The Impossible Zoo

An Encyclopedia of Fantastic Beasts and Mythical Monsters

From mermaids to sea serpents, unicorns to griffins and Bigfoot to the Loch Ness Monster, our world has always been full of fabulous beasts, fantastical creatures and mysterious monsters. The Impossible Zoo holds their secrets. From the Abominable Snowman to the Japanese Zuiyo-Maru Monster, it casts its net wide to include monsters from legend, folklore and travellers’ tales across all cultures throughout history to create a truly fantastic encyclopedia. Drawing on the latest research in mythology, folklore and cryptozoology, this book will be at home on the Christmas list, just as much as it will on the curriculum of ‘monster studies’.

Leo Ruickbie’s impeccably-written The Impossible Zoo is a menagerie like no other, as its exotic inhabitants are fabulous in every sense of the word. So for anyone who has ever wished that dragons and unicorns were real, for anyone who believes that they are, and for anyone who peruses bestiaries with unbridled joy, this magical, mystical, and truly memorable book is definitely for you ­- and for me!  – Dr Karl Shuker, author of A Manifestation of Monsters

Ruickbie’s truly outstanding writing has three major sources: his impressive level of scholarship; his determination to seek out strange and mysterious phenomena and pursue them relentlessly, objectively and scientifically; and his great literary skill in presenting his conclusions in readable and attractive prose. In The Impossible Zoo these three factors are clearly present. He is concerned here with what he, himself, describes and defines as parazoology – clearly distinct from cryptozoology. The latter focuses on hidden animal forms: Ruickbie’s parazoology focuses on creatures that are beyond the range of normal zoology. He explains parazoology with great lucidity as the biology of the supernatural, the study of the lives of things that never existed – a study that takes in, for example, mermaids and unicorns. His parazoological specimens were once believed to exist, and they exist now in the world of imagination – a world that can still have profound effects on contemporary life. Ruickbie’s great achievement is to round up these strange beasts and confine them in his Impossible Zoo. The results of his work are truly fascinating and his detailed analysis and descriptions of his multitudinous parazoological specimens are enthralling. I give The Impossible Zoo a very high recommendation indeed. – Revd Lionel Fanthorpe, FRSA, author and President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena



  1. Nuno says:

    Very interested in this one!
    I’ve always wanted to have an encyclopedia of monsters and mythical creatures that was as comprehensive as possible. Even tried to create one myself (including creatures from literature and cinema as well), until I realized how difficult it was…
    Any chances of having a preview of the book’s contents (its layout, presentation, amount of creatures covered…), before its release?
    Also, is there any advantage in pre-ordering the book?

    1. Leo Ruickbie says:

      Thanks for your interest! I’ll be putting up more info as I get it – as you see we’ve only just got the covers finalised. The pages are laid out in two columns and I’ve picked a huge selection of illustrations. If you use the subscribe by email link at the bottom of this page, then you’ll get notifications by email when I put stuff up. And if you pre-order, you’ll be the first to get the book!

      1. Nuno says:

        Thanks for the reply! Your description actually corresponds to the layout I was imagining. I’m assuming all creatures will be listed alphabetically, with about 2 or more entries per page, some with illustrations. Can’t wait to know more about it! Subscribed and also sent a Facebook invitation 🙂

        1. Leo Ruickbie says:

          I’ve just received my author copies in the post – looks fantastic. I’ll blog it later!

          1. Nuno says:

            Cool! Can’t wait to see them!

          2. Nuno says:

            So, only one more week to go! Any chance we may get a preview of the inside before it’s published?

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