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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? 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 May 25 '11 at 19:50
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    MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM! 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
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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. 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
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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.)

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  • 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
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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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