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Abominable Science!Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids$
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Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153201.001.0001

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Why do People Believe in Monsters?

Why do People Believe in Monsters?

The Complexity of Cryptozoology

(p.296) 7 Why do People Believe in Monsters?
Abominable Science!

Daniel Loxton

Donald R. Prothero

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how projects to describe, categorize, and probe claims of legendary beasts extend back through the modern era and medieval period. For centuries, reports of mysterious creatures have drawn the interest of natural historians, popular writers, and explorers, as well as the public. Many of these people are interested because they are persuaded that cryptids exist, but around 13 percent of those who do not believe in cryptids have made the effort to seek out information about these hypothetical creatures. Like other subcultures, cryptozoology is stratified by level of knowledge and involvement. Whether believers or disbelievers, only a subset of those who form an interest in cryptozoological topics go on to pursue cryptozoology as a hobby, or sustained area of investigation.

Keywords:   legendary beasts, cryptids, hypothetical creatures, subcultures, cryptozoology

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