Whenever we take a blissful walk down the memory lane, we can’t help but smile as we reminisce about the happiest days of our lives- our childhood. Those days are inundated with a series of firsts that one remembers and cherishes for the rest of their lives. Be it the first wobbly step you took towards your mom, the first word you ever uttered, your first attempt at riding a bicycle, or your first friend at playschool, I bet you can never forget such joyous memories, no matter how old you get.

And, of course, how can we forget about those mystical bedtime stories that made our eyes go wide in wonder as our grandparents recounted them. These stories were a beautiful melange of the craziest of fantasies, bizarre creatures and monsters, engaging plot twists, and mesmerizing realms that whisked us away from the cruel and selfish society which we would go on to be a part of.

In a more technical language, these fairytale beings like to go by the name of cryptids, that is, those animals who have been sighted multiple times but their existence remains uncertain and not recognized by the modern scientific community. While your loved ones may have acquainted you with such “cryptids”, there are still many more of such extraordinary beings that you might have never heard of. Curious to find out? Keep scrolling. These lesser-known cryptids are far more surreal and petrifying than your average, highly overrated Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster.

10. Akkorokamui

Imagine a humongous, eight-tentacled octopus emerging from the depths and glaring at you and your fellow sailors while you’re out fishing. As astounding and unreal as it sounds, this actually happened to three local fishermen in the Volcano Bay of Hokkaido, Japan. The sighting was also recorded in the book The Ainu and Their Folklore by John Batchelor. According to him, these fishermen were attacked by this monstrous creature, which emitted a toxic gas, along with spewing a dark liquid. With much difficulty, these fishermen managed to escape. However, the entire experience left them quaking with fear. Real or not, this bizarre happening definitely makes for a scary bedtime story!

9. Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil, also known as the Leeds Devil, is a formidable cryptid believed to reside in the Pine Barrens region of New Jersey. There have been over a hundred sightings of this peculiar two-legged creature, who is said to possess a head of a sheep, hooves of a horse, along with huge scaly wings and a long, serpent-like tail.

In the second week of January 1909, the newspapers of the entire state were flooding with supposed sightings of the Jersey Devil, which had allegedly attacked a trolley car in Haddon Heights, as well as a social club in Camden. Other witnesses also reported seeing strange footprints in the snow.

Nevertheless, with an anatomy as strange and mindboggling as this creature’s, the actual existence of the Jersey Devil is simply way too hard to believe.

8. Ogopogo

Apparently, the residents of British Columbia have their very own version of the popular Loch Ness Monster. Ever since the 1800s, locals have reported unusual sightings of an enormous, serpentine creature, who is believed to have been dwelling in the waters of Lake Okanagan. In 1926, a large-scale sighting was reported at Okanagan Mission beach, where people in around thirty cars allegedly witnessed seeing this surreal animal.

Judging by its name though, this cryptid does not sound to be all that scary now, does it?

7. Mongolian Death Worm

This cryptid is believed to lurk in the most isolated parts of the Gobi Desert. The Mongolians claim this animal to be about four to five feet in length, and bright red in color. Its ability to kill is just plain vicious, being able to slaughter its enemies by belching out large amounts of acid or maybe even by emitting huge amounts of electric voltage, to leave its victims dead in no time. Overwhelmed by curiosity, several search expeditions were carried out in 2005, 2006, and 2007, to prove this lethal being’s existence, but were unsuccessful in finding any traces of this mystical worm.

6. Missouri Monster

Missouri Monster, aka Momo, is a giant cryptid said to reside in the dense forests of Missouri. Just like Bigfoot, Momo is reported to have a height of around 7 to 8 feet and is all covered up in thick brown fur. This humanoid creature is believed to be rather belligerent, warding off enemies or unsuspecting wanderers off by producing a repulsive, pungent odor.

5. Emela Ntouka

Emela Ntouka is a beastly cryptid said to dwell in the Congo River basin. Popularly known as the Elephant Killer, locals report this creature to carry an appearance similar to that of a rhinoceros, with an addition of a single unicorn-like horn jutting out of his head, which he uses to ruthlessly slay unsuspecting elephants.

4. Mapinguari

The latest sighting of this modern day monster occurred in 2007 and was reported in The New York Times. Locals claim that this creature stands about 8 feet tall, with rugged scales covering most of his back and thick, dense fur cloaking the rest of his body. Though menacing in appearance, this cryptid likes to play defensive and is known to release obnoxious odors in order to drive away hunters and other animals.

3. Grootslang

Grootslangs are enormous serpentine creatures said to lurk in the deepest caves of Richtersveld, South Africa. With a head and the feet of an elephant and a slithery body of a gigantic snake, its appearance itself is enough to give you nightmares. Along with a gruesome image, this appalling beast is also blessed with unparalleled might and advanced intelligence, all of which it uses to ensnare its innocent victims.

2. Thunderbirds

With a wingspan of a whopping 20 feet, this creature leaves our record-holding albatross, who has a wingspan of only 8 to 11 feet, cringing in shame. If it exists, that is. But to the locals of Togiak, Alaska, Manokotak and San Antonio, this cryptid is very real and has been sighted flying high in their skies for decades, with the latest happening on May 3, 2010. On this day, a local of McHenry, Illinois allegedly spotted a group of such majestic thunderbirds soaring over the afternoon sky. So, do such birds really exist? Well, I guess you have to see it to actually believe it, right?

1. Ozark Howler

This savage monster definitely an uncanny manifestation of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Who knows, perhaps this cryptid was indeed the inspiration for the age-old fairytale. With a looming bear-like build, complete with sharp horns and teeth, this creature is daunting enough to give anyone goosebumps. Witnesses and locals have repeatedly reported hearing the unnerving howls of this beast, which echo throughout the Ozark Mountains in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri.