Cryptids, gnomes, trolls, demons, witches — we’re surrounded by stories of these mythical beings more than we realize. Many spiritual and religious ideas come from these surreal concepts.
While the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot are the two most popular and recognizable legends, the bloodsucking Chupacabra has become increasingly popular since its first “sighting” in 1995.
This elusive creature is often the cause of media stirs and is considered the culprit behind unusual livestock deaths.
Want to know more about the intriguing bloodsucking Chupacabra? This nifty guide will quench your curiosity about it!
A Brief History of Legends
Since prehistoric times, folktales, mythology, fables, and legends have added to humanity’s fascination with otherworldly creatures. Deeply ingrained in all kinds of folklore are creatures, demigods, and other beings that are still believed to roam the Earth.
Fantastic as they are, some aspects of legends and folktales can be explained rationally and logically. Meanwhile, some beliefs remain a crucial aspect of our culture that, unbelievable as they may seem, serve to make life more interesting, as all stories do.
Storytelling as a form of art, communication, and entertainment dates back thousands of years. The early cave-dwellers painted spectacular stories on the walls of caves using natural pigments. Ancient tribal ancestors likely sat around fires exchanging tales as they kept watch at night.
While these oral and pictorial/visual storytelling aspects are still popular, they are mostly shared with children attending kindergarten classes. They’re a means to develop young imaginations, encouraging kids to believe in magical, surreal things that can change and shape their perception of the world.
Storytelling in Today’s World
Though storytelling started as a primitive way of building connections and passing the time, the practice has undergone some major transformations.
Stories used to be spoken, remembered, and passed down orally — one person would share magical tales while the group listened. Today, we have books and movies that do the same thing. They tell fascinating tales to the masses but on a much larger scale.
We now look at legends, mythologies, and folktales as fascinating ideas that have little basis in reality. They’re part of our “fiction” collection of films and books. However, these invigorating stories still remain deeply ingrained in our history and culture.
From films to books, myths, legends, and folktales are considered to be archetypes and inspirations that are used in all kinds of creative works. Despite the fact that we no longer spend our time narrating epic tales around fires or painting mythical tales on cave walls, storytelling remains a deep-seated and important aspect of society.
United by Bloodsucking
Across the world, there are thousands of legends and myths. Yet, some are surprisingly similar despite originating from vastly different cultures. This is partly due to the fact that different cultures have similar beliefs that manifest in familiar ways—for example, vampirism.
The notion of vampires has existed for millennia. Mesopotamians, the ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Romans, and even Manipuri cultures featured demons or spirits that were known to drink blood.
These legends gave birth to our modern concept of vampires, one of today’s most popular supernatural creatures. Pop culture films like Twilight and Hotel Transylvania have made vampires, especially Dracula, a household name.
Chupacabras have become extremely popular in the vast world of vampirism, especially in certain Latin American communities.
You’ve probably heard the legend of the bloodsucking Chupacabra mentioned at some point, but now it’s time to know exactly what it is!
Chupacabras: Everything You Want To Know About the Bloodsucking Legend
Rooted in the Spanish language, Chupacabra literally translates to “goat-sucker.” “Chupar” means “to suck” and “cabras” refers to “goats.” Chupacabras are so named because of their vampiric nature, whereby creatures attack livestock to drink their blood. The term was coined by a Puerto Rican comedian named Silverio Pérez.
Chupacabras were reportedly first spotted in Puerto Rico in 1995, but there have been alleged sightings as early as the 1970s. In addition, people have reported seeing them in Maine to the north and Chile in the south, making their legendary existence fairly widespread. Chupacabras have been witnessed in countries such as the Philippines and Russia!
Like many mythical creatures, their sightings are often disregarded as anecdotal and lack concrete evidence. Biologists consider the Chupacabra an urban legend, with sightings in northern Mexico and the southern United States that have been verified as canids afflicted by mange.
