This list is compiled by Loren Coleman who is one of the world’s leading cryptid researchers. Cryptids are the yet-to-be discovered animals or recovered supposedly extinct zoological species that are being sought by cryptozoologists, zoologists, anthropologists, and other researchers through fieldwork in the wild, re-examinations of specimens in zoological collections, and searches of archival materials. For me, it all started with the Abominable Snowman (Yeti) in 1960, and then moved quickly to an awareness of a world filled with cryptids.
In my book, Cryptozoology A to Z, I detailed several of the well-known and lesser-known but technically unknown alleged animals from around the world that are of interest to cryptozoologists. From that 1999 work, my earlier lists, and later research and fieldwork, here’s my list of the top fifty picks of these hopefully soon-to-be-found animals, which are actively being pursued today.
1. Ahool Giant: unknown bats are reported to reside in a region of western Java, plus similar reports under different names from Vietnam and the Philippines; possibly known as Orang-bati in Seram, Indonesia.
2. Almas: Huge hairy Neanderthaloid or Homo erectus-like hominids sighted in various parts of Euroasia.
3. Agogwe: The Agogwe are little, human-like, hairy, bipeds reported consistently from the forests of Eastern Africa.
4. Andean Wolf: These unrecognized mountain dogs are seen in South America.
5. Arabhar: These unconfirmed flying snakes are located in the Arabian Sea region.
6. Barmanu: Reportedly strong, muscular, and hairy humanoids reported from the Shishi-kuh valley in Pakistan.
7. Beast of Bodmin (or Bodmin Moor): Locally named mystery felids found in the United Kingdom.
8. Bergman’s Bear: Possible unknown species of giant bear once roamed Eastern Asia, and still may.
9. Bigfoot: The classic Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest is well-grounded in hundreds of years of sightings, encounters, folklore, traditions, hair samples, and footprint evidence, for starters. The Patterson-Gimlin footage captured images in 1967 of what appears to be a good type specimen of this animal.
10. Birds-of-Paradise: Six species from New Guinea and surrounding islands, and a distinctive Long-Tailed Black Bird-of-Paradise from Goodenough Island are of interest to cryptozoology. (Ivory-billed woodpeckers in America have moved from “cryptid” to “rediscovered species,” in terms of the way zoology views them today.)
11. Black Panthers and Maned Mystery Cats: Sightings of large Black Panthers and seemingly “African Lions” with manes in the Midwest USA have law enforcement officials on the alert.
12. Blue Mountain panthers: These unknown cats reportedly live in the Blue Mountains of the east coast of Australia in the state of New South Wales.
13. Blue Tiger: These mystery felids are spotted in the Fujian Province, China, and are also filed under the name Black Tiger.
14. Bobo Sea monsters of the North Pacific Ocean are frequently reported off Monterey Bay since the 1940s, and have been given this local name.
15. Buffalo Lion: East African maneless lions are said to be man-eaters, and may reflect some new genetic alignments, akin to the King Cheetah discoveries among cheetahs.
16. Buru: Fifteen foot long bluish-black giant lizards were seen often in the swamps, lakes and foothills of the Himalayas, up through the 1940s, although they may be extinct now. More new monitors will be found, however.
17. Caddy: These unknown Sea Serpents (perhaps Mystery Cetaceans?) living off the coast of British Columbia are a popular figure in Canadian cryptozoology.
18. Champ: Giant prehistoric-looking creatures supposedly lurk in Lake Champlain, a 109 mile lake that borders New York, Vermont, and Ontario.
19. Chupacabras: Also called “Goatsuckers,” these bizarre Caribbean and South American cryptids are five feet tall biped creatures with short grey hair that have spiked hair and reportedly drain the blood through throat punctures of the livestock they kill.
20. Ebu Gogo: Three feet tall, hairy little people with pot bellies and long arms sighted on the island of Flores, Indonesia. Tiny females are said to have long, pendulous breasts.
21. Giant Anaconda: Reports have been made of 100 feet long snakes on the Rio Negro of the Amazon River basin.
22. Giant Octopus: The Blue Holes of Bimini offer many sightings of these unknown huge, many-tentacled animals.
23. Giant Sloth: Weighing up to three tons, these supposedly extinct animals have been reported in South America in contemporary times. These do notappear to be the Mapinguary/Mapinguari, which seem to be bipedal primates.
