Cryptids in Fanworks

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Monsters, Mythical Creatures, Cryptid AU
Related: Xeno, Monster Fucking
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Cryptids are animals that have appeared in folklore, religion, or urban legends, but whose existence has not been or cannot be verified by the scientific community. Such creatures include Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and Mothman.

Cryptids sometimes appear as characters in fanworks.

What Can Be a Cryptid?

The precise definition of "cryptid" will vary from person to person. While it is occasionally used to refer to any supernatural being, it is generally accepted that the term specifically describes biological beings, not spiritual ones. If a supernatural being has no physical body, it probably won't be considered a cryptid.

The term is sometimes used to describe animals whose existence is physically plausible but has not been proven, such as Bigfoot. It may also be used to describe creatures whose existence is less plausible, such as Mothman or the Fresno Nightcrawlers. It may even be used to describe real animals that are officially considered extinct but have been allegedly sighted since their extinction, such as the thylacine. The term may even be used to describe aliens, as they would be physical creatures, though they would not fall under the taxonomic kingdom of Animalia.

The term "cryptid" is sometimes used to refer to beings from various Indigenous North American religions, such as w*ndigos and skinwalkers; this has been a source of controversy within cryptozoology fan spaces for some time.

In colloqiual use, "cryptid" may be used to refer to any person who the speaker considers unusual or elusive. Canon creators whose mannerisms are esoteric, or who rarely make public appearances, have been described as "cryptids" in this sense.


As of March 2021, "Cryptid" is not a canon tag on Archive of Our Own. However, cryptids have appeared in a number of fanworks and certain popular cryptids, such as Mothman and the Loch Ness Monster do have canon tags.

They are commonly found in fandoms with canons that focus on the paranormal, such as Supernatural, BuzzFeed Unsolved, and The X-Files; these stories often feature the characters hunting for cryptids. They can also be found in works for Voltron: Legendary Defender and Boku no Hero Academia.

Note that the cryptid characters in fanworks are not always based off of actual folkloric creatures. Sometimes fan creators will use the term "cryptid" to refer to original species that do not correspond to beings such as Bigfoot/Mothman/etc.

Cryptid AU

A Cryptid AU is an alternate universe in which one or more characters from the source material is portrayed as a cryptid.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.