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Main page » Non-Fiction » Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology

Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology


George Eberhart is a librarian known for his encyclopedic bibliographies on unusual phenomena. He focuses on cryptozoology in an ambitious effort to collate information on every cryptid and a number of mythical creatures (e.g., griffin, roc, dragon, werewolf) that have been said to represent unknown and known animals.


The first part of this book contains descriptions of 1,085 unknown animals, arranged alphabetically in a field-guide format. Each of these falls into one of forty major cryptid categories, most of them based on existing classes and orders of known animals.

Each major category offers a brief description of the animal group associated with it, as well as a list of the cryptids included. The major categories are a good place to begin a general search for specific mystery beasts.

There are over 1000 entries alphabetically organized, from "Abnauayu", a supposed hominid from west Asia, to "Ziz", a mythical giant bird of the Middle East. The relative obscurity of these two cryptids is representative of the book, which contains entries on many beasts that many cryptozoologists will know little about. Most of the cryptids are listed by their local name, making Mysterious Creatures an interesting reference to the animal folklore of indigenous peoples around the world. There are also entries on the better-known cryptids such as Nessie, bigfoot, and the gigantic octopus.  Werewolves are covered, too. Following the name of each cryptid is a brief sentence that describes what kind of cryptid it is and where it is found.

Each entry is then broken into subsections including etymology, variant names, physical description, behaviour, tracks, habitat, distribution, significant sightings, a list of possible explanations, and a usually comprehensive list of references (admirably, often the original sources).

Eberhart's comprehensive and informative treatment of cryptids makes Mysterious Creatures an invaluable reference. It is of great use and enjoyment to anybody interested in cryptozoology.

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Tags: creatures, dragon, werewolf, griffin, beensaid, known