Cryptozoology is a pseudoscience involving the search for animals whose existence has not been proven. Cryptozoology is not a recognized branch of zoology or a discipline of science. It is an example of pseudoscience because it relies heavily upon anecdotal evidence, stories, and alleged sightings.
Cryptozoology comes from the Greek word kryptos meaning “hidden” and the word zoology which means the “study of animals.” Cryptozoology includes looking for living examples of animals that are considered extinct, such as dinosaurs. It also includes animals whose existence lacks physical evidence but which appear in myths, legends, or reported sightings, such as Bigfoot. Cryptozoology is also the study of wild animals dramatically outside their normal geographic ranges, such as phantom cats (also known as Alien Big Cats). The animals cryptozoologists study are often referred to as cryptids.
A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.
The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings.