There are several legendary creatures around the world which are part of local legends and lore. Scotland has “Nessie”, the Loch Ness monster; North America has Saasquatch, also known as Bigfoot; and in Asia a similar creature is called the Yeti. In Latin America, they have the scariest one of all: El Chupacabras. The difference between these and other mythological creatures is that, in those areas, some people believe that the monsters are alive today and hiding from us. While Nessie and Bigfoot tend to keep to themselves and don’t interfere with human affairs, El Chupacabras strikes fear into the hearts of people in Central and South American countries.
What is El Chupacabras?
The name Chupacabras (or Chupacabra) means “goatsucker” (from chupar: to suck and cabra: goat). It is believed that the monster comes originally from Puerto Rico. There have been different reported sightings in many countries dating back to the 50s, and some of the creature’s features seem to be common to most of them:
The monster is between 4-6 feet tall, it walks on its hind legs, and it has claws and big red glowing eyes. Some people mention quills or spines running down its back. It is also capabe of flying using wing-like extensions of his upper limbs.
You can see a mural depicting the Chupacabras in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
El Chupacabras attacks livestock, usually goats, but also cows, sheep, horses, chickens and dogs. It makes incisions into its victim’s bodies, like a vampire, and sucks all their blood dry. The mark left by El Chupacabras is three small holes making a small triangle. Some of the animals have also been found horribly mutilated, or with some of their organs missing. Sometimes it attacks a large number of animals at the same time.
Is El Chupacabras real? There are different theories that explain the attacks from a scientific perspective. In some cases, the attacks could have been done by a larger, more natural animal, like coyotes or panthers. In other cases, it could have been staged by humans as a hoax. No scientific evidence supports the existence of El Chupacabras. Its legend, however, still haunts the imagination of many people across Latin America, just like some people still choose to belive in Nessie or Bigfoot.