Welcome to a carnival unlike anything that you have ever read about, visited, or even imagined before. Here, before your very eyes, you will encounter bizarre, anomalous creatures of every conceivable (and inconceivable!) kind-a veritable menagerie of cryptozoological mysteries to dazzle and delight, tantalize and terrify. For this is Mirabilis-a realm of marvels, wonders, miracles...and monsters! Peer through the shadows and see what you may. Was that scuttling horror a spider the size of a puppy? Did that fallen tree trunk suddenly sprout a pair of alligator jaws? Was that a living toad that leapt out of that split-asunder block of stone? Did those flowers abruptly put forth wings and fly away as tiny birds?
Behold Trunko, the hairy marine elephant-bear that supposedly battled whales off the coast of South Africa almost a century ago. Look around in every direction and witness the very last giant lemurs brought to you from the rainforests of Madagascar, the very same unicorn that was once encountered by Julius Caesar, dinosaur-sized crocodiles from the swamps of the Congo, the elephantine harpoon-tusked sukotyro of Sumatra, gargantuan prehistoric beavers resurrected in modern-day North America, illusive Germanic horned hares and elusive Liberian micro-squirrels, a giant sea snail with antlers and paws from the Sarmatian Sea and a veritable whale-fish from a forgotten Swedish lake, a vanished striped mystery steed from Iberia, enormous toothless freshwater sharks from South America, flying turtles from China and a hippoturtleox from Tibet, sea dragons and pseudo-pterodactyls, and the world's only known tusked megalopedus.
Let us not tarry even a moment longer. The miracles and marvels of Mirabilis await you impatiently inside, to scintillate, spellbind, and stultify your senses. So I bid you welcome, and pray that your visit to this carnival of cryptozoology and unnatural history will be entertaining...and not too perilous!
Born and still living in the West Midlands, England, Karl P.N. Shuker graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in pure zoology, and from the University of Birmingham with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in zoology and comparative physiology. He now works full-time as a freelance zoological consultant to the media, and as a prolific published writer. Shuker is currently the author of 19 books and hundreds of articles, principally on animal-related subjects, with an especial interest in cryptozoology and animal mythology, on which he is an internationally recognized authority, but also including a poetry volume. He is also the editor of the Journal of Cryptozoology, the world's only existing peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to mystery animals. He is a Scientific Fellow of the prestigious Zoological Society of London, and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He is Cryptozoology Consultant to the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and is also a Member of the Society of Authors.