Cryptoscatology: New Exhibit at International Cryptozoology Museum
by Robert Guffey on April 5
As William S. Burroughs liked to say, “Language is a virus.” Oftentimes language evolves in ways we can never predict. In my 9-12-12 post, I discussed the history of the word “cryptoscatology” (the title of my first nonfiction book) and its relation to the field of conspiracy theories. In my 2-24-13 post, I further defined the word “cryptoscatology” as referring not just to conspiracy theories, but “to any field of endeavor that’s considered by mainstream culture to be transient, peripheral or hopelessly obscure.“ And in this 6-19-13 post, I added the following: “[T]he word ‘cryptoscatology’ simply means ‘the study of secret shit,’ and in our society ‘shit’ (i.e., that which is considered illegitimate by mainstream culture) can take many, many forms.“ Loren Coleman, the writer of such wonderful books as MYSTERIOUS AMERICA and TOM SLICK AND THE SEARCH FOR THE YETI, has now created his own definition for the word “cryptoscatology.” In this case, “cryptoscatology” takes on a very literal form indeed: the study of Bigfoot shit. Quoting Coleman himself:
“Cryptoscatology: The study of field found and collected scat (i.e. dung, feces) of unknown (cryptid), hidden (cryptic), and known (verified, confirmed) species of animals to better inform the knowledge base of cryptozoology (the study of hidden or unknown animals).”
In fact, “Cryptoscatology” is now the title of an exhibit currently showing at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Though the exhibit opened on April Fool’s Day, it’s not intended to be a joke. Click HERE to learn more details about this most peculiar event in the always colorful world of cryptozoology.
By the way, when the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary decide to add either of these definitions to their lexicon, I’ll let you know.
(And in other Loren Coleman news, I urge you to check out his 3-30-18 Twilight Language post entitled “Sirius Rising In the Days of Synchromysticism.” Tell ’em Cryptoscatology sent you!)
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