This Creature, Perpetually Mortified

For anyone in or around Wookey Hole, England


Scientific American ran a piece this week by a guy named Darren Naish, a cryptozoology author. If I just used a word you don’t recognize, cryptozoology is a self-proclaimed pseudoscience with the goal of “identifying and describing beings… that are otherwise considered extinct or…from folklore, such as Bigfoot and chupacabras.” In other words: the science of investigating life forms we only have anecdotal evidence of. So let’s say someone says, “I spotted the Loch Ness monster in my pool.” Cryptozoologists try to use what we know about biology and history to either confirm or deny the probability of that claim. In a way, we are all participating in a form of cryptozoology when we fact-check Donald Trump’s tweets. Topical!

Anyway, I bring all of this up because within his piece (which is about the Minnesota Ice Man) Naish includes a personal photograph he took at an exhibit in Wookey Hole, England.

It shows what appears to be an old-timey fair cart housing an impeccably-dressed abominable snowman. My main area of interest, though, is the porthole window at the cart’s side.

“This creature,” it reads above the opening. “Perpetually mortified.”

Has there ever been a more “it me” design choice? Can you imagine, if you will, being able to stick your face into that window and have a friend snap a photo of you with these words elegantly framing it?

I immediately Googled around for more photos of the cart to see if other patrons had the same idea. “That is probably a very popular Wookey Hole snapshot,” I thought. Weirdly, though, my search yielded nothing. Searching “abominable snowman wookey hole” gives you lots of angles of the snowman himself, but nothing when it comes to the cart. “This creature perpetually mortified” is just a bunch of someecards. I tried the Instagram geotag and checked a bunch of different word combinations on Flickr, assuming tourists would be sharing this exact photo over and over again, if only I found the right search terms. Again, though, nothing. Is it possible that… no one gives a shit about this cart? Or has the cart maybe been retired? Certainly people out there aren’t just… not finding this funny.

I reached out to the Wookey Hole Caves visitors center for comment, but have yet to hear back. In the meantime, if you live near Wookey Hole or happen to be there and would like to do some light recon for me, I’d really love to know if this cart is currently on display in their fine establishment. Perpetually Mortified is simply too good a tagline—bless the hypothetical carnival employee who thought of it.