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Rating North American cryptids on what really matters: kissability

Is it just me, or are these inexplicable creatures a little … lovable?

Cryptids: enigmatic, enthralling and … erogenous? It’s more likely than you might think! Ever since the internet took Mothman, West Virginia’s favorite cryptid, as its collective boyfriend in the late 2010s, cryptids like Bigfoot, the Fresno Nightcrawlers, the Hopkinsville Goblins, and even the Colorado Rock Slider have never seemed, for lack of a better word, hotter. 

There’s something unattainable, mysterious, and even slightly dangerous about the farthest reaches of the known and unknown world that makes cryptids infinitely interesting, intriguing in the kind of way the tall, dark, handsome man that comes in for coffee every day is. Who is he? What’s his life like? Does he see you the same way you see him? Is he a bigfoot? That is a lot of hair, after all.

With that being said, we’re breaking down the top five most popular North American cryptids based on their kissability.  Is it subjective? No, of course not – this is the objectively correct rating for each of our entrants. I have charts and rubrics and stuff!

Nevertheless, real or not real, how emotionally supportive The Jersey Devil would be is, of course, the thing that really matters most. So, with a quick word of appreciation to FanByte for the format and idea, let’s get to it!

The Criteria

Now, while cryptids are intriguing for myriad reasons, including their dubious authenticity, intentions, and possible cultural and religious implications, only a few things matter for locking lips. Namely, can you kiss them and can they kiss back? Here are the four qualities we’ll be evaluating our contestants on.

  1. Obvious lips: does this creature possess the physical means to kiss or be kissed?
  2. Physical presence: can you hold or be held by the creature, goblin, or ghoul in question?
  3. Emotional presence: does the kissee feel “present” for you emotionally — could you also hold hands or grab a cup of coffee with Cthulhu, or is this purely transactional?
  4. Threat: For the purposes of this contest we’re assuming all contestants are consenting. But, how likely is it that you’ll catch some indescribable, ungodly disease or stray venomous barb while you’re getting down?

We’re also using a simple 5 point scale for clarity and ease of comparison in each category:

  1. Abysmal: No show, no commitment, otherwise unavailable or murderous.
  2. Below-average: Barely trying or checked out.
  3. Average: The minimum of expectations. Present and reciprocal.
  4. Above-average: Invested, responsive, and enthusiastic.
  5. Superb: Marry this monster!

The Contestants

Credit to: SavingSpot | Creative Commons

As evidenced above, there are a lot (a LOT) of North American cryptids. Barring a continuing series of articles, or The International Society of Cryptozoology funding my research, there simply isn’t enough space in this article to discuss them all. So I’ve grabbed the top five most popular, well-known creepies to dive into the deep end with.

  • Bigfoot: Inarguably the most popular, reported, and researched cryptid of all time. Bigfoot is most often sighted between Washington, Oregon, and California (though there are many variations on the burly biped nationwide), and interest in the hairy hunk has been sustained since the release of the Patterson-Gimlin film in 1967. You know him, you love him.
  • Mothman: First sighted in 1967 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, preceding by several weeks the collapse of the local Silver bridge, something like Mothman has been seen more recently in Chicago, as well as Brooklyn.Mothman is believed by some to be sort of prophetic creature who visits sights of impending tragedy. Author and researcher John Keel took a special interest in the creature, and a movie starring Richard Gere called The Mothman Prophecies was released based on his work.
  • The Jersey Devil: Also known as The Leeds Devil, the Jersey-based goat demon has been reportedly scaring folks since 1735. A semi-bipedal creature combining the appearance of a goat, a horse, an elk, and … dragons(?), the Devil is particularly known for its hostility, agility, and “blood-curdling” screams. Fun!
  • The Flatwoods Monster: Another entrant from West Virginia, the Flatwoods Monster was spotted by an intrepid family following a “bright orange light” in the sky on their property in 1952 and infrequently, if never, since. A strange, alien figure with no equal nationally, the Flatwoods Monster is believed by many to be either an alien visitor to America’s heartland or, a spooky barn owl. Either way, the most exciting and enigmatic entrant to our list.
  • The Dover Demon: While Big Birds, Thunderbirds, and variations on Bigfoot might be more ubiquitous than the Dover Demon, they’re hard to pin down to a specific look or location. Thus, our last entrant is the rarely reported but nonetheless exciting Dover Demon (sorry, Goblins!).First reported in 1977 — yes, a lot of cryptids are much older than you think — in Dover, Massachusetts, the demon is a squat, alien-like creature with few defining features aside from wide eyes and fingers like tendrils. Multiple teenagers took turns at drawing the creature on separate occasions and they’re all eerily similar. She certainly leaves an impression.

The Ratings

And now, the part we’re all here for: getting a little horny about some horrifying things. Let’s go creep, creature, and demon by demon and see who makes the kissable cut.

Bigfoot

Bigfoot was hard to track down, and he smells a little worse than bad, but his sensibility is surprisingly human. He’s been living on the periphery of our society for decades, and you might find him relatable if you’ve ever wanted to move out to the woods and settle down, introversion style. With rumors of young bigfeet, female bigfeet, and even culture, Bigfoot also seems the likeliest candidate for future romance or family-building.

Obvious Lips: Slightly hairy, but no more so than your local hipster, Bigfoot has all the things in the right place. 5 – Superb

Physical Presence: Bigfoot can hold you and be held just as easily as any given NBA star. Tall, yes, but attentive and available. 5 – Superb

Emotional Presence: This is where Bigfoot loses some points. Why has Bigfoot never really interacted with us or tried to join human society properly? Because he’s emotionally unavailable and aloof, caring more about where his next snack of berries or mossy bed is going to come from than you. 2 – Below Average 

Threat: Surprisingly human, interacting with Bigfoot carries little physical or psychic threat. You might want a good shower or two after smooching, but it’s likely no worse than getting some campfire debris in your coffee while hiking. 5 – Superb

Final Score: Bigfoot comes in with an impressive 17/20. 

