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Pop Quiz: Cryptozoology!

Donate How well do you know your Skeptoid? Today's pop quiz focuses on cryptozoology.  

by Brian Dunning

Filed under Cryptozoology, Feedback & Questions

Skeptoid Podcast #642
September 25, 2018
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Lest all the other podcast quiz shows get a jump on Skeptoid, today we're going to switch tracks and blatantly copycat the other guys. It's time to test not only your knowledge of cryptozoology, but also of Skeptoid; because every question we're going to ask today has been covered in a previous Skeptoid episode. I also want to encourage you not to dismiss cryptozoology as just one of those silly offshoots of skepticism that has no relevance to the daily lives of intelligent adults in the 21st century. It's true that whether or not there's a Mongolian Death Worm in your children's sandbox isn't something you need really worry yourself about, but the fact is that people take these phenomena seriously for the same reasons that they reject vaccines or seek the non-GMO food label. It's the failure to combine basic science literacy with critical thinking, and that's a problem society is no farther ahead of today than we were 100 years ago.

So let's begin. If you want time to think about each of these, just be ready to hit the pause button before I give the answer, and feel free to take as much time as you need. And don't try to look for a pattern, because I used a legit random number generator to place each correct answer.

1. The Loch Ness Monster

I'm going to warm you up with an easy one. It was revealed in 1994 that the famous "Surgeon's Photo" depicting the head and neck of Nessie contentedly cruising on Loch Ness in 1934 had been a hoax constructed of wood putty on a toy submarine. However, the lead hoaxer had already told all in a newspaper article many years earlier, but nobody had noticed. In what decade was this earlier newspaper article?

A. The 1930s
B. The 1950s
C. The 1970s

Reveal the answer

2. The Jersey Devil

References to this monster lurking on the Pine Barrens north of Atlantic City, New Jersey, go all the way back to the 1700s. Its genesis was said to be the devil spawn of an early American author, who was despised by many of his countrymen because he was a tory, loyal to the English crown. Who was this man?

A. Benjamin Franklin
B. Lord Cornbury
C. Daniel Leeds

Reveal the answer

3. The Abominable Snowman

The infamous Yeti is known to all Westerners by a single famous photo of a crisp footprint in the snow with an ice axe laid beside it for scale, and is often depicted along with a second photo showing a line of tracks going off into the distance. Who took the famous ice axe photo, and also owned the ice axe?

A. Eric Shipton
B. Sir Edmund Hillary
C. George Mallory

Reveal the answer

4. The Minnesota Iceman

In the 1960s, this fake Bigfoot body, made from latex and hair and kept buried inside a block of ice in a freezer, was making the rounds at carnivals when it came to the attention of a few cryptozoologists who apparently didn't understand carnivals and took it for a real animal. Two of these were Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans. While Sanderson considered it a relative of Gigantopithecus, Heuvelmans assigned it what taxonomic classification of his own devise?

A. Ameranthropoides loysi
B. Homo pongoides
C. Orang pendek

Reveal the answer

5. Stalin's Human-Ape Hybrids

A popular urban legend states that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin ordered his scientists to create an invincible army of simian super soldiers, incredibly strong like apes yet smart enough to follow orders. Which of these statements about this story is true?

A. Soviet scientists tried to create human-ape hybrids, but Stalin had nothing to do with it
B. Soviet scientists tried to create human-ape hybrids under Stalin's explicit orders
C. The whole story is fictional and no human-ape experiments ever took place

Reveal the answer

6. The Mongolian Death Worm

Czech author Ivan Mackerle spent decades in the late 20th century introducing European audiences to the Mongolian legend of the Death Worm, a creature said to live in the sand and kill with either an electric shock or a sprayed venom. He was also a retired automotive engineer, so it's no wonder that he drove around Mongolia in what amphibious vehicle?

A. A VW Schwimmwagen
B. An American military DUKW ("Duck")
C. An Amphicar

Reveal the answer

7. The Civil War Pterosaur

A famous photograph depicting a group of Civil War soldiers posing with the corpse of a pterodactyl has been floating around the Internet for nearly 20 years, with some Creationists alleging that it constitutes proof that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. Turns out the photo was digital art made for what television show?

