Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.

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Animals that are rumored to exist such as the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster are called Cryptids. These animals differ from Mythic Animals since they do exist in the here and now. (Being more supernatural, Mythic Animals have magical attributes, which Cryptids do not.) Once believed to be figments of people’s imaginations, the giant squid and coelacanth have been found in the world’s oceans. Cryptids can be thought of as elusive and unidentified animals waiting official recognition.

Cryptozoologists (scientists who study cryptids) will generally divide the animals into several descriptive groupings. There are animals, which are unlike any known species, such as the Thetis Lake Monster (British Columbia), a bipedal water creature with silver scales. Extinct animals which are often sighted like Pterosaurs or Giant Ground Sloths (Mapinguari of Brazil) are in another group. (Coelacanth was included in this group.) Animals that are not found in their usual ranges such as such as the Giant Kangaroos of North America and British Big Cats make up the third group. These would be a breeding population of kangaroos outside of Australia or pumas from North America that are consistently sighted in the United Kingdom. The last group comprises of animals who are unlike those of their own species. A notable example is the Kellas Cat, an intraspecific hybrid between the domestic cat and the Scottish wildcat.

 Based on his years of extensive field work, noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman published two guides - one on humanoids and one on water cryptids. Coleman reasoned that these two groups were of the most interest to people. Meanwhile, other cryptozoologists have separated out the draconic cryptids, such as Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu which lives in the Congo, since they seem to have the attributes of mythical dragons. Finally cryptids that defy explanation and classification are in “the all other” category. This would be the very weird such as the Mongolian death worm, which spits poison at people.

 Cryptids fascinate people with their strangeness. What are they? Why do they continue haunt people but chose to remain elusive? Why are there multiple stories about similar cryptids around the world? Many people have spent considerable time and money searching for answers.

 Cryptids teach humility, since they demonstrate that there is a lot about the world that we do not know. Why do we scoff at reports of giant squids attacking ships? Are they too unreal or too real? When we think about cryptids, why do we become frightened? We are humbled by the idea that these animals have eluded discovery in spite of our best efforts. They open us up to questioning our comfort zones.

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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