Illustration for article titled Legendary cryptids that turned out to be absolutely real

When we think of cryptozoology, we usually think of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster, creatures that are – let’s face it – probably legendary. But some cryptids are real: just ask the platypus, okapi, and giant squid.

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Of course, all of those are former cryptids – they’ve long since been “officially” discovered. But the fact is that all these creatures were not so long ago considered the stuff of myths and hoaxes by serious zoologists, and that something like the platypus was considered just as unlikely as Sasquatch. These are all real creatures that, at least for a moment, blurred the line between zoology and cryptozoology.

The Platypus

You might want to argue that, while the animals on this list were certainly once cryptids, they belong in a different category from the likes of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, both of which are massively unlikely to exist and clearly the stuff of fringe theory and pseudoscience. And while I would generally agree with that assertion, I’d still have to say – have you looked at a platypus recently? Never has a real animal more completely looked like the work of a hoaxer, and not a particularly imaginative hoaxer at that.