Jeri’s Jackpot: The 2020 Cryptid Social Distancing Awards

(Source: Unsplash/Jr Korpa)

So far, 2020 has been the year of social distancing, and who is better at it than cryptids? Mothman, Bigfoot, and their friends have been doing this since they were first known about. Those who have seen them have never gotten close, and the cryptids don’t stay for long. I mean, I’ve never seen Bigfoot at the local Starbucks for some egg bites and a mocha latte, have you? These guys really deserve an award for this. I mean, it takes some skill to stay hidden from people who are actively trying to find you! 

Where do we begin? How do we start to rank these creatures and crown the ultimate Social Distancing Cryptid? 

Let’s start with our contenders and a bit about their history. First up, we have Nessie, aka the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie is a common household name. If you mention her name to someone on the street, they would probably know who you’re talking about. Nessie has her fins in the hearts of people worldwide. She often pops up in popular media, such as in Apex Legends where players can find Nessie plushes in-game that, if tracked down, lead to a secret. Nessie was first brought to attention in 1933. Since then, people claim to have glimpsed the famed creature, but no one has ever gotten close enough to definitively identify her. 

(Source: Wikimedia Commons/Marmaduke Arundel “Duke” Wetherell)

Next up, we have Bigfoot–another contender who also has his own claim to fame and is fairly well known. Sasquatch or Bigfoot, no matter what you call him, has gotten pretty popular in today’s society. He’s in commercials, videos, and there are several shows about finding him. Yet, despite all the media attention, Bigfoot has never once been captured. Sure, people have seen him, but he’s never gotten close enough for an autograph. 

(Source: Psychozilla Tribune/Flickr)

Rounding up the big three is Mothman. First seen in 1966 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, it’s thought that Mothman is responsible for the Silver Bridge collapse and is seen as an omen or harbinger of bad times. However, he’s rarely been seen since then, with the most major sighting in 2016 by an anonymous man. The photo he took, however, has been discredited as being an owl or some other large bird carrying a snake. Mothman’s popularity has grown exponentially over the last few years, especially among millennials and generation Z groups. He has been included in popular media such as Bethesda’s Fallout 76, which released in October of 2018. The popular video-sharing app TikTok has featured several videos of people making cosplays, where they create a costume of Mothman, and art for the cryptid to a parody of the song ‘YMCA’, entitled ‘MOTHMAN’. Jeff Wamsley, who owns and operates the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, created the Mothman Festival which occurs annually in September, except for 2020 due to the risk of COVID-19. Despite his popularity, Mothman tends to avoid his own party and stay hidden, keeping the mystery and wonder alive. 

(Source: Larry Syverson/Flickr)

Now onto the awards. After some heavy debating, Bigfoot takes third place. Though it was a tough race between him and Mothman, Bigfoot has had almost more sightings than Nessie, and while he still alludes capture with sightings popping up all over the United States, it seems like Bigfoot tends to get around. 

Mothman comes in second, hot on the heels of the Loch Ness Monster. Appalachia is pretty large, but still, he evades a true sighting or capture. However, he seems more limited in where he can be found, as he’s never really been seen outside Appalachia. Due to his popularity and an actual festival about him, I have to give him second place because I’m fairly certain if Gen Z wants to find him, they’ve got the mindset and manpower to do it. 

Nessie takes the gold! I mean, it takes real skills to live in a Loch of that size and avoid humans being able to prove your actual existence for all this time. Nessie is a tale as old as time and continues to be the great mystery of Scotland. Keep up the hiding, Nessie. You’re doing fabulous.  

Jeri Hensley
Reporter

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