Term coined by zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans to characterize
the study of ‘‘hidden animals.’’ It includes the study of
the existence of known animals in places where they were not
expected to occur as well as the persistence of animals presumed
to be extinct. The key trait of animals considered the object
of cryptozoology is their unexpected nature. The idea of
cryptozoology was suggested by the discovery of exotic animals
through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They include
the gorilla, the giant squid, and the coelecanth (a fish
thought to be extinct for many millenia).
The primary interest of present-day cryptozoologists are
such animals as the Loch Ness Monster and other lake monCrumbaugh,
James C(harles) Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
sters, Bigfoot and other living hominoids, and the possibility of
various dinosaur survivals.
Heuvelmans established a Centre de Cryptozoologie in
Heuvelsmans, Bernard. ‘‘What Is Cryptozoology’’ Cryptozoology
1 (Winter 1982) 1–12.
Mackal, Roy P. Searching for Hidden Animals. Garden City,
N.Y. Doubleday, 1980.
Michell, John, and Robert J. M. Rickard. Living Wonders
Mysteries and Curiosities of the Animal World. New York Thames
and Hudson, 1982.

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