April 30, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Six: Z is for Zooform Phenomena

It's the last day and I'm more than a little sad to see it go. I wasn't sure how things would go, but I've enjoyed writing and reading the different posts for the challenge, so most likely I will be a part of it again next year.

On to the letter Z and zooform phenomena.

Zooform phenomena is normally classified as a branch of cryptozoology, although not without controversy. The controversy comes from the fact that some cryptozoologists feel that zooform phenomena does not involve animals but rather mystical creatures, and so should be confined to its own body of study.

Essentially the phenomena is when an entity, whether physical or spiritual, adopts the form of an animal. This adoption of an animal's form could be either voluntary or purposeful or it could be the result of a curse or other involuntary process.

Perhaps the most well-recognized example of zooform phenomena is werewolves. A person transforms into a wolf or a man-wolf involuntarily when the moon is full. An example of voluntary transformation is when a Skinwalker dons the skin of an animal and transforms into that beast (or at least a somewhat deformed version of it).

Because animals that are a result of zooform phenomena are not really animals, these creatures are purportedly extremely elusive. Some people argue that zooform phenomena is why nobody has been able to produce convincing evidence of Bigfoot, Yeti, hellhounds, el Chupacabra, the Beast of Bray Road, the Owlman of Mawnan or the Mothman. These people reason that these creatures who take on animal-looking forms could indeed be quite intelligent, maybe even more intelligent than us, and so they can elude capture and detection most of the time.

It's an interesting theory to say the least. I think most people are uncomfortable with it since we as humans want to believe we are it, we are the supreme beings on this planet and there are no others that could outsmart us.

Can anyone think of other examples of zooform phenomena?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

First time I've heard of the word zooform. I'd rather not transform. Here in the South, someone would just shoot me.

Kate said...

I've never heard this before. How interesting. If I had zooform phenomenon, I'd want to turn into something with wings.

Steven said...

Alex, spell check went crazy on me with the term, but it does on quite a few fringe terms I use.

Kate, having wings would be nice, especially during rush hour traffic!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've heard of Skinwalkers before. I know a lot of tribes in both N and S America practiced it.

Steven said...

Diane, Skinwalkers are an interesting group to study. I grew up hearing about them and have studied much about them now. It's one of my more favorite paranormal subjects.

Julia King said...

I would have thought you'd do you Z post on Zombies. You have impressed me with you zeal to find something else that is rather interesting and something I haven't heard of before. Do you remember the Chupacabra X-Files episode? Creepy.

There's an episode of Supernatural about Skin Walkers. That one was gross, but hey the eye candy of Dean and Sam made it all worth it. Sorry to get girly on you. haha

I have enjoyed your posts. I hope to rejoin the Challengers next year. It was fun.

Steven said...

Julia, zombies came to mind but I don't like being too predictable in my writing. That and I love to educate people about things they have never heard of and I knew this would be a subject that was unique. I do remember the Chupacabra X-Files episode and I grew up in the Southwest where I heard about the creature a lot. I think I will be a part of the Challenge next year :)

VR Barkowski said...

Zooform Phenomena is another term I hadn't heard before. For some utterly ridiculous reason—given that we're talking werewolves and skinwalkers—Walt Disney's "The Shaggy Dog" comes to mind. Maybe it's a good thing this Challenge is drawing to a close. :)

It's been a pleasure reading your posts Steven. Thank you!

VR Barkowski

Steven said...

VR, I seem to be giving quite a few people some new vocabulary terms for the month of April. I have to say the Shaggy Dog did not enter my mind but Teen Wolf did :) Thanks for stopping by; we will have to keep in touch even with the Challenge over with.

Robin said...

I know that you were speaking strictly to the scientific aspects of this thing. My mind immediately jumped to TV shows like Fringe and Supernatural that dipped (in the case of Fringe) or dip (in the case of Supernatural) into this sort of database of Weird on a regular basis. Personally, I find it fascinating. Just because something hasn't been proven to be true, doesn't mean it has been been eliminated as false, either. I live with an open mind on these things.

As you say, if these animals or species are smart enough to evade capture, chances are they are smarter than human beings. That is a bit mind-bending... and a little scary. Or maybe I just watch too much Supernatural and Fringe!

Steven said...

Robin, I haven't really watched Supernatural or Fringe, but I understand what you're talking about.