Workers scheduled to demolish a London townhouse were surprised to find an abandoned cellar, sealed for decades behind long-forgotten brick walls. When they broke through the brick, they discovered dusty crates containing more than 5,000 bizarre artifacts and purported specimens of fantastic flora and fauna, including faeries, dragons and dinosaurs.

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The specimens belong to the collection of naturalist Lord Thomas Merrylin, born in 1782, who dedicated his life to exploring scientific theories that are still unexplained today. Merrylin was an enigmatic man who studied quantum mechanics and other areas of science and mathematics for which there weren't even terms at the time. His work and collection have inspired the intrigue of some modern scientists; in 2006, a trust was created to finance the study of the rediscovered crates and their odd contents. 

Species documented in Merrylin's work include what he called Larva non volucris, a type of wingless faerie believed to be a low-ranking "foot soldier" of the faerie world. 



Another specimen is a small skeleton; the species is unspecified, but the large head and underdeveloped limbs suggest that the specimen is fetal.


Several specimens are dragon-like. The Merrylin Cryptid Museum claims that this species had glands in the throat that secreted a substance which would ignite when exhaled. This specimen is believed to have been recovered from Nepal in 1876. 


Many types of dinosaurs were claimed to have been discovered in 1912, in a 30-mile area of the Amazon rainforest. This is specimen is labeled as Sarah, an infant triceratops.


The Merrylin Cryptid Museum website includes photos of the entire collection, including specimens labeled as vampires, werewolves, gnomes and more. The site also details what is known of Merrylin himself, including his inexplicable youthfulness and extraordinary long life. 

Of course, many people dismiss at least some of the information as a hoax. The collection is not open to the public, and no peer-reviewed scientific findings have been published. But no matter what you believe, the story of Merrylin and his collection makes for a fascinating read. 

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