This thread is ripped off of heavily based on BloodSphere's ghost encounters thread, so if the two would be better off as one thread, then I apologize for cluttering up the Internet a little bit more.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here's the topic of this thread. Basically, if you've never heard of Bigfoot, then you've heard of the Loch Ness Monster, and if you've never heard of either then clearly you must live in sub-Saharan Africa or central Asia and in that case you've surely heard of Mokele-Mbembe or Yeti. My point is that cryptids are everywhere, and all the mythical beasts I just mentioned are cryptids. A cryptid is a life form living on this planet that the scientific community has not fully recognized. These can range from animals officially deemed extinct (pterosaur, thylacine, dinosaur), to unconfirmed but plausible animals (onza, orang-pendek, misplaced "alien" animals), to mythological figures awash in various descriptions and legendary status (chupacabra, Jersey devil, Mothman). Due to society's ability to greatly influence what people interpret as the things they see, more people may have seen some "weird thing" than you might think, including myself. My presumption is that if I've personally seen something of at least somewhat questionable identity, then some of you have as well. I'll give you my account of what I saw in 2009 to start.

One day in 2009, living in the suburbs of a considerably sizable Floridian city, I was in my family's back yard. Our yard had a fence around it, and on the other side of the fence was a drainage ditch. On the other side of this ditch were the fences of other houses. On the opposite side of the ditch from where I was standing, I saw an animal resting in some shade. It was tan in color and fairly large for something that was just hanging out in a suburban neighborhood. It lifted its head and I had a sort of conflict of senses: its snout was long and dog-like, but the size of its head compared to its body was more cat-like. I went inside and came back out with my family and a pair of binoculars. I looked at it through the binoculars and saw that its head was the same dark beige as the rest of its body except for a small dark area near its nose. Then it got up on its four legs and walked out of the shade with a distinctly feline gait; lots of shoulder movement. There was little to no difference in color on the belly. It appeared to have thin stripes on the rear half of its torso that got bigger as they got closer to the tail, but they never fully encircled the body and they ended at the hindquarters. The tail was blackened at the tip. It stood next to a fence that was six-and-a-half feet high, so judging by how tall it was compared to the fence, I'd say it was three feet tall at the shoulder and six feet long from the snout to the tip of that tail. All of my remaining thoughts that this thing might have been a canine were eliminated when it jumped onto that fence from a stand-still, walked on top of a storage shed, and hopped down to the yard on the other side of the fence, and that was the last I saw of it.

The size, vaguely dog-like features, and stripes combined with the limber cat-like behavior suggest at first that I saw a Tasmanian tiger (the "thylacine" I mentioned earlier), but Tasmanian tigers lived in Australia and supposedly went extinct in the 1930s, so it's unlikely that I actually saw one. Given its feline behaviors and features as well as its location, I'm pretty much certain that what I saw that day was a Florida panther (the only remaining population east of the Mississippi River of the animal also known as the mountain lion, the puma, and the cougar). Still, my memory of those stripes on the hindquarters and my inability to find any reports of a panther wandering into a neighborhood in my area in 2009 leave me confused, and that's why I'm telling you this story. And even if it's essentially doubtless that what I saw was a Florida panther, it's still a story I like telling.

Have you ever seen a weird thing? Did a sasquatch raid your picnic, or did a chupacabra suck your goat? If so, tell me here.