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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

GLEN VAUDREY: Mystery Animals on Icelandic Stamps

Glen is one of the newer additions to the bloggo family. He wrote to me out of the blue last year to ask wherther we wanted a Western Isles volume in our Mystery Animals of Britain series. We argeed that we did indeed want one, and commissioned him. What we were not expecting was such a bloody good writer and all round nice guy, who - by the way - is writing several other volumes for us...

Whilst I was carrying out a little side research into Icelandic mystery animals I happened to come across a fascinating set of stamps that have recently been released and the subject of these stamps the mystery animals of Icelandic legend

The set features artistic impressions of the most popular or at least the best known (that is in Iceland) mystery creatures and a right mixed bunch of animals they are. They range from the hard to believe possible, to the you never know there might even be a real animal hidden in the depths of the story.

From the land you will find the Skoffin the ungodly offspring of a cat and a fox, while down on the beach you might find the Shellmonster an animal that is covered in scales, could this be Iceland's own mystery pangolin?


Those sandy shores also played host to the Beachwalker a mystery animal that would be harmless for most of the year but come mating season would become a hazard for your sheep.

There is even a mystery cat the type represented here by the ghoul cat not your run of the mill black cat that like to pose for tabloids, rather Iceland's very own legendary grave robbing feline .

Flopping out of the cool waters of the rivers there is the poisonous reverse fin trout a fish best avoided on your dinner plate if you wished to see another dawn.

Down on the seashore you might find the water cattle wandering in the surf and if you were devious enough they could be tricked into joining your herd, a similar tale is told of the faery cattle that featured in the folktales of the Hebrides. If you didn’t find the water cattle there was always the chance of stumbling across the hulking mass that was the seal mother a big seal that would appear whenever others of the seal family where threatened to save the day like some great superhero with flippers

As benefiting its remote ocean location the waters off Iceland once played host to number of mystery whales the Horse whale, the mouse whale and the red crest. They might well be described as whales but could they actually be based upon descriptions of sea serpents at least one the Horse whale shares the horse head and mane that is so often attributed to Merhorse sightings

1 comment:

Richard Freeman said...

Glen, this is very intresting. I think there could be a good book in Icelandic monsters.