Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sheep of unusual size

News has arrived here that there have been sightings of a new kind of cryptid in southern Virginia.

A woman identified only as "Teena" contacted Lon Strickler, owner of the website Phantoms & Monsters, with the following story:

I hope you can give me an idea of what I saw a few weeks ago while hiking with a friend in Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia.  We had been on one of the trails for about an hour when we stopped for a brief rest and drink.  This was my first visit to this park and I was pleased that the area we were in was secluded.

After a few minutes of rest we continued to walk along the trail when my friend suddenly stopped and pointed towards the right at large group of rocks.  Something was moving around but it was about 50 yards away so we didn't get a very good look.  We could see that it was light in color and was quite bulky.  We stood frozen wanting to know what this creature was though I was getting more frightened by the second.  As we started to walk the creature moved onto a rock where we got a good look at it.  It looked like a medium sized bear but the fur was very light in color, almost a yellowish gray.  The head was very strange also.  There was a snout like that of a bear but the dark round eyes were set lower on the head.  It was looking in our direction and we had no intention on sticking around to see what it was going to do.
Mr. Strickler's answer was that this animal has been seen in southern Virginia before, and is said to be "white and woolly," with "long, saber-like teeth and single-point horns," "a long and hairless tail," and "a smell like sulfur."  The name of the beast?


I kid you not.  I can barely type this word without guffawing.  The best part was that the article had an artist's rendition of Sheepsquatch, which I will include here (apologies for not crediting the artist, but the source of the drawing was not given):

All I can say is, that's one freakin' scary-looking sheep.  I'll bet he's a real baaaaadass.   (ba-dump-bump-ksssh)

One person who posted a response to the original article suggested that Sheepsquatch could be a relic population of giant ground sloths.  Well, I've seen giant ground sloth skeletons in museums, and artists' recreations of what they original animal looked like, and my impression is that one of the only things that Sheepsquatch looks less like than it does like a sheep is a giant ground sloth.  To me, what Sheepsquatch looks like is one of the Rodents of Unusual Size from The Princess Bride

I'm also wondering if adding "-squatch" after animal names is going to become a trend, the way adding "-gate" after the focal points of scandals has.  You pick some real animal that your cryptid looks vaguely like (really vaguely, in the case of Sheepsquatch), and add "-squatch" at the end, and there's the name of your cryptid.  For example, a long, slinky kind of cryptid with brown fur could be a Weaselsquatch.   My dog Grendel, who looks like the result of a canine genetics experiment gone horribly wrong, will hereafter be referred to as a "Dogsquatch."  I hope they don't extend the trend too far, however - if they ever found a giant flightless bird cryptid, they shouldn't call it Ostrichsquatch because it's impossible to say that without spitting all over yourself.

In any case, I encourage you all to go down to southern Virginia and see if you can find Sheepsquatch for yourself.  Keep an eye out for other kinds of squatches while you're at it.  Also be careful if you happen to see any Rodents of Unusual Size.  I hear they have a nasty bite.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps we will also have Squatchsquatches as a sub-species. Or for incidences where the evidence is only roadkill in a ditch, it could be squashsquatch.