MYSTERY WIRE — Bigfoot is the holy grail of cryptozoology. That’s the only explanation for the presence of four Bigfoot stories in a list of the Top 10 cryptozoology stories of 2019.

Cryptozoology studies yet-to-be-discovered large animals. The discipline was referred to as “romantic zoology” for a long time.

At the very top of the heap, reports the story of a 3-year-old boy who disappeared in North Carolina. Search parties located the boy two days later, and he told his family he “hung out with a bear.” Speculation fills in the rest: Bigfoot.

Other Bigfoot angles: The release of an FBI file on Bigfoot hair analysis, the opening of the North American Bigfoot Center in Oregon, and the Travel Channel’s series, “Expedition Bigfoot.”

So what made the list besides Bigfoot?

  • Homo luzonensis — a species smaller than homo sapiens discovered on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
  • Goat Man — when a man is hit by a train, people wonder if the Pope Lick Goat Man is to blame.
  • Reclassification of known species and discovery of several new species
  • Documentary films of the year, not entirely about Bigfoot, although it’s there.
  • Loch Ness Monster study suggests it might be a giant eel.
  • More love for cryptozoology as “cryptid” makes the Merriam-Webster list of new words.