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.

Monday 25 April 2016


A number of accounts I have come across relate to people finding the manes of their horses plaited and have ascribed this to Bigfoot.  However, in Europe similar plaiting was widely ascribed to otherworldly beings such as Wights and Elves.

In fact, the origin of such plaiting can be explained without having recourse to any of these beings.  It is caused by a disorder called Polish plait.  This disorder (Latin Plica polonica) is caused by damage to the outer cuticles of the air, allowing the cortices of the strands to intertwine.

Why was it called Polish plait?  The Germans thought for some reason it was associated with the River Vistula in Poland and so called it Weichselzopf (Vistula plait).  However, it later became clear it was not necessarily of Polish origin.  In English hair plaited in this way is called "elflocks" showing how it was supposedly connected with otherworldly beings.

Plica polonica

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