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Hall of Strange Creatures

Various types of "strange" creatures -- Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, mermaids, Vampires, and so on -- continue to fascinate.  Unlike the Known animals that zoologists study, however, these creatures are difficult to categorize for the very reason that they cannot be examined.

Some are considered supernatural -- werewolves, for instance -- and thus belong not to science by to muthology and other works of literature.  Science has never authenticated anything as supernatural.

On the other hand, some creatures -- like lake monsters -- if they exist at all, could be entirely natural-world animals.  Such potentially "real" creatures are now ofted called "cryptids" (meaning "hidden animals"), and those who study them call themselves "cryptozoologists."

Still, there is no hard-and-fast system of classification for these "strange" creatures.  Until science comes into possession of a specimen, one could endlessly debate whether a given entity -- a "merbeing," say -- is supernatural, natural, or imaginary.  Different "theorists" have different opinions, while most scientists do not give any of them much thought.

Credits

digitized 2014 by Amanda Shepp, MLS