Other researchers responded that McMenamin was seeing what he wanted to see in the patterns.
"To my mind, this hypothesis is like looking at clouds—being able to see what you desire," Glenn Storrs, the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Cincinnati Museum Center, told LiveScience.
Mythical krakens are now thought of as giant squid or octopuses, capable of bringing down a ship with their tentacled arms. But many of the earliest kraken reports were of creatures so enormous that they grew vegetation on their backs like islands. These krakens dragged down anchored ships or swamped them by surfacing suddenly. [Read Get Kraken: Why Scientists Should Study Sea Monsters]
The 1816 "Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences Literature, Etc.," (advertised as "intended to supersede the use of other books of reference") defines the kraken as "a most amazing large sea animal," said to be "of a crab-like form."
"Its back or upper part, which seems an English mile and a half (some have affirmed more), looks at first like a number of small islands, surrounded with something that floats like seaweeds," the dictionary author writes. "At last several bright points of horns appear, which grow thicker the higher they emerge, and sometimes stand up as high and large as the masts of middle-sized vessels. In a short time, it slowly sinks, which is thought as dangerous as its rising; as it causes such a swell and whirlpool as draws everything down with it."
Den of the Yeti
October's most recent cryptozoology report comes courtesy of Russia, where researchers claim to have found "indisputable proof" of the yeti, a hairy ape-like creature not unlike Bigfoot.
This "proof" takes the form of a few strands of gray hair and some tracks in the snow, but similar claims have come up short in the past. Some Sasquatch claims have even been brazen hoaxes, such as a 2008 press conference in which two Georgia men claimed to have the body of Bigfoot in a freezer. The "corpse" turned out to be a rubber ape suit.
There's no way of knowing yet whether the Russian yeti enthusiasts are out to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, or whether they genuinely believe their yeti evidence is real. The yeti fur was supposedly found in Azasskaya cave in western Siberia during a yeti conference. [Mythical Creatures: Beasts that Don't Exist]
"During the expedition to the Azasskaya cave, conference participants gathered indisputable proof that the Shoria mountains are inhabited by the 'Snow Man,'" a spokesman for the region told LiveScience's sister site Life's Little Mysteries. "They found his footprints, his supposed bed, and various markers with which the yeti uses to denote his territory."
No word on where the supposed yeti went or why researchers didn't stick around with cameras. Unlike the Cyclops shark, it seems this yeti finding may not stand up to scrutiny.
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