Sep 23, 2011 I Micah Hanks

Crypto-Economics: Canadian Coins Boast Colorful Cryptid Creatures

Whoever may have told us that there was no money in the study of cryptozoology has officially been proven wrong. This is especially the case in Canada, since an artist was recently procured in the design of several famous Canadian Cryptids and their likenesses, which will be appearing on a number of special edition Canadian coins.

The colorful images adorn the backs of Canadian 25 cent pieces, and depict two varieties of aquatic cryptids, the Nessie-like saurian Memphre', said to inhabit the depths of Lake Memphremagog, and the water-cat known as Mishepishu, which according to native legends, inhabits the waters of Lake Superior and nearby areas. However, they are only the most recent of an ongoing batch of Crypto-coins, as the image above will already indicate... arguably, one of our favorite Canadian cryptids has already graced the country's currency with its elusive presence.

Indeed, while these two instances of Candian crypto-art are amking the rounds across the blogsphere, there are apparently other recent instances of weird animals adorning the backs of the country's currency. Discussing the unique coinage on a recent edition of The Gralien Report Podcast, one of our listeners in the Toronto, Canada area wrote in with the following information about some Sasquacth tender that already exists:

"I heard the podcast discussing the Royal Canadian Mint's cryptid limited edition coins. You missed the one that was released a couple of months ago: Sasquatch. It's available at the Royal Canadian Mint for $25."

Indeed, it appears that a Sasquatch coin does exist, bearing an image of the creature stomping along through the snow that's slightly reminiscent of a few of R. Crumb's Fate Magazine cover illustrations from a few years back. You can see the Sasquatch coin by clicking here.

The artist who procured these images of famous cryptids, Emily S. Damstra, said at her blog that, "As a natural science illustrator I never expected to be asked to draw a Sasquatch, but I found it to be an engaging assignment and not all that different from reconstructing fossil life based on limited clues." The series were apparently commissioned with hope that their colorful, mythic imagery would be appealing to children.

Of course, as a child, I know that I found stories of Bigfoot, UFOs and lake monsters far more interesting than the study of economics and currency. In fact, if United States coinage had featured images of such things, I might have had different career aspirations altogether! Regardless, the unique and colorful pictures will not only attract attention to the coins themselves, but will also draw interest to the mysteries they are depicting. While for many these creatures are merely the stuff of legends, for a new generation of young researchers, perhaps there will continue to be interest in determining whether such strange beasts might actually exist in the remote Canadian wilds, as well as other parts of the world.

Micah Hanks
Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.

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