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, June 12, 2011


I have come across a few stories in recent days relating to cryptobotany: firstly a selection from The Saint Paul Globe of March 20th 1904, then the hilarious and apparently true Walking Mango Tree from The Sunday Express of May 18th 1980.

Queer Trees

Among the curiosities of tree life is the sofar, or whistling tree, of Nubia. When the winds blow
over this tree it gives out flute-like sounds, playing away to the wilderness for hours at a time strange, weird melodies. It is the spirits of the dead singing among the branches, the natives say; but the scientific white man says the sounds are due to a myriad of small holes which an insect bores in the spines of the branches.

The weeping tree of the Canary Islands is another arboreal freak. This tree, in the driest weather, will rain down showers from its leaves, and the natives gather up the water from the pool formed at the foot of the trunk and find it pure and fresh. The tree exudes the water from innumerable pores situated at the base of the leaves.

In Japan they have a tree called the smoking tree. It is a small tree and has little to attract attention were it not for the fact that most of the time a little cloud, apparently of smoke,
hangs over it a few feet above the top most branches.It looks exactly as if the trunk of the tree were a smoking chimney.

The phenomenon is caused by an emanation which the tree gives out under the effects of sunlight. In Ceylon grows a tree called “Eve`s Apple Tree” .It is the fruit of this tree which makes it remarkable. It is a beautiful tree to look at, deep red on the inside and orange on the outside, and out of each fruit a piece appears to have been bitten. The simulation of a fruit which has recently been bitten into is perfect. You can see the very marks of the teeth, and anyone not knowing the facts would be deceived. For this reason, and because the fruit is deadly poison, the natives declare that the tree is that which grew in the Garden of Eden and was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After Eve ate of the fruit and thus bought death and sin into the world, the fruit assumed the appearance it has now, as a perpetual reminder of her rash and disobedient act. (1)

Trail of a walking tree

NEW DELHI: Scientist Dr Ashok Marathe, of Deccan College,Poona,India,claims to have found a walking mango tree which is 1,300 years old. He says the tree grows to a huge size,then lowers
one of its branches to the ground, some distance from the trunk, where it takes root.
As a new trunk starts to grow the old one withers away. Seniya Ukhadia, a 95 year-old villager, told the scientist that the tree had changed its location at least three times
in the last 50 years. (2)

1. The Saint Paul Globe March 20th 1904 p.2
2. Sunday Express May 18th 1980 p.13


Many thanks to Dondi Ratliff and Robert Schneck for identifying Naomi's mystery insect. Robert Schneck added this mildly distasteful codicil:

Several places online claim that in Mexico they are decorated and worn as "living jewelry". Here is a picture.



Robin Pyatt Bellamy introduces us to her intrepid team, and also posts an overview of Canadian cryptozoology. Who could ask for anything more?

Many thanks, by the way, to Mark North for the smashing logo....

WANTED: Ken Campbell film

This is a long shot, I know, but is there anyone reading this who has a video copy of School for Clowns, written by and starring Ken Campbell, and first shown on something called `Theatrebox` on Children's ITV in 1981?

I would love to see a copy....


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Yesterday's News Today

Before he left Oliver reminded us that on this day in 1930 Henry Seagrave, who set one water and three land speed records, died.

Forecasting Turtles- Climate appears to play key role
Nesting turtles give clues on oil spill's impact
Crocodiles in bedroom shock police team
Washington cops under attack... by aggressive crows
Deadly Black widow in Kent

He will be back tomorrow, which is good, because he is better at this than me...
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CFZ REPOST: DALE DRINNON: Packda, Kapre, Muwas, Waray-waray and Omomongo: Probable Relic Orangutans of the Present-day Philippines


One of the sites quoted in the original version declared that the use of the material was infringing upon their copyright. Even though the person in question was admittedly not the owner of the copyrighted longer article in question, both Jon and I felt the only practical thing to do would be to remove the original blog posting, excise the article quoted from the Alaska Journal mentioned in the Wikipedia article and then repost the amended version. Which is exactly what we have done here.
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