Mermaids, pixies, dragons? The evidence is there if you look hard enough.
Think of world’s most mythical creatures and your mind probably takes you to times of olde when fantastical stories traveled on the wind and embedded themselves in the minds of a far more gullible human race. We know better than that now, and an absence of proof is, to modern man, as good as proof of absence.
But is it?
If there’s one lesson humanity should have learned repeatedly by now, it’s that every time we think we know something for definite, we absolutely don’t. No sooner has modern science looked at the evidence available and dismissed a theory, have new findings emerged to throw all that skepticism into question.
While it’s hard to carry that thinking over to the legendary and supernatural, the amount of corroborated sightings and grainy documentation of some of the world’s most fantastical beings has been mounting up over the last decade or so.
An open mind is perhaps required but, if you’ve got one, the evidence for mermaids, pixies, dragons, and whatever else, is steadily mounting.
8. Mermaids – Kiryat Yam, Israel (2013)
Alleged sightings of any sort of otherworldly being tend to be easily dismissed by a lack of a) concrete proof and b) official interest. It’s safe to say that, whatever level of conspiracy theory you subscribe to, the local government’s going to want to know about any fantastical creatures turning up in their jurisdiction.
A fact that make Kiryat Yam, an otherwise unassuming sea town on Israel’s Mediterranean cost, quite fascinating. As local officials are allegedly offering a $1million dollar reward for anyone who can provide verifiable video proof of the mermaid that’s said to inhabit its waters. So frequent are sightings.
Occasionally mistaken for one of the town’s many sunbathers, the last 15 years have seen near hundreds of reported incidents – some from local residents well aware of legends, and some from visiting tourists totally oblivious to the whole thing. It’s not quite solid evidence, but the video above stands as the clearest example documented thus far.
7. Dragons – Powys, Wales (2001)
The Dragon that adorns the Welsh flag dates back hundreds of years to Roman emblemism and, sadly, has nothing to with any sort of local legend or folklore. Coincidentally though, the country has become something of a hot-bed for sightings of the creatures in the last few decades.
As recently as 2001, British naturalists working in a quarry in central Wales spotted a creature they described as “two and a half foot in length, serpentine dragon with four limbs and a head resembling that of a seahorse”. Perhaps most fascinating of all, they reported that the creature was airborne but didn’t display any obvious wings.
They observed the creature for around 4 minutes before it disappeared into one of the quarry’s many adjacent caves. The story made it into a number of reports but has been largely dismissed as being fanciful. Despite this, several similar sightings of the creatures have been reported, all with consistent descriptions.
6. Unicorns – Caithness, Scotland (2012)
Scotland’s Northern-most territories have always inspired legends and folklore, most dating back hundreds and even thousands of years. But as recently as 2012 astonishing claims have been made about a number of unicorns spotted in the large open plains of the region.
Coming in the same year as the North Korean government publicly stating that a unicorn lair had been unearthed in the country (make of that what you will), hikers visiting the historic Castle of Old Wick made a series of frenzied reports to the local town that they’d come across, and subsequently startled, a unicorn.
The creature, described as being as white and ethereal as you’d have imagined, ran off toward Loch Hempriggs. Sightings since have been infrequent and equally as vague, but the town itself is still benefitting from a Loch Ness Monster-style tourism boost, with visitors coming to try and catch a glimpse of the creature.
5. A Leprechaun – Alabama, USA (2006)
In 2006, a camera crew from local television station WPMI descended on Le Cren Street near UMS-Wright in Mobile, Alabama, to investigate crowds massing in the area. Some members of the crowd soon told reporters that people had sighted a leprechaun hiding in a nearby tree.
An amateur sketch of the diminutive Irish creature was produced, and this likeness in combination with colourful interviews with local residents helped to make the report an early viral video on then-new YouTube.Some believe the story was merely a prank played by the residents at the expense of the news crew, and some, including the OReilly Factor, suggested that the popularity of the video played off racial prejudices.
A followup investigation by AL.com in March 2015 featured an interview with a man who claimed to have been the first to see the leprechaun. He described the appearance of the creature as being a metamorphosis, with the mouth or nose appearing first, followed by the rest of the face. Since the infamous report, he has tweeted about sighting the leprechaun several times, reporting 70 percent visibility on one occasion in 2010.
4. Werewolves – Stoke, England (2006)
One man (conveniently without any recording equipment) sighting a mythical beast and pleading with everyone to believe them is one thing. The UK Highways Agency getting a series of reports, over a number of years, about a Werewolf dodging cars attempting to cross a main road between two patches of forrest is quite another.
In Stoke, a small city in England’s Midlands, cases dating as far back as 1975 and as recently as 2006, have seen motorists making panicked phonecalls regarding a half-man half-wolf creature near the 10A junction of the M6 motorway.
Most recently, a man in the Stoke Sentinel described only as “Martin”, gave a vivid description of a tall, black “wolf-like creature on two legs” which bounded across the road, narrowly missing his car before disappearing into the forrest by the roadside. Calls have since been made for more camera equipment to be placed on this stretch, to verify the stories and shed light on the creature.
3. The Yeti – Pyrenees, Spain (2016)
Second only to a catastrophic avalanche or possibly food poisoning, the one thing you don’t want to come across on your holiday to a remote log cabin up a mountain is a Yeti. Said to walk 6ft tall and with the power to tear most men in two, the creatures have been alleged to inhabit areas of dense forrest across the world.
The most recent sighting comes from the Pyrenees mountains on the French/Spanish border. Taking the video on his mobile phone, the unnamed man captured several uninterrupted seconds of the creature moving between the tree-line before posting to social media to ask what it was.
Naturally, the post sparked a huge furore (and minor panic), with a spokesman for the Aramon Ski Resort where the sighting occurred publicly stating that a full search of the surrounding area was underway, to reassure residents and holiday-makers that there was nothing to worry about. Investigation of the area remains ongoing.
2. Pixies – Cornwall, UK (2015)
Perhaps the most famous sighting of any mythical creature was that of the Cottingley Fairies in the 1920s. A series of photographs that, through image manipulation that was well in advance of its time, managed to fool the entire world. As such, sightings of tiny winged fairies and pixies has been treated with almost total disdain and skepticism.
However, in 2015 a bird of prey rescue centre in cornwall was clearing out its falcon nests when they stumbled across a shocking piece of physical evidence. Specifically, a partly decomposed skeleton of a human, albeit one mere inches tall. The remains were taken to two local podcast hosts – one a prop-designer responsible for his own fairy hoax some years pervious – and both were unable to explain the bones.
The remains have since been sent for proper scrutiny and identifying, but at the time of writing no conclusive verdict has been given either way over their legitimacy or otherwise.
1. El Chupacabra – Texas, USA (2007)
A beast as synonymous with South America as Vampires are with Transylvania or Nessy is to her Loch, El Chupacabra has alleged terrified locals and mauled animals since its first sightings in 1995.
Since then, countless livestock have turned up not only dead and with their blood sucked out through the neck, and farmers and villages have contributed to enough sightings to make the creature both consistently described and regionally feared.
However the most definitive sighting comes from Texas, where Phylis Canion made first local, then national, and finally global news when she found the remains of an unidentified dead animal outside her ranch. Dog like in appearance, but with a face and a body structure that didn’t match any known or native species, the creature was identified as having killed a number of chickens and goats in the area.
Despite further examination, wildlife officials refused to officially recognise this creature as El Chupacabra, and the case remains open.