned in my article for air rods which mentioned they may be related to atmospheric beasts, this article will cover what atmospheric beasts are. They are probably one of the more weirder (if that’s even possible) flying creatures from cryptozoology. They seem to be living creatures, but they break all the rules that we humans apply to living things. They fly up high in the sky without wings and their bodies are only semi-solid and are often partially invisible. Many of these sightings were originally classified as really strange and unusual UFO sightings. One of the most well known atmospheric beasts is the Crawfordsville Monster which was first sighted in Indiana in 1891 and some have classified it as a dragon.

To those who do believe in atmospheric beasts they are very fragile and lightweight beings that are either native to Earth or are aliens that are from somewhere else. If you believe the latter theory, then these creatures are sometimes thought to have come from somewhere in the atmosphere of another planet, but they also can be thought of as originating from interstellar gas clouds so that would make it seem that they are aliens without a native planet and are basically “swimming” through space. Many consider them non-intelligent and so even though they may have originated from space they are really just animals.

In several different eyewitness accounts, the beasts can change their density, become smaller, harder masses which are usually metallic in color, or they even can become larger and cloudlike even to the point of complete invisibility and some have even been able to glow. They may resembles whales at times which gives to their other name of ‘air whales’ or ‘cloud beasts’.  It’s also a common belief that if the beasts touch the ground they will die. Those that resemble clouds may display strange behavior that regular clouds cannot do, such as squirting a stream of water at people or being too mobile for normal clouds. The physical features may look like actual animals, but because they are separate clouds that are being combined together it looks entirely too alien to be a real animal.

When they die it’s been noted that they fall to Earth as a large gelatinous mass that may be similar to green, purple, gray or even iridescent jelly that evaporates into absolutely nothing within minutes to as long as days. This is an explanation from the meteorites or star jelly that falls from the sky occasionally.

They are often given local names and are always in folklore, but playing a minor role. People have had actual physical contact with these beings, such as a police officer being touched by one whilst bicycling. People have said it feels like being licked by a large, soft tongue.

They are very strange creatures indeed and have been in folklore for centuries, and there have been many witness accounts of them. Could these be a new species of alien that exists just above us? We may never know honestly, but it’s strangely comforting to think that these large animal-like beings are in a way looking over us.