Back in 2006, a London orphanage was slated for demolition. During the inspection, a sealed basement was uncovered with thousands of wooden crates inside. Upon further examination, it was found that the crates contained thousands of oddities, artifacts, rare specimens, and mysterious diaries. The items, which can only be described as completely bizarre and maybe even slightly unsettling, are weird enough, but the story behind them might be weirder still.
Today, the collection is known as the Merrylin Cryptid Collection. It was named after the original collector, Thomas Theodore Merrylin, a British aristocrat and naturalist from the 1800s.
Merrylin traveled far and wide to procure these specimens, many of which showed species previously considered only mythological. He was the subject of some scrutiny when he still looked like a 40-year-old man in his 80s, and some accused him of using dark arts to prolong his life.
Then, he suddenly disappeared from public view until 1942, when a man claiming to be Thomas Theodore Merrylin donated a sizeable London house to an orphanage, under the conditions that the house never be sold and the basement never be opened. Recently, the orphanage was dissolved and the basement (and its incredible contents) were found by accident during the demolition process.
Even though the real Merrylin would have been over 160 years old in 1942, the donor appeared to be in his 40s. Most people at the time simply assumed he was simply a relative with the same name, but could it have been Merrylin himself?
Alex CF, the curator of the collection, certainly seems to think so. He says that Merrylin’s diaries contain references to all kinds of advanced ideas such as quantum physics and theories on multiple universes – ideas that didn’t even exist back then and that we are only just exploring now.
What’s even more interesting is how Merrylin’s diaries seem to establish a scientific basis for some of the mythological specimens in his collections.
For instance, he speculates that modern man’s earliest ancestor, Australopithecus, may have encountered a symbiotic virus that led to the development of two subspecies of humans – Homo Lupus (aka werewolves) and Homo Vampyrus (vampires). Rather than mythical, supernatural beasts, he believes that certain characteristics of the virus mutated their physiologies in real ways.
They say that magic is just science we haven’t understood yet, so could Merrylin have been on to something? Could the pervasiveness of these types of myths in nearly every culture around the world have had some foundation in truth?
Scientists did recently find evidence of the existence of a prehistoric unicorn (albeit, it was more rhino than horse), so could it be that along with Homo Neanderthal, another subspecies with extra long canines evolved and died out in the early days of mankind?
Along with various hominid remains, the collection also has other specimens, such as this baby dragon. Merrylin believes dragons were merely offshoots of dinosaurs that managed to linger for a while.
While most of the specimens are cool to look at, some are definitely a little unsettling.
The remains of a tiny merman, aka Icthyosapien.
The famed Jackalope, half jackrabbit, half antelope.
To learn more about the Merrylin Cryptic Collection, check out the video below:
NOTE: The works seen above are most likely the works of curator Alex CF, a talented artist and musician who happens to specialize in similarly odd works or art. However, Alex and the Merrylin Cryptid Museum website have certainly gone to great lengths to portray a genuine belief in the validity of the collection. At this point, there is simply not enough information to be sure if this story is any more than a well-crafted narrative by a very talented artist.
Image Credit: https://merrylinmuseum.squarespace.com/