Cryptid Or Not? You Be The Judge.

We've gotten a lot of great cryptid photos from people trying to win our Cryptid Summer bounty, and even some video. Here are a few of the pictures people have sent us over the past two weeks — some are a little disturbing, so be warned.


Now you can vote on which you think might really be cryptids. We'll consider your votes when deciding which photos to submit to our panel of experts in August!

Want to submit a photo to our Cryptid Summer bounty? Send it to, with a description of what you saw and where you saw it.

Here are this week's potential cryptids, with descriptions. Vote for which you think are real in the box at the bottom of the post.

The White Cheetah. Pictured above. Submitter Guy told us an incredible story about this gorgeous photo:

Here are some images a 'white' cheetah I took in January 2011. This phenomenon has not been seen since 1921 in East Africa and never before been photographed . . . Back in December I was told about this incredible ‘morph' phenomenon that has not been seen for over 90 years, and that there was a pressing need to monitor and protect it while raising awareness of the species as a whole. The last one recorded was shot in Tanzania in 1921. By ‘morph' this means a genetic colour variation, the most well known being the ‘King' cheetah, specimens of which have only occurred in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Mughal Emperor of India recorded having a white cheetah presented to him in 1608, saying that the spots were of a blue colour and the whiteness of the body also inclined to blue-ishness. This suggests a chinchilla mutation which restricts the amount of pigment on the hair shaft. Red cheetahs have dark tawny spots on a golden background and some desert cheetahs are very pale to be more camouflaged in their environment. There are also reported cases of melanism or albinism, but the latter does not apply to this cheetah. The only reported cases of this morph which scientists believe is a recessive gene like the king cheetah, have been in East Africa from the subspecies, acynonix jubatus raineyii.

I was hooked from the first moment I heard about this, and needless to say I immediately wanted to get reference, but the prospect of finding it seemed incredibly remote . . . I was at home at Soysambu when I got the call that a window of time was open for me to have a vehicle and a spotter plane available to search the 100,000 acre area in which the cheetah was believed to be . . . [We took a plane, then a landrover.] Then there he was. A white spot in a landscape painted gold by the morning sun. As we got closer we had to be very tactical about our speed and noise level which is pretty much impossible in a landrover, especially when you're driving over big rocks. Lots of "ok forwards…", "STOP" and "shhhhhhh!!!" in theatrical whisper. He let us get quite close before hunkering down and slinking off in the direction of even more vehicle-unfriendly rocks. But we managed to keep up and he didn't seem overly anxious about us. We barely noticed that his mother was following at a distance. We were with him like this for about 30 minutes that seemed like about 5 seconds. Then having punished the vehicle to the extent that I was amazed the wheels were still on, I noticed that he began to move away from us, walking at first, then trotting, then a good run. My heart sank and I thought my last view would be him running away in fear, but it became quickly apparent that he was focusing on something. The sun was in my eyes but I could make out a dark shape moving fast in a perpendicular direction to him. Binoculars out – it was a Serval Cat!!! Next thing we knew he was running at full tilt after this thing, zigzagging first then long stretches of blindingly fast speed. Alas, we were in the worst part of the boulder field and there was clearly no option of a pursuit. So after he disappeared and the dust settled we looked at each other and let out a looooong sigh. Amazing.


The Mystery Moth. Submitter Eddie writes:

Supposedly this is a rare moth. It was hanging out by a light on the back of my house (Kent, OH) and I've never seen a moth this color so I snapped a pic with my iPhone 4.


The Moa. Submitter Kyle writes:

This [is a] photo which I took a couple months ago. I have outlined the bird which I assure you is not a part of the tree. The location I have my reasons to keep quiet . The bird is at least 7ft tall, I took 3 photos in total.


Alien Bug. Anonymous submitter writes:

Location: Bellefontaine, OH. It was just sort of crawling looking like a little alien bug. Did not appear to be any hurry however. No one I have asked has been able to tell me what it is...


Dead Turtle Monster. Submitter Robert writes:

I am currently serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. While hanging out on the beach at Puerto Lopez, in the province of Manabí, I came across this dead animal. I have no idea what it is. It looks like it has some sort of turtle shell, but it's way too small, and doesn't go past the sides. My dog tried to eat it and I almost threw up.

The Mystery Worms. Writes submitter Quique:

I shot this video in Costa Rica (2010) near the Poas volcano. This creature was not a worm, it was so thin and so long... without eyes, holes or any identifiable organs... For a moment I thought it was a root from a you know what it is?


The Household Vistor. Submitter Matthew says:

This is a creature that lives in one of the rooms of my house. It tends to come out at night only. I have seen it maybe 10 or so times in the last 19 years of living here. It tends to run from light straight away (assume this is protecting itself against predators).


Happy cryptid hunting!


io9 Offers $2000 Bounty For Authentic Photos Of Cryptids


This summer, io9 is going cryptozoological. We're offering a $2000 bounty to the person who sends us the best authentic photo or video of a "cryptid," or mystery animal. And that's just the beginning of Cryptid Summer. More »

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