the international cryptozoology museum

The term “​living fossil” was first used to describe the Coelacanth (pronounced SEEL-uh-kanth​). People thought that this fish was extinct until a live one was found in 1938 off the coast of South Africa. The Coelacanth is the symbol of the International Cryptozoology museum.

One of the very interesting things about Coelacanths is that they give birth to live young, they do not lay eggs. The female Coelacanth’s gestation period is estimated at around three years.

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The International Cryptozoology Museum

The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine preserves and presents a collection of unique cryptids to the public. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals. These are usually larger zoological species that, to-date, remain unverified by science, such as Yetis, Bigfoot, lake monsters, and sea serpents, as well as hundreds of other yet-to-be-found animals (cryptids) worldwide.

Me with Big Foot at the International Cryptozoology Museum (the only one in the world) - Portland, Maine

Founded in 2003, this museum is the result of five decades of field research, travel, and dedication to gathering representative materials, native art, foot casts, hair samples, models, and other cryptozoological items. 

“Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals. These are usually larger zoological species that, to-date, remain unverified by science, such as Yetis, Big Foot, Lake Monsters, and Sea Serpents, as well as hundreds of other yet-to-be-found animals (cryptids) worldwide, but which compelling ethnoknown evidence has been collected for their possible existence. It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the Coelacanth, Okapi, Megamouth Shark, Giant Panda, and Mountain Gorilla.”

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The International Society of Cryptozoology was founded in 1982 in Washington, DC. The first president of the Society was the Father of Cryptozoology himself, Bernard Heuvelmans. The Society housed many famous cryptozoologists as members such as Roy Mackal - the vice president -  and Loren Coleman, the founder and curator of the International Cryptozoology Museum. 

While the old Society ended up closing its doors in 1998 due to financial troubles, a new version of this organization was recently founded - The International Cryptozoology Society. The revival of the old Society was founded in January 2016 and the current president is Dr. Paul LeBlond.

So the official announcement of excitement:

On the 30th of December, my mom and I will be headed up to Portland, Maine. On the 31st, we’ll be visiting Loren Coleman at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland. (Word has it that @obscuritiesoffbeat might be there too!) I’ll tag the adventure as “wen’s trip to Portland” if you want to block it because I don’t expect people to care.

Feel free to come by and say hi when we’re there! Just be warned that I am very awkward in real life.