Cryptozoologists rejoice! We've put together a handy guide showing where to find the craziest "mythical" monsters in the world. C'mon, let's go mermaid hunting!
8. Chupacabra: Puerto Rico
Although sightings of the werewolf-esque "goat sucker" have been reported all over Central America, Mexico, and even the American Southwest, Chupacabras were first "spotted" in Puerto Rico in the mid-'90s, so that's totally where you should go if you hope to see an unsuspecting flock of sheep get mauled.
While you're there: Do some blood-sucking of your own at San Juan churrascaria Tierra del Fuego.
7. Mongolian Death Worm:
Cleveland, Ohio Mongolia
Turns out the Gobi Desert's good for more than just Tatooine-like landscapes, as it's also allegedly got a Tatooine-like creature in the form of a 5ft-long, deadly-venom-spitting worm.
While you're there: Although the other folks on your bus may frown upon your obsession with the Mongolian Death Worm, don't go the Gobi alone -- book something with Gobi Tours instead. If you want to make it home alive.
6. Abominable Snowman (AKA Yeti): Tibet
Want to give Asian Bigfoot some jerky and see what happens? Then hit the mountains of Tibet, which're where sightings have been reported for the past century-plus.
While you're there: Since it's where the yeti's most commonly reported, you might as well climb Mt. Everest... This is a solid outift to consider. Note -- hotel rooftop bars will not help you prepare for the altitude sickness that afflicts so many travelers to the region. Take it slow, snowman spier, and let yourself acclimatize.
5. Sasquatch: Pacific Northwest, U.S.
Want to give American Bigfoot some jerky and see what happens? Then you'd best hit the Pacific Northwest, as 'squatch has been "spotted" all over the mountains and woods of Portland and Washington.
While you're there: Recreate the last leg of Lewis and Clark's journey, augmented by strip clubs and craft breweries that L&C would've killed for back in the day.
4. Mermaids: Israel
Mermaids are a little harder to pin-down, but if you're serious about spotting one (and then capturing her and touring the world with her as a sideshow attraction), Kiryat Yam, Israel's your best bet. They've had so many unconfirmed mermaid sightings of late that local government's offered up a $1m reward for the first actual photo of one.
While you're there: Kiryat Yam's pretty much a mermaid-only town, but it does have nice nice urban development going on in the Haifa District.
3. Bunyip: Australia
Yeah, we hadn't heard of the Bunyip either, but apparently peeps in southeastern Australia have been talking about the quasi water-based man eater for centuries, as its lore's engrained in Aboriginal mythology.
While you're there: The southeastern third of Australia is known as the "viticultural super zone", meaning there's plenty of options for you to add world-class wines to your Bunyip hunting.
2. Nandi Bear: Kenya
You probably know the Nandi Bear better as the "Ngoloko", right? RIGHT?! Anyway, the massive, man-eating hyena-bear hybrid's reported to have roamed western Kenya for the past two centuries.
While you're there: There's an ancient fortress-turned-tourist-attraction on the coast of Mombasa called Ft. Jesus, which's full of cannon and gun turrets, making it Fort Jesus in name-only.
1. Loch Ness Monster:
Also in Cleveland Scotland
The Scottish highlands produced more than just the radical '80s Brit sci-fi flick Highlander and the sensible/ affordable line of mid-sized SUVs it inspired; they are home to Loch Ness, the stomping grounds of sea-serpent Nessie.
While you're there: Turns out Loch Ness is also where you'll find Fiddler's, the best malt whisky bar in all of Scotland. After a few you may have an easier time spotting the LNM, though a more challenging time remembering where your hotel is.