History of the Chupacabra
“El Vampiro de Moca,” or “the vampire of Moca,” was believed to be the culprit behind livestock killings in the town of Moca in 1975. People first suspected that a satanic cult was behind the deaths. As more killings were reported, small circular incisions on preys’ bodies were found and thought to be the point from which the blood was drained.
In March 1995, the legendary Chupacabra was finally deemed responsible for the killing of eight sheep in Puerto Rico, all of which were drained of blood. Some months after, around 150 pets and farm animals were reportedly killed. Madelyne Tolentino, an eyewitness, said she had seen the creature in the town of Canovanas.
By December 2018, chupacabras had become notorious across the globe. For example, the suspicious killing of domestic animals and poultry in Manipur, India, was attributed to the chupacabras since the manner of killing was similar to the other attacks. There were several reports from people who spotted the creature.
What Are Chupacabras Supposed To Look Like?
Chupacabras are commonly said to be reptilian creatures with leathery, scaly gray-green skin and sharp spines down their backs. They are believed to be around 4 feet tall and move by hopping like a kangaroo.
They are also considered a hairless wild dog breed, with a pronounced spinal ridge, red eyes, and disproportionate eye sockets, claws, and fangs.
A chupacabra is believed to drain livestock’s blood through holes resembling a downwards-facing triangle.
They are also said to have an extremely pungent, sulfur-like odor that helps alert people to their presence as they stroll around on their hind legs.
Are There Any Legends Similar to the Chupacabra?
Chupacabras are considered southern equivalents of another mythical creature known as the sasquatch. The Jersey Devil is regarded as the Chupacabra’s closest “relative.”
Parallels have also been drawn with the legendary Navajo skinwalkers. This is because skinwalkers are believed to disguise themselves as deformed coyotes and wolves, making them similar to chupacabras’ animal form.
Aside from these tribal legends, chupacabras have also been associated with vampires. While vampires are human-like creatures that feed on the blood of humans, chupacabras are thought to be like dogs or coyotes who feed on the blood of livestock.
As mentioned, legends and myths share similarities and overlaps with different cultures and stories worldwide. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the Chupacabra will share familiar themes with other legends, depending on what aspect you focus on. The Philippine Sigbin, Peuchens of Chile, and Ozark Howler are only a few examples.
Chupacabra: Urban Legend or Reality?
In October 2010, the existence of chupacabras came into question. A biologist from the University of Michigan, Barry O’Connor, revealed that the chupacabras in the United States were actually coyotes affected by Sarcoptes scabiei. Moreover, its infestation could lead to physical features commonly associated with the Chupacabra: scanty fur, thick skin, and a foul odor.
O’Connor’s findings explained that coyote attacks on livestock were due to parasite-induced weakness. Their sickness made it difficult for them to hunt and forced them to attack readily available livestock.
In 2011, American writer and skeptic Benjamin Radford shared that Madelyne Tolentino’s chupacabra description reassembled the creature Sil in the sci-fi horror movie “Species,” which was released in 1995. This revelation seriously undermined the credibility of the Chupacabra’s existence and questioned the accuracy of Tolentino’s description.
Furthermore, forensic experts explained that street dogs perpetrated the Manipur killings in India.
The two holes in the prey’s bodies were also explained—the marks corresponded with the canines of carnivorous animals. Meanwhile, the “bled dry” aspect of chupacabra attacks resulted from internal bleeding or circulatory shock that may have killed the animal after being attacked.
The prey was likely left uneaten as the dogs or coyotes lacked the experience or could not kill successfully due to weakness or injuries.
Ultimately, there are reasonable and rational explanations for the Chupacabra’s description and behavior.
However, it’s also completely understandable why people continue to believe in its existence. Science has its limitations and there may be aspects that remain unexplained.
However, we love good stories. It’s easy to see how tales of chupacabras tickle the imagination and make life more interesting. So, for the time being, the plausibility of chupacabras as actual living beings remains.
Perhaps a good compromise for those who don’t know what to believe is to consider diseased coyotes and wild dogs as the equivalent of chupacabras and leave it at that!