Has there ever been a cryptid proven to exist? A creature that general scientific consensus had regarded as being a myth for a long time, but finally proven to be real.

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    Doesn’t the list of cryptids answer this question conclusively? – Konrad Rudolph May 25 '11 at 19:31
  • @Konrad Rudolph: +1 for that list. Here's another list which I hope you'll find very amusing -- my favourite is the Hugag (which one is your favourite?): fearsomecreaturesofthelumberwoods.com/mainindex.htm – Randolf Richardson May 25 '11 at 19:50
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    MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM! – Monkey Tuesday May 26 '11 at 1:21
  • @Monkey - MDW is not strictly speaking a cryptid - it was conclusively confirmed by reputable scientists (e.g. Efremov). – user5341 May 26 '11 at 15:46
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    the moment it's proven to exist, it's no longer a cryptid :) – jwenting Jun 1 '11 at 6:43

There are three confirmed animals on the list Konrad Rudolph provided:

(Though the turtle is most likely actually an already known species, just in an odd and not-usually-seen location.)

Two that are oddly (to me) not on the list are probably the most famous:

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    The giant squid was my first reaction, too, but apparently it was never a cryptid: even though it has only recently been captured on film, dead specimen have been found many times before, and credible live sightings have also occurred throughout history. – Konrad Rudolph May 26 '11 at 15:12
  • @Konrad Rudolph: I guess that just points to the idea that this isn't an exact science by any means, that one man's cryptid is another man's... something. – erekalper May 26 '11 at 15:26
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    the giant squid was a cryptid for centuries, a story told by sailors and not believed until "scientists" themselves found carcasses. – jwenting Jun 1 '11 at 6:35
  • There is also the Colossal Squid but I'm not sure it was ever a Cryptid, but still only discovered 1925 from beaks in Sperm Whale stomachs. – Ingó Vals Oct 6 '11 at 23:33
  • Giant Squid is on the list as Kraken. – vartec Feb 22 '12 at 9:57

I can't work out whether the Platypus counts.

The story goes that when the first Platypus specimen was sent to England, it was perceived to be a fake (Ref) by the scientist, Dr George Shaw, who examined it with a pair of scissors in an effort to expose the fraud (Ref).

(The unreferenced web-sites I have checked differ in a few minor details: was it more than one naturalist who was doubtful? Can the scissor marks still be seen in the British Museum's specimen? I can't be sure.)

If one bloke from a museum in England can be counted as "general scientific consensus" (and perhaps, in 1799, he could!) then the platypus must count as a cryptid!

(There's a similar story about black swans, but I found even less evidence.)

  • given the upheaval around the piltdown man at the time, the platypus was indeed considered suspicious until someone from the royal society shot one and disected it :) kingsnake.com/toxinology/old/mammals/platypus.html contains a reference. – jwenting Jun 1 '11 at 6:42
  • @jwenting: Uh, the Piltdown man hoax was 100+ years later. – mmyers Jun 1 '11 at 18:34
  • hmm, must have my timelines wrong. But it does illustrate the concept of faked biological specimens :) – jwenting Jun 3 '11 at 17:34
  • I have forgotten the generic word for fakes like the Feejee Mermaid (a grotesque? something like that), but they existed pre-European discovery of the platypus. – Oddthinking Jun 3 '11 at 17:40
  • Also, the platypus would not be considered a cryptid because they had a specimen in hand, however odd it seemed at the time. Stories and scant evidence (footprints, etc) of it before a specimen was in hand would have labeled it a cryptid. – user6229 Feb 22 '12 at 6:17

Mountain Gorillas were cryptids back in the 1800's, before being a cryptid was cool.

List of former cryptids, including gorilla.

Gorilla combat

Page 686

Sea and Land by J. W. Buel, 1889 The chapter is called "The Gorilla- does he exist?"

Gustave Doré did most of the etchings for the work.

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    Ah, the Hipster among the cryptids? – Lagerbaer Feb 22 '12 at 22:16
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    Well, 'cryptids' only showed up in the nineties, so the gorilla's got something to be proud of. Fearsome warriors they were too, pre-discovery. books.google.com/ngrams/… – user951 Feb 22 '12 at 22:57

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