Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Chupacabra

Author: Sarah Henagan

The chupacabra, a beast that sucks its victim’s blood and then liquefies its organs, first “arrived” on the scene in Puerto Rico in 1995.  Several farm animals were found dead from, what was said to be a chupacabra’s exsanguination (blood draining) via two puncture wounds located on or near the jugular.  This started a chupacabra craze as farmers claimed that the chupacabra killed their livestock.  The first sighting of the chupacabra, however, wasn’t until five months after the first attack.  The descriptions after sightings ranged from unusual to outrageous, and in the end three definitive physical groups of characteristics surfaced.  The first and best know description is that of a five-foot-tall, two-legged creature with lengthy claws and an easily recognizable row of spikes running down its back.  The second description is of a small creature that looks very much like a coyote or dog.  The third description is a collection of just about anything from kangaroos with wings to dead ocean animals (Radford).  Typically, though, when people refer to the chupacabra, they either mean the five-footed, clawed, spiked beast (Type A) or the dog-like creature (Type B).

Chupacabra Action figure (Type A)
Phylis Canion’s first Chupacabra (Type B)

Most witnesses can agree on a few things: (1) chupacabras are incredible jumpers (which explains the statements that they have back legs much like those of kangaroos), and (2) their eyes glow red as a defense when trapped and cause nausea and vomiting if you were to look into its eyes directly (although I cannot fathom how one could corner a chupacabra in fields and farmlands).  If this tactic were to fail, however, the chupacabra would emit a hiss and produce a deafening scream, then disappear into the underbrush (Brown).
            Since the first sightings in Puerto Rico, the chupacabra became the third most popular cryptid (unidentified animal), and the world started hearing reports of the chupacabra from all over the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, specifically Latin America, Spain, Florida, and Texas (Radford).  As expected the investigations came up with nothing or some common animal, like a dog or a coyote or a mongoose.  In 2007, a farmer in Cuero, Texas, found a strange-looking creature, dead. It had been preying on her chickens and an occasional cat.  She proceeded to freeze its head, and in 2008 MonsterQuest hosts visited her for an episode on the chupacabra.  They took DNA samples from the head and had a laboratory analyze them.  The laboratory reported interesting findings: an X chromosome from a coyote and a Y chromosome from a wolf.  Despite these results, other results from Elmendorf, Texas, and Puerto Rico were merely dogs with scabies that attacked livestock. (MonsterQuest)

 Video of the most recent chupacabra sighting in Cuero, Texas

Personally I believe that the chupacabra is real in the sense that unidentified animals are attacking livestocks; however, I think that the animals result from a coyote-wolf mix, or perhaps inbred coyotes, or common dogs with mange, or most likely, a combination of all of them.  That is it, no more and no less.  I say this because if we look at the information given in the eyewitness descriptions, the Type A chupacabra is highly unlikely to actually exist, whereas Type B chupacabra is more likely to exist just because that is more likely to occur in real life.

Works Cited:
amcintosh32.  “”Chupacabra” Caught On Tape?”  Youtube.  18 Sept. 2012.  Web.  22 Oct. 2012.

Brown, Nathan R.  “Chupacabra.”  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to The Paranormal.  New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2010.  133-134.  Web.  16 Oct. 2012.

Canion, Phylis.  Contributed Photo.  2007.  Cuero, Texas.  Web.  22 Oct. 2012

Chupacabra Action Figure.  n.d.  .  Web.  23 Oct. 2012.

CryptoZooKeepa.  “MonsterQuest – Chupacabra.”  Youtube.  20 Jun. 2012.  Web.  19 Oct. 2012.

Radford, Benjamin.  Tracking the Chupacabra.  University of New Mexico: Albuquerque, 2011.  Print.

Links for Further Research:
This is the episode of MonsterQuest that discusses the history of the chupacabra and details a search for the chupacabra in Cuero, Texas.

Unexplained Stuff
This is an encyclopedia of unusual, unexplained, and paranormal things.

Chupacabra Headquarters
This is the official website for the Cuero chupacabra.

1 comment:

  1. I like the scientific slant here; the final paragraph is very rational and doesn't fall into a sensationalist trap.