In the field of natural history, a creature whose existence has been reported by local legends or by eyewitness accounts, but not yet proven, is known as a “cryptid.” The study of cryptids is known as “cryptozoology.”

My son Max wants to be a cryptozoologist — or cryptid hunter — one day, so he did an independent project for school about some of his favorite cryptids. Working together, he and I then developed his report into a chart showing similarities and differences in some characteristics (walking, swimming, flying; dangerous vs. harmless) of a few of Max’s favorite crytids.

Mister Reusch’s illustrations are great, aren’t they? I think we should turn this spread into a poster…

In other cryptid news, when Max and I went to New York Comic Con earlier this month, his friend and comrade Jonanthan was with us (actually, we were with him — celebrating his 13th birthday), wearing a homemade costume. It’s a papier-maché cryptid known to sci-fi fans as a “chest-burster.” Gruesome! And yes, I know — a chest-burster isn’t a cryptid, because no one has ever spotted one in real life. I just wanted to show you these cool photos, OK?

Comic Con attendees gave Jon a lot of thumbs-ups — “Nice chest-burster, man!” High praise, indeed. Here are some process shots, showing how Jon (with some help from his grownups, and Max) made his neat cryptid costume: