Monday 26 January 2015

Monsters in America Map Dissection

United monsters of America: Infographic reveals the strange beasts that have captured the nation's imagination 

  • The map, created by artist Mark Adams, reveals the imaginary beasts that are feared the most in each state 
  • 'It is a bit of a declaration of optimism and wonderment as to what might be possible on planet Earth,' he said
  • Big Bird, for instance, has become notorious in Texas where some say they have seen an ape-like, winged beast
  • Other monsters in the map include the Mothman in West Virginia, the Jersey devil in New Jersey, the Beast of Busco in Indiana and the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swap in South Carolina

This map has been highly circulated and promoted recently

It is also very misleading in creating multiple categories for what is really likely to be only the same thing over again. There are several known hoaxes included and several cases where the creatures in question probably belong to already known and established species.

I have a detailed intermediate map indicating which cases are hoaxes and so on, as formerly posted on Facebook. I think to save a lot of unnecessary argument I can leave it off here but I can add it if people are really interested in the rationale for all of the category eliminations

This is what the map reduces down to after throwing out the obvious sightings of known animals (Chupacabras-dogs, big cats and the Beast of Busco snapping turtle), known hoaxes and misrepresentation (Monsters of Bear Lake and Alkali Lake, and the Jersey Devil as cited is based on hoaxes, not the residual of unexplained sightings), and putting all of the closely similar sightings into larger categories. This leaves with a few well attested Unknown categories with candidate fossil antecedents (blue F), some Cryptid categories that are likely known species (red K, including the Caveman and Ape categories which boil down to being "Only" humans and apes, and probably alligator gars) and a couple of poorly articulated and poorly attested leftovers, the smaller and larger "Lizardmen" or swamp creatures. I do think there is something to such reports but we need much better information on the both of them. I think Tyler Stone's suggestion of an amphibious sort of macaque monkey does still hold up as the best explanation for the "Kappa" like Pukwudgie types)

These are also not categories I made up to begin with and they don't contain all of the reports that I would include as potentially interesting. The original map is sensationalistic and not very particular about the authenticity of the stories it is including, or the lack of the same. ALL of the categories in Cryptozoology are completely artificial and largely arbitrary.

This is just how the situation stacks up to me and I will be the first to admit that nothing is "Proven" in Cryptozoology, these are only the best suggestions I have. For some funny reason people assume that just because something appears on this blog I consider the matter to be "Proven" but I do not, these are only the best suggestions and not all of the evidence is equally good  across the board.

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