Cryptozoology is a pseudoscience involving the search for animals whose existence has not yet been proven.  Cryptozoology is not a recognized branch of zoology or a discipline of science.  It’s an example of pseudoscience because it relies heavily on anecdotal evidence, stories, and alleged sightings.

The etymology of the word “cryptozoology” comes from the Greek word “kryptos” meaning “hidden” and the word “zoology” meaning “the study of animals”.  It includes looking for living examples of animals that are considered extinct, such as dinosaurs.  It also includes animals whose existence lacks physical evidence but which appear in myths, legends, and folklore, or reported sightings – like Bigfoot.

Cryptozoology is also the study of wild animals dramatically outside their normal geographic ranges, such as phantom cats (also known as Alien Big Cats.  The animals cryptozoologists study are often referred to as “cryptids“.

Common cryptids include the Kraken, Bigfoot, Chupacabra, the Loch Ness Monster, Mokele-mbembe, mermaids, the Jersey Devil.  There are many mare, and just about every region in the world has stories of their own cryptid embedded in folklore.

Designed by Alden Guinnip in 2013, the infographic below highlights some of the most common cryptids (click to see a larger version):

The study of hidden animals: cryptozoology.