At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


HOW DO REINDEER FLY?

Where, you might sometimes wonder, did people get the idea that Santa's reindeer flew?  Some books will tell you that it derives from the notion that the Norse god Thor had a wagon pulled by flying goats.  However, I think a more likely answer is to be found in Finland.  Here they believed that Old Man Winter flew through the air in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.  What, I hear you ask, is the origin of this belief?  Finnish shamans probably induced an ecstatic condition in which they believed they were flying by ingesting fly agaric mushrooms; but these have an unhappy side effect, in that they make you throw up.  Reindeer, however, consume these mushrooms without any such results and, if you then drink their urine, you will undergo the illusion that you are flying through the air.  In this, I  think, we probably have the origin of how reindeer and flying came to be associated.  If you don't believe me, next time you're shopping, buy a bottle of reindeer urine and try it out.

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