Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. He is the author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), Dragons: A Natural History (1995), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), The Unexplained (1996), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings (1997), Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999), The Hidden Powers of Animals (2001), The Beasts That Hide From Man (2003), Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (2013), The Menagerie of Marvels (2014), A Manifestation of Monsters (2015), Here's Nessie! (2016), and what is widely considered to be his cryptozoological magnum opus, Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors (2016) - plus, very excitingly, his first two long-awaited, much-requested ShukerNature blog books (2019, 2020).

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com/index.htm

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Friday 24 October 2014


A 4.3-metre-long female great white shark caught and photographed in the shark nets off Zinkwazi beach, South Africa, on 31 August 2009 (as reported here), which was subsequently rebranded as a 15-ton giant prehistoric shark caught alive and photographed off Pakistan in 2014 according to a fabricated report recently featured on a satire website (photograph's copyright owner unknown to me)

Even though it commonly occurs, something that is by no means widely realised is the appearance on certain websites of cryptozoological news reports that initially seem to be extremely significant and exciting but which in reality are invariably and completely fictitious.

The 'certain websites' that I am referring to here are so-called satire news sites, of which there are a sizeable number, and which to the casual eye appear to be genuine, factual news websites, but whose entire content, regardless of subject matter, is actually pure fiction (although the images used in them have sometimes originated in earlier, unrelated factual stories on genuine news websites). To be fair, I freely concede that most of these sites do include a small but readily visible disclaimer, usually at the top or bottom of their front page, which when clicked states categorically what they are and what their stories are.

Unfortunately, however, these disclaimers are frequently overlooked by readers, as a result of which many fake stories of a cryptozoological nature that have originated on satire websites subsequently make regular and repeated appearances on bona fide cryptozoological sites and social website pages. Posted there by crypto-enthusiasts unfamiliar with satire sites, they often generate a great deal of conjecture and confusion until their true nature is revealed by more experienced web-surfers.

One satire website that has produced quite a few crypto-themed reports during the course of its existence is World News Daily Report (click here), whose disclaimer reads as follows:

"World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction."

Yet in spite of its disclaimer's presence and unequivocal wording, a number of this satire website's fun stories have nonetheless attracted serious albeit misguided attention in various mainstream sites and social pages devoted to cryptozoology and anomalies or controversies of nature. These stories include the following list (NB - list updated by me on 17 December 2014):

* Mysterious Remains of a Whale Found in a Field in Utah.
Click here
5 December 2014.

* Smithsonian Admits to Destruction of Thousands of Giant Human Skeletons in Early 1900's.
Click here
3 December 2014.

Mexican Drug Smugglers Eaten Alive by Giant Squids After Boat Sinks Near Coast of California.
Click here
26 November 2014.

* Ireland: Archaeologists Discover Remains of New Humanoid Species.
Click here
18 November 2014.

Jurassic Plant Brought Back to Life After 200 Million Years.
Click here
12 November 2014.

Pterodactyl Sighting in New Guinea Terrorizes Villagers, Alarms Authorities
Click here
27 October 2014.

Archeologists Unearth Giant Human Remains Near Stonehenge.
Click here
1 October 2014

* 15-Ton Prehistoric Shark Captured Off Coast Of Pakistan.
Click here
23 September 2014.

Scotland: Nessie Sighting Brings Surge Of Enthusiasm In Favor Of Scottish Independence.
Click here
15 September 2014

Indonesia: Ape Man Creature Shot Down In Borneo Jungle.
Click here
14 September 2014

Giant Man-Eating Catfish Finally Caught In Mekong River.
Click here
28 August 2014

New York: 600-Pound Alligator Shot Down in Central Park.
Click here
5 August 2014.

Russia: Mammoth Embryo Brought Back to Life.
Click here
13 July 2014.

Nepal: Frozen Caveman Discovered in Himalaya.
Click here
12 June 2014.

Pet Jerboa Crosses Europe to Reunite With Family.
Click here
9 April 2014.

M’Bokolokolo Creature Sighted in Nigeria.
Click here
26 March 2014.

* 200 Million Years Old Dinosaur Egg Hatches in Berlin Museum.
Click here
20 February 2014.

Indonesia: Tiger Rhinos Almost Extinct, According to Experts.
Click here
13 January 2014.

* Thailand: Snakegirl Attracts Crowds of Pilgrims and Tourists.
Click here
6 January 2014.

Giant Lobster Invades Beach House in Canada.
Click here
21 December 2013.

Malawi: Rare Specimen of Duckhorse Sighted During Safari.
Click here
11 December 2013.

New Specie [sic] of Centipedes Discovered Near Fukushima [radiation-mutated circular centipede with no head or posterior end!].
Click here
2 December 2013.

China: Tiger Squirrel Wreaks Havoc in Small Village.
Click here
1 December 2013.

Chinese Scientists Clone Pig with Wings.
Click here
29 November 2013.

3-Meter Tall Squirrel Killed by Army After Bloody Rampage.
Click here
26 November 2013.

Climbers Encounter Sasquatch in Colorado.
Click here
18 November 2013.

So if you've previously read any of these reports and presumed that they described major breakthroughs in cryptozoological or mainstream zoological discovery – think again!

Finally: for a useful annotated listing of notable satire websites and other prominent online sources of faux journalism, click here.

UPDATE: 12 August 2017

Today, I rechecked all of the above articles, and discovered that only six of them are still online, so I have now identified them with a red asterisk (*) at the beginning of their titles. However, I did also note that there are plenty of newer ones on that site..

Contrary to satire news reporting, Nessie did not make any appearance at the time of the recent vote for Scottish independence – judging from this delightful illustration, her attention was clearly elsewhere! (© Jane Cooper)


  1. At Doubtful News, we have encountered this frequently. We have a list of "no go to" sites. http://doubtfulnews.com/2014/04/doubtful-news-beyond-doubtful-list-of-no-go-to-sources/

    It's important not to link to these stories as it makes them rank higher in search results. You can use http://donotlink.com instead to reference.

    On this list is a site called Cryptozoology News. The stories have no references as if the "reports" are completely fabricated or fabricated by another who sends them in as real. These stories make news aggregators and get high hit counts. That's a real shame and such deceptive practices contributes to the very poor reputation of cryptozoology in scholarly circles.

  2. These stories have appeared so many times in crypto-sites that I linked to them in order for readers to know what they were and thus to realise that they are fiction so should not be taken seriously at all.