24. Globsters: Strange looking giant creatures (also called blobs) wash up on the beaches of the world, get the media and scientists excited, and sometimes turn out to be “unknowns.”
25. Hantu Jarang Gigi: Also called the Orang Dalam, Mawas, and Johor Bigfoot, these hominoids reported from Malaysia may indicate large unknown primates are still to be discovered from this corner of the world.
26. Jersey Devil: This regionalized name hides these perhaps a variety of creatures that have been haunting the New Jersey Pineland forest for over 260 years.
27. Kongamato: The natives of the Jiundu region of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) have firsthand encounters with these strange flying bat-like creatures.
28. Lake Storsjon Monster: Lake Sorsjön in northern Sweden appears to be inhabited by a Lake Monster, and has a relative in Lake Seljord in the Telemark region of Norway, which has its own Lake Monster swimming the waters there for centuries.
29. Lau Are specific African lakes the home to 40 feet long unknown catfishes or lungfishes?
30. Loch Ness Monster: Nessie is the most famous Lake Monster in the world; they are said to inhabit this loch, an extremely deep Scottish lake.
31. MacFarlane’s Bear: The carcass is at the Smithsonian, believed to be a possible hybrid between a grizzly and polar bear. Or an new unknown species?
32. Mngwa: The Mngwa are mystery cats described as being as large as donkeys, with marks like a tabby and living in Africa – but not a known species.
33. Mokele-Mbembe: For over two hundred years there have been reports of living Sauropods (dinosaur) in the remote Congo area of Africa. They may be confused with accounts of other local cryptids, including aquatic rhinos and monitors.
34. Mongolian Death Worm: Locals in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia talk of these giant snakes, worms, or long thin lizards (also called Olgoi-khorkhoi or Allghoi-khorkhoi) as killing livestock and people with their breath or strayed venom.
35. Mothman: A local name for giant owls (also called Bighoot) which have been sighted for over 100 years in the West Virginia-Ohio area, and elsewhere in North America.
36. Ogopogo: This is Canada’s most famous type of water monster, the specific inhabitants of Lake Okanagan in the south central interior of British Columbia.
37. Orang-Pendak: These reportedly small biped apes (also called Sedapa) live in the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo.
38. Peruvian Mystery Jaguar: Unknown large cats with white background covered in solid irregular spots are seen in the rainforests of Peru.
39. Skunk Ape: Also known by the label Myakka “ape” and other local names (Booger, Swamp Ape), these chimpanzee- or orangutan-like primates have been sighted throughout central and south Florida, and are a local version of the North American Ape. They are entirely different than the classic PNW Bigfoot.
40. Steller’s Sea Cow: A once thought extinct species, could these totally marine animals, looking like huge, wrinkled manatees, continue to exist? They are contemporarily sighted by Russian fisherman and others.
41. Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine: Thought extinct, these wolf-like marsupials are still sighted on a regular basis in Western Australia, and perhaps New Guinea too.
42. Tatzelwürm: Classic small log-shaped reptilian cryptids from the European Alps are enigmatic animals, but have they gone extinct in historical times?
43. Thunderbird: Large condor-like birds, perhaps Teratorns, appear to still roam the skies of North America, along regular migration routes.
44. Tzuchinoko: Unknown species of snake sighted in the upper elevations of Korea and Japan.
45. Ucu: The South American Bigfoot live mainly in the Andean foothills.
46. Waitoreke: These strange unknown otter-like beasts are seen in New Zealand, and as yet undiscovered.
47. Xing-Xing: This is a specific regional name, from southern China, for small unknown apes, perhaps a new subspecies of orangutan.
48. Yeren: The Chinese Wildmen are reddish, semi-bipedal, and often encountered by locals and government officials along rural roads.
49. Yeti: perhaps unknown rock apes, are creatures reported as crossing the Himalayan plateaus and living in the valley forests. There is not just “one” Abominable Snowman, and they are not “white.”
50. Yowie: These tall hairy unknown hominoids are sighted throughout several remote eastern coastal areas of Australia.
Some former members of this list do occassionaly have to be deleted. For example, the Bili Ape (allegedly giant chimpanzees reported to live in remote east Africa) have lost status as cryptids, as they are said today to merely be a subspecies of chimpanzee. Never mind, there will be new discoveries and new additions in the coming years.