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Cryptids are mythological creatures notable within cryptozoology, a pseudoscience that presumes the existence of animals and plants that have been derived from anecdotal or other evidence considered insufficient by mainstream science. While biologists regularly identify new species, cryptozoologists focus on entities mentioned in the folklore record (the academic study of which is folkloristics).

Cryptozoologists may consider any figure from folklore to be a "cryptid", (from the Greek κρύπτω, krypto, meaning "hide") — a 'hidden animal'. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun cryptid as "an animal whose existence or survival to the present day is disputed or unsubstantiated; any animal of interest to a cryptozoologist". Some dictionaries and encyclopedias define the term "cryptid" as an animal whose existence is questionable.

Well-known examples include the Yeti in the Himalayas, the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Sasquatch in North America, and chupacabras in the Americas. While there have been attempts to codify cryptozoology approaches, unlike biologists, zoologists, botanists, and other academic disciplines, however, "there are no accepted, uniform, or successful methods for pursuing cryptids".

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