Chupacabras, also known as Mexican Goat Suckers, are a recent addition to the world of cryptozoology. Those who have seen the creatures firsthand describe them in very different ways. Some believe that chupacabras are aliens or vampires. Others believe that chupacabras are merely dogs or coyotes with sarcoptic mange or other extreme skin conditions. What do you think? Here are thirteen engaging facts about our favorite bloodsucking pest - the chupacabra.
The legend of the chupacabra began in 1987 when Puerto Rican newspapers reported mass deaths in the local livestock population. The animals were drained of their blood through circular incisions in their flesh. Soon afterward, the deaths spread throughout Central and South America.
Upon hearing of the attacks, Puerto Rican comedian Silverio Perez dubbed the creatures "chupacabras", Spanish for "goat suckers".
The first eyewitness account came from Angela Laje of Puerto Rico, who said the creature "looked like it belonged to the monkey family." Since then, chupacabra attacks have been reported in Russia, India, Central, South, and North America.
Though they are called "goat suckers",
chupacabras have been accused of killing chickens, pigs, horses, birds, and even attacking human beings.
The chupacabras' appearance varies widely. One common variety is the lizard-man hybrid, which resembles a typical "grey" alien. Other chupacabras have been described as hopping creatures that look like kangaroos or wallabies. Still others look like strange canine creatures with large fangs.
Most eyewitness accounts describe chupacabras as spiny, winged creatures with large, red, hypnotic eyes. They are said to suck their victims' blood through holes made by fangs, claws, or even sharp tongues!
The Internet propelled the chupacabra to fame. Chupacabras saw their peak popularity from 1997 to 2001, but purported photos and videos continue to surface on popular video networking sites.
In 1995, sixty-nine chickens, goats, and ducks were killed in Florida. The manner of their deaths suggested a chupacabra attack.
In 2006, MosNews reported that the chupacabra had been sighted in Russia. Thirty-two turkeys and 30 sheep were reported dead, with all their blood drained. Later that year, the remains of an unidentified canine or rodent were discovered in Maine. The carcass was too badly damaged to be properly identified, but some believe that it was a chupacabra.
The Onion published a satirical article featuring Vincente Fox. In the article, he humorously encourages his people by telling them that they have nothing to fear - except El Chupacabra.
A Mexican restaurant in Seattle, WA, is named for the bloodsucking chupacabra.
The chupacabra is featured in several B horror films, including Bloodthirst, Bloodthirst 2, and A Mexican Werewolf in Texas.
In July of 2007, Phylis Canion of Cuero, Texas, found three carcasses of animals that she believed to be chupacabras. The creatures' DNA was sent to Texas State University-San Marcos for testing.