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Monster Hunting 101

Home > Sydney > Adventure | Fun for Children
by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published September 15th 2010
It's common knowledge that man is yet to discover and catalogue all the world's plants and animals. Some rare creatures have evaded discovery though size: tiny inhabitants of the Amazon rainforest are being encountered every year; some have evaded us by living in remote, unreachable corners of the world: hobbit like Flores Man whose remains were found on a remote Indonesian island for example. But there are some creatures who some people think have been evading us though stealth...

There are monsters we've all heard about, the Loch Ness Monster, Yetis and Chupacabras are just a few, but if people are to be believed there are lots of local monsters as well, who haven't received quite as much fame. Yet. And late October is an excellent time to gather your friends together and plan a little overnight hunting expedition.

The wonderful thing about the idea of actually setting out to follow in the footsteps of the great monster hunters of the age of bravery, is that finding one, or evidence of one would prove your point either way. If an ardent disbeliever found something it would prove that what people thought was a monster was merely an [insert complicated Latin name here]. And if you're a fervent believer that 'there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt in man's philosophy', then in discovering your monster you'll be proving own philosophy.

The first thing you need to do when planning your monster hunting expedition is to be scientific about it starting with calling yourself a Cryptozoologist, which is the name for the pseudo-scientists who study hidden, or mystery animals. Your prey should be referred to as a cryptid rather than monster to reduce the stigma attached to your venture.

The next thing step is to do some research into your local cryptids. Cryptids fall into two main categories: Creatures that are generally believed to be extinct, but which cyrptozoologists believe may not be - dinosaurs hiding out deep under the surface of remote lakes, or lochs for example. And creatures which cryptozoologists believe exist but there's no scientific evidence to prove it - as in big cats/ wolf hybrids living out on the moors. Pay attention to local folk lore and urban legends, the bare bones of which are often founded on historic facts (stories of sea monsters are now thought to describe encounters with giant squids.).

When you've made your decision about which cryptids you think are most worth the hunt you can start casing the area you want to stake out and gathering your team around you. Most importantly these should be people who like a challenge and camping. Definitely include anyone you know with tracking equipment: infra red sensors, night vision binoculars, motion detectors and timed camera recording equipment are just some of the possibilities. If one of you has hunting or tracking skills even better, if not then the hunting basics are the same for deer or pheasant as for Big Foot keep your eyes on soft ground and make note of any torn or damaged bushes or trees. Your team should arm themselves with pen and paper, a map and binoculars, and you should make up some spotting notes to hand out so that people know what they're looking for...

Now comes the waiting and watching...

Once you have made your discovery of impeachable evidence proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that your quarry exists your main problem will be getting everyone else to believe you. Hunters of the most popular cryptids like Champ, Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster seem to cop the most flak. Searching for a creature who has managed to evade decades worth of rigorous searching is a short cut to disappointment and ridicule. The pay off is that if you were to find proof of one of these A-list cyptids you would be very very very famous and possibly wealthy with it. If you weigh it up and the risk of spending your life alone in a van watching over a still lake waiting for something to happen sounds too high you can hunt something smaller, there must be hundreds of undiscovered beetles out there, some of which probably have exciting horns or markings and fit the classification of 'mystery animal'.

Remember, no one believed in platypuses, giant squids or Komodo Dragons to begin with either.

Alternatively, you could arrange for one of your team to bring a costume and to play your cryptid. Leaving a trail and acting the quarry to give the rest of your team a Halloween thrill.
Afterwards, success or none, it's back to the campfire for roasted marshmallows and stories of the strange and unknown...
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Why? For fame and glory, of course... And a cheap thrill and some camping fun
When: The end of October seems fitting, but any weekend
"It's common knowledge that man is yet to discover and catalogue all the world's plants and animals." What, there are no women scientists working in these fields?
By mejan - reader
Thursday, 30th of December @ 06:04 am
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