Alex CF, curator and custodian of The Merrylin Cryptid Collection graciously answered questions about this super unique and eccentrically bizarre collection. Oddity collectors and curiosity seekers enjoy! Be sure and check out the slideshow to see specimens of Alex CF.
What is your favorite specimen in The Merrylin Cryptid Collection?
I don't think I have a favourite specimen, each piece is unique and contains its own story, how it came to be there, those who trod through dank forests in Scandinavia, sat for days in hides waiting for that illusive moment that some forgotten species might grace them with it presence, only to be quickly shot, bagged and sent to Merrylin for dissection and study. I guess the pieces that frighten me are those which challenge our understanding of history. We have a number of items that appear far older than human civilization and yet are very much intelligently made. Its thrilling to wonder what hands made them.
What are some common misconceptions/inconsistencies you have encountered about the work of Lord Merrylin since your initial involvement with the collection?
The inconsistencies are many - the acres of newsprint within the collection that record his brief flirtation with the public, a tour of America in the 1850's that sparked so much furor, there is no mention of this outside the collection. All of our investigations have garnered no other copies of these articles. The specimens themselves are also hard to place. Outside the collection no specimens of these species exist, and yet these are biological specimens, our analysis of DNA shows distinct unique species.
It’s been noted that the collection has uncovered infant forms of werewolves; what do you say to those who don’t believe in Werewolf’s?
We have many lycanthrope specimens in the collection, from infant forms to adults, we have a number of adult males and females, preserved. The Lycanthrope is an offshoot of australopithecus, we share a common ancestor. The Lycanthrope are nomadic, solitary and to my knowledge possibly extinct. Its not my job to convince people of their existence, we have exhibited a number of large specimens before which has produced some interesting reactions. Lycanthropes, much like any species wrapped in folklore are simply large mammals that existed in such small numbers, that we had to make up stuff to fill in the blanks. Their scarcity is also out fault, their notoriety may stem from our fear of those that might see us as food. We're good at wiping out anything that could eat us.
Can you describe the difference (if there is one) between one who shape-shifts into a wolf and an actual werewolf?
Nothing can shape-shift into a wolf, its biologically impossible. There is no genetic similarity between wolves and Lycanthropes, besides the fact they are both mammals. Its simply aesthetic. They are hairy, which is caused by hypertrichosis, to aid in maintaining homeostasis in the wild. Lycanthrope have distended jaws to fit the teeth, humans have useless herbivorous jaws, the augmentation of the skull by the lycanthrope virus is to make the animal more suitable for a carnivorous diet. Shapeshifting is folklore, and possibly stems from those infected with the lycanthrope virus, a horrifically long, agonizing affair in which bone and muscles realign and grow, that usually kills the host.
Lord Merrylin also collected artifacts from Vampyr cultures; the Vampire’s popularity continues to thrive and enchant popular culture, any insights into the Vampire’s enduring allure?
Mortality I imagine. Humans are very good at obsessing over the concept of living preternaturally long, devising heavens and afterlives for thousands of years. What would it be like to be a 16th century person living now? Imagine all the knowledge you would have acquired. Its also very romantic, but is also completely devoid of any reality.The Vampyr that Merrylin researched were mainly librarians, their thirst only for knowledge. Beyond that the feral Vampyr are violent vicious creatures that have no desire to ponce around in elizabethan costume and I don't think any of them were trying to date girls hundreds of years their junior.
What does being brave mean to you?
Seeking knowledge even if it will upset you or others around you. Charles Darwin was brave.
Where can my readers find more about The Merrylin Cryptid Collection online?
You can find out all about his work at www.alexcf.com