5 Normal Animals That Were Mistaken For Monsters

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It's hard to blame anyone for wanting to see the fantastical in the everyday, but when it comes to believing that otherworldly creatures walk the Earth, people have been known to get a little carried away.
Sure, some "monster sightings" are pretty inexplicable and remain total mysteries to this day: The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Mothman come to mind. But, there are some that have been thoroughly debunked.
These cryptids haven't just been disproven, but they've been exposed as normal, perfectly classifiable animals with no mystical origins whatsoever. Cases like the Montauk Monster reveal more about humans' desire to find something beyond ourselves than anything about potential mutants in our midst. (In the right circumstances, a platypus or even a raccoon can seem bizarre.)
At the same time, these debunked cryptids are pleasant a reminder that, even without magical or alien intervention, the Earth is full of weird things on its own. Ahead, we've rounded up five of our favorite everyday animals that were once considered fantastical.