Mothman

Strangely preoccupied with making sure you get home safe and somewhat skittish, Mothman is an endearing and totally weird date. You’re not sure if all the questions he has over coffee and mothballs is because he has a genuine interest, or if he’s running some kind of identity theft scam. Nevertheless, you appreciate the attention.

Obvious Lips: With reports varying between a human mouth, no mouth, and a beak, it’s hard to nail down exactly what Mothman has going on there. He leans in for a kiss and you’re not sure how to react – his fur seems nice, though! 2 – Below Average 

Physical Presence: As you cuddle up to MM’s chest, he envelopes you in his massive wings. You feel safe. 5 – Superb

Emotional Presence: Mothman becomes distracted. You’re not sure if it’s you or him, but he seems like his mind is elsewhere, and – oop! – he’s out the door and watching those guys precariously lift a piano into a penthouse. Guess he wasn’t that interested after all. 1 – Abysmal 

Threat: Mothman is largely considered a harbinger of doom and your interacting with him, unfortunately, muddies your fate. He can’t help but be a magnet for bad news and drama, and while its sometimes exciting, Real Housewives style, it’s also exhausting. 2 – Below Average

Final Score: At the end of the day, those big red eyes are actually a little unsettling. 10/20.

The Jersey Devil

Credit: Thought Catalog

Arguably the least human entrant, there’s something dangerous yet interesting about the Jersey Devil. His hooves click enthusiastically on the sidewalk as he walks with you, and goats are kinda cute, actually. He smells of the deep woods and hay, but you could see yourself eventually being comforted by the musk. Then he screams at a kid.

Obvious Lips: The goatman has an obvious “face” and mouth. The first time you ever met a pug it sneezed directly into your mouth, and you can’t get that feeling out of your head as he leans in. 2 – Below Average 

Physical Presence: Hey, this devil is pretty fun to pet! No hands, though. 3 – Average

Emotional Presence: You notice he’s really taken an interest in you as you sit down for grits, but that might be because you’re feeding him. 3 – Average

Threat: Hanging out with the animal-monster most likely to get a Jersey Shore spinoff next carries little tangible threat, but his hostile interactions with kids, cars, and other things that make loud noises warn that you might get ejected from a concert or two. 3 – Average 

Final Score: With you, it’s Heaven. With almost anyone else around, it’s Hell. 11/20. 

The Flatwoods Monster

The Flatwoods Monster has a curious air about themselves. You can’t tell exactly what they’re thinking, and their hands are weird, harsh, and cold as you hold them, but the gentle sound that emits from them as they’re floating alongside you and the subtle psychic energy you’re picking up feels like good, curious vibes. Maybe they’re a Leo?

Obvious Lips: The Flatwoods Monster has an obvious silhouette and face, but no discernible lips. It feels like kissing a lava lamp, warm but artificial. 3 – Average

Physical Presence: Their hands and physique are strange, but not uncomfortable. You wrap your arms around their snatched waist and feel pretty close. 4 – Above Average

Emotional Presence: Sure, they’re maybe a little overly curious about you, this can of Coke, and humans in general. Ultimately you find it endearing and supportive. 5 – Superb

Threat:  The Flatwoods Monster is the most obviously alien of our entrants. Unfortunately, that comes with substantial risk. Alien physiology, immunology, and biology are esoteric and unproven. A few days after your first date, you get a severe headache. Were they probing around in your brain while you locked lips? 1 – Abysmal 

Final Score: You feel pretty close to the Flatwoods Monster, but you’ll need to set some very obvious, mutually understandable boundaries. 13/20.

The Dover Demon

The Dover Demon, despite its name, isn’t outwardly hostile or ill-mannered. In fact, it’s hard to tell what she’s thinking about at all. She stares deep into your eyes, and you feel connected with and understood. You also feel like she has something to say, but alas, no mouth.

Obvious Lips: One of the most important attributes is the lack of lips. Sorry. 1 – Abysmal 

Physical Presence: Short and slender, the Demon is hard to find common ground with. Those hands look like they could get to work, though. 2 – Below Average

Emotional Presence: There’s a weird, intense focus you share for a split moment – like you might have with a deer crossing the road – but then it’s gone. It seems like she’s pretty uncomfortable anywhere near civilization, if not outwardly hostile, too. 1 – Abysmal

Threat: No one really knows what the Dover Demon is or what it wants – anything we can even conceptualize or perceive. It makes a habit of harassing teenagers and gardens, and that seems toxic. Your inability to peg just what its actions or physique remind you of make the Demon enigmatic and dangerous. 1 – Abysmal 

Final Score: One of the worst dates of your life, even if they are kinda hot and fashionable. 5/20.

The Results

Bigfoot takes it with a bullet. While the Flatwoods Monster and Mothman might make for interesting flings where you learn a lot about yourself, and the Dover Demon and Jersey Devil are at least … entertaining … Bigfoot feels like someone, something you can get along with and relate to.

Is it because we can only see and reciprocate romance in things that we can humanize? Maybe, but that shaggy mug is pretty endearing and he knows all the best hikes.

Every February, to help celebrate Darwin Day, the Science section of AIPT cranks up the critical thinking for SKEPTICISM MONTH! Skepticism is an approach to evaluating claims that emphasizes evidence and applies the tools of science. All month we’ll be highlighting skepticism in pop culture and skepticism of pop culture.

AIPT Science is co-presented by AIPT and the New York City Skeptics.

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