Photos: Visit the International Museum of Cryptozoology

Loren Coleman, owner of the International Museum of Cryptozoology

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

The International Museum of Cryptozoology is the only such museum in the world. Owner Loren Coleman opened the museum on the first floor of his home about 10 years ago, but has since moved to a more central location in downtown Portland, Maine, where up to 10,000 visitors flock each year to examine evidence of Bigfoot and other cryptids. – the general term for animals whose existence has not yet been proven.

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

This is an imaginary depiction of a baby Bigfoot, created by an artist interested in exploring what the little one would look like. The museum contains approximately 10,000 exhibits in display cases spread across two main halls. Coleman has collected many items himself over the years, while other pieces have been donated by cryptozoologists around the world.

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

Several cases in the front room of the museum contain sets of Bigfoot footprints cast from footprint molds discovered in the field. Casts vary in shape and size, and some look more realistic than others.

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

This famous cast of what appears to be an injured Bigfoot foot was analyzed in detail by the late Grover Krantz, professor of physical anthropology at Washington State University and well-known Bigfoot researcher. After examining the bony structure that would have supported the 10-foot-tall (3-meter) beast that made the imprint, Krantz postulated that the central bones of the feet would have been vulnerable to crush injuries. The two protrusions on that footprint, he said, are likely remnants of those crush wounds that had healed.

Orang Pendek

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

Orang Pendek is a bipedal hominid that physically resembles Bigfoot, but is thought to be much smaller, only reaching several feet tall. Sightings of Orang Pendek occur in Indonesia, home to the Sumatran orangutan, which is thought to be distantly related to the cryptid. The museum sells casts of this print and various other prints that visitors can take home and analyze for themselves.

Orang Pendek, Hair

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

A purported piece of hair from Orang Pendek, discovered in the forests of Indonesia.

A hoax revealed

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

Ray Wallace, a famous Bigfoot researcher and logger who lived in Toledo, Washington, reported sightings of Bigfoot quite regularly in the Pacific Northwest for about 30 years. In fact, his sightings were responsible for the original coining of the term Bigfoot, which first appeared in a Humboldt Times article reporting one of his sightings in 1958. However, when Wallace died in 2002 at age 84, his family revealed a collection of wooden molds that Wallace had used over the years to create fake footprints. The alleged sightings had all been hoaxes. Experienced cryptozoologists say the wooden molds weren’t very sophisticated, and the prints were never particularly convincing – the toes were too square to belong to an animal, and the wood lacked the texture of animal footprints. authentic.

Honey Island Swamp Monster

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

The Honey Island Swamp Monster was thought to be a bipedal Bigfoot-like hominid born from the interbreeding of alligators and chimpanzees in a swamp not far from New Orleans, Louisiana. Residents pointed to footprints such as the one above to prove its existence. However, upon further examination, investigators determined that these alleged encrypted footprints were in fact left by alligators living in the swamp.

fiji mermaid

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

Fiji mermaids are a cross between a monkey and a fish and are known to be fictional.

furry trout

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

A stuffed furry trout, which is known to be fictional.

jackalope

(Image credit: Photo by Laura Poppick / Content courtesy of the International Museum of Cryptozoology)

A stuffed Jackalope, which is a fictional cross between a rabbit and an antelope. Some believe that rabbits carrying the papilloma virus may have inspired this mythical beast, as animals carrying the virus develop tumors on their heads that look like little horns.

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