This one-volume encyclopedia introduces readers to the world’s cryptids—those hidden or secret animals believed to exist at the margins of human society—including Bigfoot, Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Mothman. Comprehensive in its scope, this book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to know more about well-known creatures of myth and legend, such as the Chupacabra and the Jersey Devil, and discover lesser-known animals, such as the Bunyip of Australia and the Mamlambo of South Africa. Rather than purport to prove or deny the existence of these creatures, however, this volume classifies them within their respective cultural, historical, and social contexts, allowing readers to appreciate cryptids as cultural artifacts important to societies around the globe. Finally, this book goes beyond the study of the unknown to investigate who believes in cryptids, why they do, and why the study of cryptozoology is as much about understanding cryptids as it is about understanding ourselves.
- Provides a history and description of cryptids from around the world
- Suggests reasons for why people believe in such cryptids as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster
- Situates cryptids within specific social, cultural, and historical contexts
- Includes entries on lesser-known cryptids, such as the Bunyip and Mamlambo