Tracking ‘Strange Beasts of China’ With Booze, Smokes and Sleuthing

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By Stephen Kearse

STRANGE BEASTS OF CHINA
By Yan Ge
Translated by Jeremy Tiang

The word “cryptozoology” has an aura of scientific rigor, evoking decoded gene sequences and immaculately preserved fossils. In practice, though, it’s a pseudoscience focused on human myths. To reach the Minotaur — be it Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster — the cryptozoologist navigates a labyrinth of hearsay, conjecture and hallucination. The journey is inevitably inward; the Minotaur is always us.

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