GHENT, WV (WVNS) — Are you a Bigfoot believer? What about the Loch Ness Monster? Maybe even Mothman?

Throughout history, society has always been fascinated by monsters, folklore, and animals that may or may not exist. But do you know what the study of these entities is called?

Cryptozoology is a subject that many either dive head first into or shy away from. When one thinks of the study of monsters, their mind may turn to the classic werewolf or even Frankenstein. Cryptozoology concentrates more on figures from folklore pulled from different communities across the world.

The study of cryptozoology spawned from different works from Belgian Zoologist Bernard Huevelmans and Scottish Zoologist Ivan Sanderson. The most popular one of these work is On the Track of Unknown Animals, written by Huevelmans in 1955.

According to CryptidWiki, while cryptozoology is not a recognized as a real science, it combines the studies of Zoology and Paleontology. The ever-reliable Meriam-Webster Dictionary leaves us with an official definition.

The study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals (such as Sasquatch) usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence.

Meriam-Webster Dictionary

The monsters within these tales are known to cryptozoologists as cryptids. Cryptids are legendary animals that are believed by cryptozoologists to still live somewhere in the wild, but have not been discovered. The most popular cryptids in today’s pop-culture consists of Bigfoot, The Loch-Ness Monster and the Chupacabra.

In West Virginia, the more popular cryptids of course include the obvious Bigfoot. But one of the few ‘winged cryptids’ is the Mothman from Point Pleasant in Mason County, West Virginia.

The study of cryptozoology and the cryptids within continues to leave people from all corners of the world wondering what is really out there.