By Tim Binnall
While Bigfoot may have received the lion's share of attention from the media, 2019 was also a big year for cryptids in general with several different mysterious creatures making news. From thylacine sightings in Australia and a big cat flap in England to concerns about Chupacabras killing people and a possible answer to the Loch Ness Monster mystery, many of cryptozoology's 'unusual suspects' had their turn in the spotlight this past year.
2019 was another big year for Loch Ness Monster sightings as numerous bewildered witnesses spotted something anomalous either while at the famed location or watching the waters via webcam. However, the biggest Nessie news of the year was undoubtedly the results of long-awaited environmental DNA study which attempted to catalog all of the creatures residing in Loch Ness. According to scientists, the data managed to eliminate many previous suspects for the source of the legendary creature, such as a plesiosaur, and appeared to bolster the case that Nessie is a giant eel.
Other Aquatic Mystery Creatures
Nessie wasn't the only water-dwelling 'monster' to wind up in the news in 2019 as many of the creature's proverbial cousins captured the public's attention as well. In Canada, a stunned beachgoer captured footage of what he believes was the legendary lake monster Ogopogo and another witness filmed a mystery creature at British Columbia's Shuswap Lake. Here in America, a researcher hunting for Lake Champlain's resident 'monster' Champ spotted what seemed to be a sizeable creature picked up by her boat's sonar. Meanwhile, a webcam watching Lake Michigan filmed a rather curios oddity near a pier and a bizarre video out of Thailand showed some kind of mysterious animal that confounded fishermen.
Although scientists may consider the thylacine to be extinct, 2019 featured a few stories that seemingly strengthened the possibility that the famed Tasmanian Tiger may still be alive, including one case in January where a man possibly photographed the creature. Later in the year, the Australian government even released a file that contained several fairly detailed thylacine sighting reports from residents claiming to have seen the animal over the last five years. Other highlights from 2019 included the colorization of the last known thylacine footage, the discovery of a heretofore unseen pelt from one of the creatures, and an amusing traffic sign warning drivers that they were passing through Tasmanian Tiger country.
Something of a staple in British folklore, the mysterious big cats said to roam the countryside of England popped up in the news quite a bit this past April to the point that one might say that a veritable flap had occurred. Over the course of just a few days, numerous witnesses from across the country reporting seeing unusually large felines in nearby fields. In some instances, these individuals were able to capture the sighting on film, although it's debatable whether the creatures in question were genuine 'big cats' or simply large household pets mistaken for something ferocious.
Living up to its menacing reputation, the mysterious creature known as the chupacabra popped up in the news a handful of times this past year as the main suspect in unsettling incidents involving unexplained deaths. In Mexico, a farmer blamed the infamous cryptid for the puzzling demise of a whopping 20 sheep and 51 chickens on his property. As gruesome as that case was, it paled in comparison to a pair of incidents in Honduras in which the chupacabra was believed to be the cause of not one, but two people who perished under unusual circumstances.