Yetis and UFOs and sea monsters, oh my! (pictures)

Join us on a journey full of cryptozoology, aliens and mysterious monsters as we look back at recent Bigfoot, Nessie and UFO sightings.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
1 of 13 Kongsberg Maritime

Loch Ness Monster spotted

A lot of people want to believe. From goat-sucking hoaxes to real sea monsters, we're covering the gamut of blurry Bigfoots, alien attacks and swimming sea monsters caught on video and in images. Bring your overactive imagination.

What you're seeing here is a sonar image of the bed of Loch Ness. There really is something down there and, yes, it's shaped like a sea monster.

It's a 30-foot-long (9 meters) Nessie prop left over from filming the 1970 movie "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes." Norwegian company Kongsberg Marine discovered it while conducting a survey of the lake in search of any evidence of famed lake-creature Nessie.

2 of 13 Video screenshot/red circle by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Chupacabra hoax

The chupacabra is a very special kind of cryptozoological monster. It's also known as a goat-sucker and has a reputation for slurping the blood from livestock.

In 2016, a sketchy video surfaced showing an odd long-armed, vaguely humanoid form walking through a desert landscape. "Chupacabra" thought some people. Bad CGI thought others.

3 of 13 Apple Maps

Nessie (again)

You just can't keep a good sea monster down. Dreams of Nessie once again danced in people's heads when an Apple Maps image popped up in 2014 showing a disturbance along the surface of Loch Ness. Some were quick to call it a cameo appearance by Nessie. Others went with the much more likely explanation of a boat and its wake.

4 of 13 Video screenshot, red circle by Amanda Kooser/CNET

UFO meets SpaceX

In early September, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on its platform. The real cause of the incident is still unknown, but some UFO enthusiasts latched onto a video showing the fiery event. A small object can be seen moving across the screen just prior to the explosion. The most likely explanation is that the dot is a bird (many of which can be seen during the video), but that didn't stop the UFO speculation.

5 of 13

Google Earth sea monster

An imaginative monster hunter saw this strange disturbance on Google Earth and speculated it might be evidence of a Plesiosaur, a big Jurassic-era water reptile. As exciting as that sounds, the theory tanks once you accept that Plesiosaurs are extinct. Also, the odd object is actually Sail Rock, an outcropping located in the ocean near Antarctica.

6 of 13 Video screenshot/arrow added by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Yeti sells sunglasses

Early in 2016, a sunglasses company and a ski resort teamed up to perpetrate a viral Yeti-sighting hoax through a staged video. The footage shows a hairy white creature moving through the snow. In typical fashion, the video is brief and shaky. It ignited a lot of interest on the internet for a short time, but ultimately ended with a sigh.

7 of 13 Todd Marshall/University of Edinburgh

Storr Lochs Monster

Unlike many of the beasties in our gallery, the Storr Lochs Monster was a real critter as proven by a fossil find. This artist's rendering shows what the Jurassic predator may have looked like back when it terrorized squid in Scottish waters. Scientists launched into a new study of the long-mouthed Ichthyosaur in 2016.

8 of 13 Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Bigfoot, is that you?

Bigfoot-sighting videos tend to have two things in common: something hairy and really bad video quality. This video from 2016 is no exception. It allegedly shows a Sasquatch caught on a trail camera in California's Sequoia National Park. There's definitely some fur on display in this screenshot, but it's just as likely to be a video of an ape or someone in a hairy suit.

9 of 13 NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, red circle added by CNET

Sasquatch on Mars

It turns out that Bigfoot isn't just an Earthly phenomenon. A fan of the paranormal perused NASA's Curiosity rover photos of Mars and discovered an object that could pass for a Sasquatch skull in one of the images. Regrettably, it's just a neat-looking rock.

For more fun with weird things on Mars, check out this gallery of odd Red Planet objects explained.

10 of 13 Ocean Exploration Trust

Mysterious purple orb

It was lumpy. It was purple. It was found on the ocean floor. The research vessel Nautilus came across a strange purple orb in the summer of 2016 while filming sea life underwater off the coast of California. Researchers captured the odd two-lobed creature for closer inspection. Studies are still underway, but it may be a pleurobranch, a type of sea slug.

According to hunter RIck Dyer, this deceased Bigfoot is eight feet tall and a over 700 pounds.
11 of 13 Rick Dyer

Dead Bigfoot

What do you see here? I see a troll doll. This image from Bigfoot hunter Rick Dyer is supposed to show a deceased Bigfoot. The photo surfaced in 2014 when Dyer claimed to have shot and killed one of the mythical bipedal beasts. Even better, Dyer claims to have lured the Sasquatch out using pork ribs from Wal-Mart. You can't make this stuff up. Oh wait...yes, you can.

12 of 13 WFAA-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Bigfoot sighting

What do you see in this screenshot? Something fuzzy? Maybe Bigfoot? Maybe a hairy Chewbacca mask? Bigfoot hunters got excited in 2013 about a poorly-filmed video that purported to show the hulking human-like fuzzball. Once again, there's no hard evidence to show this is anything but a gorilla costume.

13 of 13 Paul Mayer, The Field Museum

Tully Monster

The Tully Monster first reared its head back in 1958 when amateur collector Frank Tully discovered an unusual fossil showing a creature with a tube-shaped body, long snout and finned rear end. It remained a mystery for years until scientists in 2016 published a paper making a case for the Tully Monster being a lamprey-like vertebrate.

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