The Abominable Snowman and the Loch Ness Monster. Two of the most famous monsters in Cryptozoology. Everyone has an opinion about them. The tourist industry loves them. But what are they?
Some say they are survivals of previous lifeforms thought to be extinct. Others think they are purely monsters of the mind. Whilst the skeptic usually concludes they are more the fraudulent type of monster.
Let’s look at the Abominable Snowman first. Known by many names, including Yeti or Alma, it is thought to live in the Himalayas. Many claim to have seen it, and even more numerous are the footprints it is said to have left.
Ape-like, but with various ‘human’ attributes, many see it as a kind of ‘missing link’ between man and ape. Yet, whatever its reality, it has been part of folklore in the area for many centuries.
The Loch Ness Monster is similarly elusive. Thought to live in Lock Ness in Scotland, skeptics claim it came into existence only when a new road was built alongside the loch, affording a view and, of course, tourism.
Seen on hundreds of occasions, its shape often resembles the plesiosaur, which is obviously extinct. The many photographs of the monster have usually turned out to be fakes, or mis-identification of things such as driftwood.
There are problems concerning both creatures. First of all, if existent, it is unlikely we are dealing with one monster, but a colony. This brings up the problem of food supply. Neither of their habitats is thought capable of sustaining such a colony.
Another problem is their elusiveness. Various high tech ‘hunts’ have been undertaken, and if ‘real’, it is fair to assume they would have been proved to exist by now. However, such elusiveness is indicative of the ‘all in the mind’ scenario. But nothing is as simple as that.
The fact is, they are not alone. Rather, most wildernesses and large lakes seem to have their own related monster. Think Bigfoot in America. Scotland itself has many lake monsters. And throughout the world you will find stories and sightings concerning their cousins.
Often, these worldwide monsters have local attributes concerning size, shape, habits, etc. But when you take away these local variations, we end up with the same two monster-types globally – a man-like ape, and a large marine reptile.
Interestingly, these two monster-types can be placed at specific moments of evolution that would be quite traumatic. The reptile, for instance, would have appeared when sentient life first broke the surface of the sea. For the first time, the vastness of the world would be seen. And equally traumatic would have been the time when man’s ancestor first left the trees to walk on the ground along with the dangerous predators.
So, our monsters seem to fit an evolutionary pattern, representing traumatic periods of our evolutionary past. Could we retain memories of such periods – in our DNA, for instance? And if so, when we find ourselves in vast wildernesses, or by the shore of enigmatic lakes, could a memory be sparked in our minds?
And possibly replayed, before our very eyes, as a hallucination. I suspect we are dealing, here, with Super Ghosts of our traumatic evolutionary past.