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A Natural History of the Unnatural World: Discover What Crytozoology Can Teach Us About Over One Hundred Fabulous Creatures That Inhabit Earth, Sea and Sky [Hardcover]

Joel Levy
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Fabulous Creatures: And Other Magical Beings Fabulous Creatures: And Other Magical Beings 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Brown Publishers Limited (13 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903258014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903258019
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 22.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,461,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

This is an absolute delight of a book and is a must for anyone who dreams of unicorns, centaurs and giants, or reads children's or fantasy literature. A Natural History of the Unnatural World provides a mass of information on "the strange creatures who lurk in the dark and mysterious corners of planet Earth ... the unusual-even mythical--creatures that populate the globe". It was produced under the auspices of The Cryptozoological Society of London. The subsequently fascinating and enchanting volume is a mine of information, entertaining and sometimes quite hilarious anecdotes and newspaper clippings, about everything from giant spiders and cockroaches to dragons, unicorns, fairies, goblins and elves. The voyages of such heroes as Odysseus, Sinbad and Hercules are also given considerable scrutiny. The book is beautifully illustrated, and each entry is treated with a mixture of suitable reverence, respect and a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek, as seen in the headlines--Sirens: "Killing me Softly", Gorgons: "Having a Bad Hair Day", Harpy: "Hell Hath No Fury", Giants: "The Mile High Club". This is a terrific read for adult and child alike and is the perfect accessory to some of the excellent children's or fantasy literature currently available, including Skellig, the Harry Potter books, Philip Pullman's novels and many others. --Aruna Vasudevan


This imaginative guide uses first hand accounts, historical records, works of literature and art, and the imaginative insights of the scientifically trained author to detail the evolution, habits, life cycles, reproductive behaviour and specialised abilities of dozens of fabled beings. How does a dragon breathe fire? And what is the difference between a wyvern and a dragon? How would you capture a unicorn? How might you survive an encounter with a giant squid? Could you tell the difference between a Yeti and a Bigfoot? Do aliens exist? Covering creatures from basilisks and gryphons to mermaids and werewolves, this is a compendium of the beloved creatures of myth and legend, of amazing animals and mind-boggling monsters. It illustrates the field notes of scientists and explorers, far-flung reports of sightings and miscellaneous sources, with over 600 drawings and photographs of supporting evidence. Drawing on the research of the 150 year old Cryptozoological Society of London, it will tell you everything you might like to know - but were afraid to ask!

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully readable book! 21 Nov 2004
By R. Gill
This is the first cryptozoology book that I have really been able to get into. Wonderfully illustrated and fantastically written, it is both engaging and infomative. Case studies and/or field reports are given for each creature mentioned which helps to make the book more accessible to readers. This book covers not so much the theory of cryptozoology as the actual findings. Photographic evidence collected from cryptozoological expeditions is also presented with most cases. A very fascinating read, and an ideal book for those curious about cryptozoology or those that are starting to study the subject. This is a fantastic read!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed 1 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is simply a tongue in cheek look at cryptozoology. Sadly it does not make its mix of factual and weak comedic elements clear on the cover. I bought it hoping for an interesting read on what is a sensible and fascinating subject and discovered that it is more of a children's book - a book that seems to poke fun at those who take an interest in the subject. If anything it is a children's book, but I would not consider it to be educationally beneficial as it mixes fact and fiction in a very blurred way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Hearty Recommendation 20 July 2004
By A Customer
If you want a serious investigation into the mythology behind these creatures, this isn't it. If however you are looking for a fun book that entertains whilst still having done its research, I'd heartily recommended it. My girlfiend has also found it useful when teaching report writing with her class at school, keeping their attention wonderfully!
The dossier style works well, bringing the subject to life, although the excessively gullible could easily be fooled! The llustrations and fictional reports are well done, often with a large dose of tongue in cheek.
It's particularly nice to see many less common mythical creatures covered alongside the usual dragons and goblins, including creatures from asia and south america.
Have fun, give it a whirl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's brilliant! 28 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This book is great! If you like mythical creatures, you'll LOVE this! It tells you all about mythical creatures, such as: Unicorns, Dragons, Big Foot etc.
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