Today we will introduce you to one of the most popular urban legends in the world of the strange, the mysterious creature called Chupacabra. Let’s start at the beginning, what does “chupacabra” literally mean? Well, if we take the Spanish translation, it means “goat sucker”. Concerning the description of this creature, there are two that stand out:

The first one gives this animal, an “extraterrestrial” origin. According to testimonies, this creature is between 1m and 1m60 tall. It would look like a reptile with smooth, scaly skin and/or covered with grey or even brown hair. It usually stands on these two hind legs and would most often move by jumping like a kangaroo. Concerning her head, she would have a larger size than the rest of the body with large red eyes and many fangs. It is also known to leave behind a strong and unpleasant smell of sulphur.

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However, the physical appearance of this creature differs from one testimony to another, so it is difficult in this description to really know what it would look like. Indeed, some say that she has blue eyes, that there are two holes in her nostrils, that she has no hair and that she has two rounded marks on the back of her rump. As you will have understood, we are not sure of the reliability of its physical description, but we know nevertheless if we refer to the urban legend, that it would be able to fly like a bat and that it would move with such prodigious speed that even the human eye would not notice its presence. According to this legend, it would even still have supernatural virtues that would allow it to hypnotize its prey and hide itself in the scenery by changing color like a chameleon. Many people think that it would look exactly like the so-called alien in Roswell’s case.

The second version of the description of chupacabra would suggest a more “rational” approach. Indeed, some people would give it a canine appearance. It would be a very strange dog without hair that would look strangely like a reptile with a split tongue like that of snakes.


First reports of chupacabra:

If we are now interested in the apparitions of chupacabra, the origin of its discovery seems to lie in Latin America, more precisely in Mexico and on the island of Puerto Rico. However, there have already been many reports in other countries such as Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and even on the African continent.

The first mention of this creature dates back to 1975, when a whole herd of wildly mutilated animals was found in the village of Moca in Puerto Rico. Analysis of the bodies revealed the presence of circular incisions around their necks, which would have drained their blood, causing their death slowly and gradually. This miscellaneous fact has launched two theories on the island according to which it could be a vampire, or if one remains Cartesian, an act committed by a satanic sect.

Subsequently, between 1992 and 1995 in particular, chupacabras attacks multiplied and always under the same circumstances described above. The only difference is that he was seen by an eyewitness, a woman named Madelyne Tolentino who gave a detailed description of the animal that appeared to be similar to that of the “extraterrestrial” creature in 1995. Here is the sketch according to Madelyne’s words:


The records then seem to continue to progress since in 1996, three Brazilian women claimed to have seen the creature near Varginha and strangely enough, again the description is closer to the alien creature than the animal. In addition, the creature would have been reported at the same time as there was a report in the area of a UFO.

In the early 2000s, the presence of chupacabras began to be recorded in other countries outside Latin America. As mentioned above in Namibia, but also in the United States, Australia, Russia and even the Philippines. However, in these cases, the creature descriptions were more dissimilar.

Some people think that chupacabra is actually just any dog, more precisely a chow-chow crossing or following the morphology of the animal from an Akita crossing.

Whatever the hypotheses on the supposed physical description of the chupacabra, the various governments do not seem to believe that it could be an extraterrestrial creature or an animal species not recognized by the science most often called hybrid. Their official response is that attacks on livestock are carried out by carnivorous animals such as jaguars, pumas or packs of wild dogs. They also do not exclude the fact that these attacks are of human origin and that they were carried out by members of a particular sect or deranged people, even if, in view of the various autopsies carried out on the bodies of the animals found drained of their blood, it is totally impossible that it was one or more men who would have succeeded in a short space of time in decimating an entire herd and with perfect precision.

Moreover, the few rare pictures taken of the chupacabra are all essentially hoaxes and serve to further fuel the thesis of an urban legend. Other studies on the mysterious animal have been conducted by scientists who are known for the most part to be confirmed skeptics. According to the latter, chupacabra is simply a coyote suffering from sarcoptic mange (a contagious parasite explained by the proliferation of the horny layer of dogs by a crusty and itchy skin disease). Here is a picture of a coyote suffering from sarcoptic mange:


Others say that the analyses carried out on the bodies of the animals, victims of the so-called chupacabra, have never really been carried out in a serious way because, for veterinarians, three-quarters of the mutilations observed at the time of the autopsies were explained by the predators’ eating habits.

In short, you will understand that several camps are opposed on the urban legend of the chupacabra, those who are convinced that it is an extraterrestrial creature for ufologists or an animal species not recognized by cryptozoologists, and the most sceptical who will indicate that this “mysterious creature” is in fact a canine suffering from a disease…

Front page image credit: Randy Turnbow

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John Sinclair

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