Which Cryptid Would Make the Best Pet?
by Linton Lewis, October 2021
For millennia, humans have been fascinated with monsters, be they real, imagined, or somewhere in between. The phenomenon of cryptids—animals and creatures purported to exist despite real hard evidence—is a historic and modern example of this monster fascination.
If we ever did prove certain cryptids’ existence, though, what would come next? Would we conduct experiments, confine them to zoos or nature preserves, or, perhaps, bring some home as the new family pets?
Let’s look at some famous cryptids and how they’d stack up as furry or scaly friends.
I don’t know that there’s anything cuter I can imagine than a little baby Bigfoot, with its cuddly body and big Disney eyes. It’d be like having an Ewok or Wookie! But just like baby turtles and alligators, despite any inherent cuteness, they grow up.
Not only would a full-grown Bigfoot eat you out of house and home, but you’d have to avoid hunters, poachers, and news crews. So much work! Still, like being the owner of a Great Dane or a St. Bernard, it would all be worth it.
Pet grade: B
Having your own personal Jersey Devil would mostly be about the bragging rights, as it’s unlikely anyone you know would have a more unusual pet. With its horse face, giant wings, snake tail, and cloven feet, the Jersey Devil looks something like a more bite-sized dragon.
Domesticating such a creature would be a hurdle, though, and it’s not like there are obedience schools designed for anything like it. Plus, this pet might only be workable for someone with a lot of wooded land at their disposal.
Pet grade: C-
Flying Rods are aerial creatures believed to be sort of small, wriggling “sky worms” that zip through the air, often being captured on film. Given their insectoid appearance, they would most likely be appreciated by people who keep bees, butterflies, praying mantises, ants, and other creepy-crawly pets.
Food costs would surely be minimal, and they would serve as a solid outdoor novelty pet, although their speed might make it difficult to catch or corral them when needed.
Pet grade: C+
Unlike many cryptids on our list, there appears to be only one Mothman instead of an entire species—so landing him as a pet would be a pretty big get. This singular nature is probably for the best, though, since with his unsettling and humanoid appearance, giant wings, and glowing, red eyes, he’s unlikely to be topping many families’ pet lists.
Mothman is purported to warn of impending disasters—claims say he appeared before the Silver Bridge collapse, the disaster at Chernobyl, and the 9/11 terror attacks. So maybe he’d serve as sort of a big, monster smoke detector for your house.
Pet grade: B-
At about 3-4 feet tall and not reported to be dangerous, the Frogmen of Loveland, Ohio, seem like they’d be pretty cool little dudes to have around.
Bipedal and frog-like in appearance, the Loveland Frogmen could be fun, if offbeat, pets. You’ll likely have to keep a ready supply of insects on hand for feeding time, though.
Pet grade: B+
With wingspans upwards of twenty or thirty feet to match their massive size, Thunderbirds stand out as one of the largest cryptids on our list. This means a lot of food, difficult housing arrangements, and tons of attention.
And while it might be tempting to try to ride them like Frodo and Gandalf, birds aren’t exactly known for their willingness to be trained. Most likely, you’ll end up with some massive grocery bills, a lot of cleanup, and little fun.
Pet grade: D
Should Phantom Cats exist, they would likely be offshoots of black panthers, cougars, leopards, and lions, which would make them beautiful and majestic to behold… but almost certainly terrible pets.
As much as we love our domesticated felines, big cats are a whole other ballgame. You might be willing to do anything for the 400-pound Phantom Cat you’ve named Simba, but he might just be ready to eat your face in the night.
Pet grade: D-
With its reptilian appearance and a name that translates to “the goatsucker,” it’s hard to see El Chupacabra snuggling up to the family on Christmas morning. And it’s earned its name through a reputation of killing and feeding on goats, chickens, and other types of livestock.
You might think this makes it an awful pet, but you know what all this sounds like? Snakes – and there are definitely snake people out there. So if your tastes lean to the reptilian, and you’ve got some mammals and birds to spare, El Chupacabra might be right up your alley.
Pet grade: C
The Loch Ness Monster
Similar to Thunderbirds, the Loch Ness Monster, or creatures of its species, would take a lot of food, work, and upkeep to maintain as a pet. You would also be very limited in terms of location, as you’d have to relocate to Scotland or transport Nessie and crew to your home somehow.
The novelty of owning and caring for Nessie would be a point in its favor, and if you could train it to give you some rides, that could definitely be fun, but in total, it simply doesn’t seem worth the trouble.
Pet grade: D+
There aren’t a whole lot of downsides to having a Unicorn as a pet, aside from meeting the same food and housing requirements as a horse. But if you can swing that and you live out in the country, a Unicorn would be great to have around.
They’re beautiful, majestic, otherworldly without being hideous or scary, and almost certainly magical. Good luck catching one, though.
Pet grade: A-
Mongolian Death Worm
Measuring somewhere between 2 and 7 feet in length and purported to not only shoot out corrosive saliva that kills on impact but also give off blasts of electricity, the Mongolian Death Worm is the perfect pet… if you’re a Bond villain.
Due to their hideous appearance and dangerous behaviors, this would not be a creature you’d want to come across in the wild, let alone cuddle up with at night. Pass on this one at PetSmart.
Pet grade: F
Sky Serpents are an aerial phenomenon that are said to be massive, serpentine creatures that contort and fly through the air without the benefit of wings. This makes them resemble in appearance and actions Asian dragons, as opposed to their more western cousins.
While food and housing would be a concern for these animals, much like with Thunderbirds and others, their size would seem to indicate they get by just fine by being free and feeding however they like. So maybe you couldn’t keep one at home all the time, but a tame one that visits could be ideal. You could ride it around like Falcor from The NeverEnding Story!
Pet grade: B
Look, these little guys are adorable. A rabbit with antlers? Sign me up. Said to be shy, capable of producing milk with healing properties, and able to imitate other animal sounds – including human speech – Jackalopes would make wonderful and snugly little novelty pets. Plus, unlike many animals on our list, they aren’t known to be dangerous. But you might need to trim the antlers a bit.
If you can snare one – they are said to run at speeds upwards of 90 miles per hour – you’d likely have the cutest pet on the block.
Pet grade: A