Hell yeah – we got our first Spooky Season Power Rankings of the year, and today, I’m going to be counting down my top 10 cryptids.
What the hell is a cryptid, Stoney? You might be wondering. Well, I’m here to tell you, folks – cryptids are like mythical creatures. Animals/beings/entities/whatever that are shrouded in legends, and whose existence can’t actually be proven by the always trustworthy Scientific Method (tin foil hat spin cycle: maybe because they’re actually INTER-DIMENSIONAL beings that can come and go between our reality and their’s – yes, let’s get freaky).
And, yes – as a journalist, I am here to do my job to the fullest extent. That job, as defined by my boss at SoBros Network, means determining the best of things. Today, in honor of Spooky Season kicking off, I will be diving into cryptids and determining which one is the best. Now, you might ask, “what is the criteria, Stoney?” Good question – simple answer. The criteria I’ve set forth is based on how many wild and spooky legends surround it, mainstream brand recognition, and how badass the cryptid is. That’s it. So, let’s dive in.
Honorable mention to the chupacabra – it’s just not badass enough to crack the top 10.
Spooky Season Power Rankings: Top 10 Cryptids
10. The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp – So this thing is like South Carolina’s real life version of the creature from the Black Lagoon. You want to talk about branding, the ‘Scape Ore Swamp’ just sounds like a hotbed of weird and spooky action. To think that it has its own king, which is like a giant lizard man that jumps on top of cars in the middle of the night, is merchandising gold. The description on this dude’s Wikipedia page: “green, wetlike, about 7 feet tall and had three fingers, red eyes, skin like a lizard, snakelike scales.” Hell yeah – that’s a badass.
9. Huldufólk – We’re talking about real life elves, people. Apparently, that’s a thing in Iceland. It’s widely accepted that elves live out in the woods, and can turn invisible whenever they don’t want to be seen (convenient). They’re believed to be supernatural creatures that can transport between the Earth and a parallel world. If that’s not some boss ass shit, I don’t know what is.
8. The Ozark Howler – I’m here for a good hellhound legend, and that’s the kinda deal you get with the Ozark Howler. Is it a big bear? Is it a big cat? We don’t know, but it definitely has red eyes and horns, and can howl like a sonofabitch. You can find this one out in the remote parts of Arkansas and Missouri, according to legend.
7. Loch Ness Monster – The brand recognition may be on point for ol’ Nessie, but I feel like there are just way too many logical explanations for this one that I can’t justifiably put it any higher than #7 on this list. They might’ve even found the creature! #1 rule of being a cryptid: you can’t be found. So, Nessie’s best years as a legend are behind it for sure.
6. Mapinguari – Maybe a ‘hairy humanoid cyclops’ doesn’t sound like your thing. I get it. But, how fucking wild is the Mapinguari? It’s a giant…that has a mouth on its abdomen….it doesn’t get any wilder than that. The cryptids down in Brazil are on some next level shit.
5. The Beast of Exmoor – It’s just a big cat. Apparently, that’s a thing across the pond. The British love their big cats. But, as an avid fan of cats and The Jungle Book, I’m kind of here for it. The fact that they got the armed forces involved to try and track this thing down makes it even more of a legit badass.
4. Mongolian death worm – This one comes to us courtesy of the Gobi Desert, and is some straight up Beetlejuice shit. A long snake-lookin’ thing that creates waves in the sand, can spray venom, and even has an electrical discharge? No wonder this motherfucker is the stuff of legend. Maybe it’s an upset, but this thing is grading high on my list.
3. Jersey Devil – There is some crazy rich history surrounding the Jersey Devil that involves occultism, religion, politics, Ben Franklin, and some really bored people that lived in what was actually a pretty dangerous place (the Pine Barrens). Personally, I just think it’s a classic case of what the mind can do as a result of public panic and mass hysteria. Looking into it, I think there’s definitely a Phone It In episode in here somewhere. The Jersey Devil has a lot of different descriptions, but the general consensus is that it’s some humanoid bird lookin’ thing with a goat’s head and bat wings. Sorry, but you can’t have a spot in the top two on this list if you have a goat head, no matter how cool your back story is.
2. Bigfoot – No cryptid has the brand that Bigfoot has. I think if you asked most Joe Schmos on the street who the G.O.A.T. cryptid is, they’re probably going to say ‘Bigfoot.’ I definitely respect that – Bigfoot probably is the Michael Jordan…the Hulk Hogan…of cryptids. Bigfoot has built quite the pop culture empire over the course of its (non)existence. But, there’s just not a lot of depth to the whole ‘creature in the woods’ angle, and that’s why I can’t justify giving the Bigfoot the top spot.
1. The Mothman – Where do I even begin when talking about how awesome the Mothman is? It’s so awesome that we’ve named it the official unofficial mascot of the SoBros Network, we added it as the motif for this year’s #SpookySeason shirt, Rooster wrote a long feature on the Mothman, AND we did an episode of Phone It In on the Mothman. Yeah, we got some Mothman content up in this bitch.
But, I think what makes the Mothman so great is just the bizarre story surrounding him. Some weird shit started happening beyond just seeing some freakish monster in the woods. We had some government conspiracy theories spawned out of this – the Men In Black were involved. Some odd physical maladies fell upon the people who saw the Mothman. Not to mention, the Silver Bridge – holy fuck, the SILVER BRIDGE. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys because it really is a rich, deep story. Go seek it out for yourselves – dive full steam ahead down that rabbit hole.
If Bigfoot is the Jordan/Hogan of cryptids, then the Mothman is the LeBron/Cena.
Big shout out to Rooster for helping me with this. She is the real MVP of this article. Oh, and if any cryptid hunters want to get your boy out on an expedition, just shoot me an e-mail, especially if you are Zac Efron looking for something to do your next Netflix series on. We can have some fun.
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Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley