The biological equivalent of UFO sightings, cryptids are creatures rumored to exist in Real Life
, in isolation or in hiding, yet unrecognized and regarded as implausible by mainstream science. Some may be relict survivors of species believed to be extinct
, or known organisms displaced into inappropriate habitats
; others are unlike any known species, with characteristics that border upon the supernatural
supernatural entities, such as ghosts, are generally not classified as cryptids. Aliens usually aren't either, unless they've been on Earth long enough to "go native" and be sighted in the wilderness.)
Whatever their theoretical origin, all cryptids are mysterious by definition. Some of them are, however, sufficiently well-known from legend as to merit their own tropes:
Those cryptids that haven't received as much media attention, so cannot be classified under the subtropes above, may be included here. Works that feature a wide variety of cryptid types, or follow cryptozoologists' attempts to investigate them, also fall under Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious
- In The Spy Who Haunted Me, the rival spies are tasked to investigate several well-known tabloid-style mysteries, including the Loch Ness Monster and an Arkansas Bigfoot-sighting. And subverts them all, by attributing them to unnatural forces indigenous to Green's Verse, rather than whatever cryptozoologists assume them to be.
- MonsterQuest and Destination Truth are cryptozoology-themed programs in the style of ghost-hunter shows.
- The X-Files used dozens of cryptid-based stories, and may even have started a few legends about them.
- Lost Tapes features plenty of cryptids in its stories.
- A lot of Syfy Channel movies are based on examples of this trope.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, the members of Mission Control are all really into "UMAs" (Unidentified Mysterious Animal, apparently the normal term in the Metal Gear universe for a cryptid) and frequently talk about them to Snake. There is also a Tsuchinoko in the game which you can capture (or eat), and bringing it back alive is a much easier way of netting the Stealth Camouflage than completing a perfect Stealth Run. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker also has a cryptid Otaku used to justify the Cross Over with Monster Hunter.
- Bracken Tor, the sequel to Barrow Hill, will evidently involve cryptid sightings of mysterious predatory beasts in Cornwall. (That is, if it actually does get out of Development Hell...) The game's promotional website displays comments allegedly posted by people who've encountered these creatures.
- Globsters: Unidentified organic masses of skin and organs that wash up on beaches from time to time. Globsters such as the "St Augustine Monster" are often assumed to be cryptids, although necropsies may prove them to be known animal carcasses rendered hard to recognize by decomposition.
- The UK has a history of mysterious big cats of various sorts, usually blamed on pet big cats being released in the 60s/70s after the laws were changed to stop people owning big cats and keeping them in their own home. However, a lot of the stories pre-date that by quite some period of time (in some cases centuries). They were mentioned a fair bit in the news in the 80s and 90s, but have the stories have sort of faded in the last few years. They still crop up from time to time though.