A. The X-Files
B. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
C. FreakyLinks

Reveal the answer

8. The Bloop

Reported in the mass media for years as the sound made by an enormous unknown sea monster, this mysterious ocean sound was finally identified by NOAA in 2012.

It turns out the Bloop, when heard at its actual speed 16 times slower, was:

A. Icebergs dragging along the ocean bottom
B. An icequake
C. An undersea volcanic vent

Reveal the answer

9. The Boggy Creek Monster

Arkansas' own version of Bigfoot became a phenomenon in 1971 when the first books and articles about it were published, soon resulting in the 1973 docudrama movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. Called the Fouke Monster, after the town where the stories were centered, this beastie left footprints that differed from standard Bigfoot casts in what way?

A. The tracks would skip long distances
B. The prints had only three toes
C. The tracks went through walls and buildings

Reveal the answer

10. Neanderthals in Present Day Asia

For a long time, some cryptozoologists have suggested that relic Neanderthals may have survived in the Himalayan foothills, perhaps accounting for stories of the Yeti, and quite probably accounting for stories of the Almas, a wild creature said to be smaller and more humanlike than the Yeti. In the mid 1800s, a female Almas named Zana was captured and kept captive at a village, and even bore children to some of the village men. She never learned to speak and was said to be dark, hairy, averse to clothing, and immensely strong. The skull of one of her children was preserved, and she even has living descendants. DNA testing was finally done on some of them in 2013. Which of the following facts about Zana's genome is true?

A. She had an extra pair of chromosomes, the same number as apes
B. There was nothing unusual about her DNA
C. She had Klinefelter Syndrome with an XXY karyotype

Reveal the answer

So how did you do? If you got 8 or more right, then you are a crazed cryptozoology nut and should seek help. If you got any fewer, then you're clearly not listening to enough Skeptoid. Either way, more Skeptoid podcasts are the answer for you. But really, the same could be said of anyone. I would love to know how you did on this quiz, so please, let me know on Twitter at @BrianDunning, or on Facebook at Skeptoid Podcast.


By Brian Dunning

Please contact us with any corrections or feedback.

 

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Cite this article:
Dunning, B. "Pop Quiz: Cryptozoology!" Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, 25 Sep 2018. Web. 17 Dec 2018. <http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4642>

 

References & Further Reading

Baryla, B. "How and why the Civil War Pterosaur photo promoted by Jonathan David Whitcomb and Cliff Paiva was really made." Bruce Baryla. Bruce Baryla, 1 Jan. 2017. Web. 5 Jan. 2018. <http://web.newsguy.com/bruceb/civilwarpterosaurrealstory.htm>

Blackburn, L. The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster. San Antonio: Anomalist Books, 2012.

Buckley, M. Tibet. Guilford: Pequot Press, 2006. 213.

Channel 4. "Was Russian Bigfoot actually an African slave?" News, Features, and Video. Channel Four Television Corporation, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 21 Sep. 2018. <http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/was-russian-bigfoot-actually-an-african-slave>

Heuvelmans, B. "Note Preliminaire sur un Specimen Conserve dans la glace d'une forme encore inconnu d'Hominide Vivian Homo Pongoindes." Bulletin Institute Royale des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. 1 Jan. 1968, Volume 45, Number 4: 1-24.

Lyons, S. "The Legend of Loch Ness." NOVA. PBS Online, 12 Jan. 1999. Web. 1 Jul. 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/legend-loch-ness.html>

Mackerle, I. "In Search of the Killer Worm of Mongolia." The Faithist Journal. 1 Sep. 1992, Volume 1992.

McMahon, W. South Jersey Towns: History and Legend. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1973. 210-213.

NOAA. "Sounds in the Sea 2001." NOAA Ocean Explorer. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 12 Jul. 2005. Web. 15 Oct. 2009. <http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/sound01/background/seasounds/seasounds.html>

Rossiianov, K. "Beyond species: Il'ya Ivanov and his experiments on cross-breeding humans and anthropoid apes." Science in Context. 1 Jun. 2002, Volume 15, Number 2: 277-316.

 

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