Skeptical of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, and the goat-sucking El Chupacabra? Fair enough. But keep an open mind and tell yourself that nothing is impossible in this life. In fact, we have identified 8 mysterious and supposedly fictitious creatures from folklore for which there is at least some credible evidence that they might be real. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be persuaded!
The legend: 300 years ago in what is now the state of New Jersey, a baby – cursed because it was the family’s 13th child – was born. After killing its mother and the midwife, it flew off into the darkness and has been stirring up trouble ever sense. New Jersey is known as the armpit of America for reasons geographically, metaphorically and if we’re being honest, literally. So it makes perfect sense that if some kind of nightmarish winged creature with horns and a horse-like head exists, the Garden State is precisely where it would call home.
The proof: In 1909, police officers in the city of Camden claimed to have spotted the Jersey Devil and even fired their guns at it.
The odds that it actually exists: 13%. Those Camden cops were total liars.
Winged Alpaca Unicorn of Lviv
The legend: Back in 2015, after eating a stale cookie that had been in the cookie jar for who knows how long, a resident of Lviv, Ukraine looked out their apartment window and discovered a majestic creature in the courtyard that resembled Vicugna pacos, the beloved South American alpaca. However, it also possessed a few unusual characteristics, including pink wool, wings, and a unicorn’s horn. Impressive indeed.
The proof: A photo that definitely was not photoshopped.
The odds that it actually exists: 99%. However, the psychedelic properties of that stale cookie leave room for some very slight doubt.
The legend: Back in the 1960s and 1970s, people in North Carolina, Arkansas and Florida had reported seeing a hideous, foul-smelling apelike humanoid creature walking about on four legs. Florida seemed to be the place where it was most commonly found, which makes perfect sense because, of course, Florida. The mysterious dude goes by several aliases including Swampsquatch, Louisiana Bigfoot (presumably the Floridian monster’s cajun cousin) stink ape, swamp cabbage man, and so on and so forth.
The proof: Grainy camera footage. So, yeah.
The odds that it actually exists: 1%. Floridians bang to the beat of a different drummer.
Duck Billed Platypus
The legend: Mother Nature decided there were too many conventional animals in this world, so she created something that had the beak of a water fowl, the tail of a beaver and the feet of an otter. She placed it in Australia with all of the other misfit animals that the rest of the world wanted no part of. Back in 1799 when European scientists first observed the preserved carcass of a platypus, they were convinced it was several animals stitched together as a hoax.
The proof: Come on. Your closest zoo undoubtedly has one.
The odds that it actually exists: 95%. I’ve actually seen one with my own eyes, but even that wasn’t enough to convince me with complete certainty that they are real. They just seem so impossible.
The legend: Deep in the boondocks of Arkansas, where banjo-playing, overall-clad folks named Bubba still live in wood cabins and search for a pretty mouth to admire, dwells a catlike (or bearlike, depending on which hillbilly you’re talking to) creature with horns and glowing eyes. It makes a sound that combines a wolf’s howl, hyena’s laugh, and the cry of an elk. In other words, something that would fit well in a platypus’s universe.
The proof: In 2015, somebody sent a photo to an Arkansas TV station supposedly of this mythical beast. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission insists it is a hoax.
The odds that it actually exists: 30%. Maybe the game and fish commission should spend less time trying to debunk the existence of the Ozark Howler and spend more time making Arkansas a more welcoming place for game and fish, am I right?
Sasha the Mermaid
The legend: A few years ago on a hot summer day, a charming and intelligent girl from eastern Ukraine decided to take a dip in the Azov Sea. She immediately fell in love with the experience, and was said to have transformed into a mermaid, retaining her human form above the waist, but with her legs being replaced with a fish tail.
The proof: Merely her words.
The odds that it actually exists: 3%. None of the photos that she has posted of herself on Instagram include her with a fishtail. Her excuse is that nothing so beautiful could ever be captured on camera, which allows for the slight possibility that she’s telling the truth.
The legend: High up in the Himalayan mountains is a white apelike creature that wanders around killing yaks and other beasts, wearing their furs like trophies, and making friends with Boo and Sully from Monsters Inc. At first glance they appear terrifying, but once you get to know them you discover they have a heart of gold.
The proof: big-ass footprints in the snow; scalps that are on display in various Buddhist monasteries.
The odds that it actually exists: 100%. Don’t stop believing.
The legend: Basically it’s the Loch Ness Monster, only it makes its home in the Icelandic lake of Lagarfljót (thus its name) because the weather in Scotland is too tropical by comparison. It was first reported as long ago as 1345 and alleged sightings continue today.
The proof: A 2012 video broadcast on an Icelandic television channel contains footage of the legendary beast swimming in the lake. Some kind of panel with a whole lot of time on its hands voted 7-6 to declare the video to be authentic.
The odds that it actually exists: 0%. I’m calling shenanigans on this one. If panels dedicated to determining the authenticity of Lagarfljót conclude that he is real, then it’s only logical that the opposite must be true.