Mysterious observations on iNat?

Similar to my question about cryptids on iNat… are there any observations you’ve seen that just cannot be rationally explained? Anything regarding uncertainty around the appearance of the animal, the behaviour of the animal, even the genus of the animal. Would love to hear some feedback!

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Some of the stuff in the WeirdWildWonders project probably still qualifies. At least in terms of “uncertainty around the appearance of the animal”.

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I have a weird track observation. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102954485

I have no idea what it is beyond that it was something that was probably big. In the comments I explain that I don’t know a human explanation for the track either, since it was on my private property and nobody should’ve been there. I didn’t include in the comments that the area this was in was very secluded area at the very top of a hill, so it seemed unlikely for a person to be able to get all the way up there without us noticing. They were definitely tracks from something because there was a clear path it took, right into a densely wooded area on the other side of the hill. I don’t even know what to think about it at this point.

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That looks like a basic double register bear track with one of the feet having dragged in the snow, leaving that pointed base.

That’s not at all uncommon. Difficult to find photos of it online as people tend to take photos of nice clean tracks, not messy ones, but the closest one in this stock image shows the kind of drag I’m talking about.

A wedge shaped heel track is not uncommon and double register tracks can look weird.

In Vermont and in California I’ve seen bear tracks in the snow, and in both areas, as well as Alaska I’ve seen ones in the mud that look almost identical to your post. I don’t see much, if any, mystery here.

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Yeah I’m not a great tracker but I’d say bear. They do all sorts of strange things. And they don’t read no trespassing signs.

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I thought it was bear too but I tend to trust other people’s word in situations that I’m not terribly well-versed in. This was a situation like that. The fact that there was any opposition to it being a bear made me throw the possibility out the window because I simply don’t know as much as the people who commented.

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Honestly, I’m kind of shocked that there is any debate on it in that comment thread, especially by someone who has “bear tracker” as their username. I get wanting to be cautious about identifications, but that’s a pretty clear-cut case.

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Why does this have a trunk?

(The species does not have a trunk normally.)

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Not uncommon in burned individuals. In the last image on the left there are some other examples of this.

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That yucca is wild. It does look like whipleii but I’ve never seen one get that tall and woody. Maybe it grew within another taller shrub or something.

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@ajandro , in terms of cryptids, there’s also some jackalopes (in a sad, not fun way): https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/783135-Kappapapillomavirus-2

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This thing is absolutely a cryptid:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/91929657

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A friend of mine caught this on his trail camera

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Haha, amazing. Looks like a hymenopteran abdomen real close to the lens.

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To me, it looks like the back end of an animal with a fluffy tail, but that’s just me.

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That has nothing on this (part of me stiill thinks it’s a toy/prop):
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8074287

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BTW, I forgot: there was a similar thread in the past. @ajandro , this might interest you:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/cryptid-sightings-on-inat/16652/

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That one was also made by me, lol.

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We actually managed to get it IDed, believe it or not! We got some experts on the case and we’ve got it down to a Grey Fox!

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Oops…it sure was!

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