Have we found all the large animals still living in the world? Probably not, since in the last decade some previously unknown species have surfaced in Southeast Asia, for example. This page is dedicated to such animals which might possibly exist in nature but whose existence has not yet been accepted by modern science. If you are interested in animals which have never existed in nature (although they may, in part, have been based upon real animals) such as gryphons and mermaids, please see my legendary animals page.

Encounters with hairy hominids or "wild men" like the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Nguoi Rung go back to antiquity and appear in legends throughout the world. The picture at the top of the page is from the famous Roger Patterson film of a purported Sasquatch, taken in 1968. (Stories that Patterson's film was a hoax continue to circulate.) One hypothesis is that some of these reports represent encounters with surviving representatives of Gigantopithecus blacki, a giant ape commonly assumed to have died out several hundred thousand years ago.

Another persistent type of encounter is with lake or sea serpents. The most famous lake monster is Nessie, supposed inhabitant of Loch Ness in Scotland.

Many animals have gone extinct over the last few hundred years as a result of ecological disruption caused by humans migrating to new environments or direct attempts to exterminate "problem" species. An example is the marsupial wolf or Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus). This carnivorous marsupial was hunted to extinction in the early part of the twentieth century. The last known living specimen died in captivity in 1936. Persistent reports of sightings right down to the present suggest that a few thylacines may still live in the wild.

If you are interested in reading about cryptozoology I suggest the following books as starters.

100% WEIRD This page received the 100% WEIRD website award.

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Last modified by pib on April 24, 1998.