The chupacabra or chupacabras is a creature said to inhabit parts of the Americas. It is associated particularly with Puerto Rico (where it was first reported), Mexico, and the United States, especially in the latter's Latin American communities.
The name which translates literally from Spanish as "goat-sucker", comes from its reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Physical descriptions of the creature vary. Sightings began in Puerto Rico in the early 1990s, and have since been reported as far north as the Carolinas and as far south as Chile.
Though some argue that the chupacabra may be a real creature, mainstream scientists and experts generally contend that the chupacabra is a legendary creature, or a type of urban legend.
The legend of los Chupacabras began in about 1992, when Puerto Rican newspapers El Vocero and El Nuevo Dia began reporting the killings of many different types of animals, such as birds, horses, and as its name implies, goats. At the time it was known as El Vampiro de Moca since some of the first killings occurred in the small town of Moca. While at first it was suspected that the killings were done randomly by some members of a satanic cult, eventually these killings spread around the island, and many farms reported loss of animal life. The killings had one pattern in common: each of the animals found dead had two punctured holes around their necks.
Soon after the animal deaths in Puerto Rico, other animal deaths were reported in other countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Brazil, the United States and, most notably, Mexico.
Both in Puerto Rico and Mexico, El Chupacabra gained urban legend status. Chupacabras stories began to be released several times in American and Hispanic newscasts across the United States, and chupacabras merchandise, such as t-shirts and baseball hats, was sold.
The chupacabra is generally treated as a product of mass hysteria, though the animal mutilations are sometimes real. Like many cases of such mutilations, however, it is been argued that they are often not as mysterious as they might first appear.
Certain South American rain forest natives believe in the "mosquito-man", a mythical creature of their folklore that pre-dates modern chupacabras sightings. The mosquito-man sucks the blood from animals through his long nose, like a big mosquito. Some say mosquito-man and chupacabras are one and the same.
Notable sightings in the United States include one reported by multiple eye-witnesses in Calaveras County, California, and at a recent birthday celebration of a Development Team member of a local charity in Houston, Texas. According to these reports, the creature was sighted for the first time in the early to mid 1990s, harming animals of different species - although it is now thought that people did this themselves.
In July of 2004, a rancher near San Antonio, Texas, killed a hairless, dog-like creature (the Elmendorf Creature) that was attacking his livestock. It was later determined to be a canine (most likely a coyote) of some sort with demodectic mange. In October of 2004, two animals which closely resemble the Elmendorf creature were observed in the same area. The first was dead, and the second was noticed by a local zoologist who was called to identify the animal while she was traveling to the location where the first was found. Specimens were studied by biologists in Texas; the creatures are thought to have been canines of undetermined species with skin problems and facial deformities.
El Chupacabra has often been spotted in Michigan, a recent sighting occurring in Grand Haven. A forty-two year old man said he saw it suck the blood out of a cat.
A famous appearance in the city of Varginha, Brazil, (see Varginha incident) is sometimes attributed to the chupacabras, the phenomenon is more frequently associate with extraterrestrials. In 1997, was an explosion of Chupacabra cases in Brazil, were reported in Brazilian newspapers, one report coming from police officer, who claimed to get a nauseous feeling when he saw a dog-like chupacabra in a tree.
Recently, there has been a spate of El Chupacabra sightings in the United States, specifically in the suburbs of Washington DC and outside of the Philadelphia area. However, controversy exists whether these Chupacabra sightings are legitimate; some contend El Chupacabra is simply a beagle named Sophie Peanuts.
Descriptions of the physical appearance of each specimen can resemble descriptions of other specimens, or differ from other descriptions. These creatures' different incarnations are described in details that make it impossible that these different descriptions are the result of conflicting perceptions. Therefore, the Chupacabra may be several species, or several breeds of one or more species. Although they have different appearances, Chupacabras are typically 3 ft. (1 m) or taller, they are roughly humanoid in shape as they are bipedal with 2 arms, and are described as otherworldly creatures.
Usually, Chupacabras are said to appear in three specific forms:
- The first and most common: a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly
greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. It stands approximately
3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion as a kangaroo. In at
least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or
panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and is said to
hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as to leave a sulfuric stench behind.
- The second variety appears to bear a resemblance to a wallaby and a dog standing on it is
hind legs. It stands and hops as a kangaroo, and it has coarse fur with greyish facial hair.
The head is similar to a dog's, and its mouth has large teeth.
- The third form is simply that of a strange breed of wild dog that is mostly hairless, has a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually pronounced eye sockets, teeth, and claws, but is otherwise a typical canine. This animal is said to be the result of interbreeding between several populations of wild dogs, though enthusiasts claim that it might be an example of a dog-like reptile. The account during the year 2001 in Nicaragua of a chupacabras corpse being found supports the conclusion that it is simply a strange breed of wild dog. The alleged corpse of the animal was found in Tolapa, Nicaragua, and forensically analyzed at UNAN-Leon. Pathologists at the University found that it was just an unusual-looking dog. There are very striking morphological differences between different breeds, from which wild dogs generally descend. These can easily account for the strange characteristics.
Some reports claim the chupacabra's red eyes have the ability to hypnotize and paralyze their prey—the prey animal is mentally stunned, allowing the chupacabras to suck the animal's blood at its leisure. The effect is similar to the bite of the vampire bat or certain snakes or spiders that stun their prey with venom. Unlike conventional predators, the chupacabras sucks all the animal's blood (and sometimes organs) through a single hole or two holes.
The Chupacabra is also a center of theories of sorts.
- It is described as being like gargoyles, and it has been theorized that the creatures
were seen in Medieval Europe. The theory states gargoyles were carved to resemble them, to keep
the public afraid of any place with gargoyles.
- It is also a theory that Chupacabras are alien creatures. Chupacabras are widely described as otherworldly, and on a certain witness report, NASA may be involved. The witness reported that NASA passed through an area in Latin America, with a trailer that was thought to contain an incarcerated creature.
- In the series The Venture Bros., in episode 1-01 "Dia de los Dangerous", a
Chupacabra is said to be an urban legend only to appear later.
- The episode El Mundo Gira of the TV series X-Files is about a man believed to be El Chupacabra
(an issue of the Topps comic book based on the FOX series also featured the Chupacabra).
- In November of 2005 the Sci-Fi Channel aired a movie called Chupacabra, about a beast killing
on a cruise ship.
- An episode of Dexter's Laboratory had the Chupacabra as one of Dexter's experiments (which
he named Charlie) that escaped to South America. Throughout the episode, Dexter could not remember
the creature's purpose until the end, when he realizes that he created Charlie to scare Dee Dee.
- An episode of Jackie Chan Adventures also featured the Chupacabra. In the show, the Chupacabra
only came out at night and attacked the live-stock in its area. If the Chupacabra bit or scratched
a person, he or she would become a Chupacabra ala the Werewolf.
- Canadian punk-pop bank Chixdiggit recorded a song by the name of "Chupacabra".
- A monster named El Chupanibre appeared in an episode of the TV Series Futurama.
- In an episode of Maya & Miguel, the twins claimed that they had a Chupacabra as a pet,
and tried to trick the whole town into believing them before they realized that the REAL Chupacabra
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy Billy found a supernatural video
documentery on the Chupacabra which summons the Chupacabra from the T.V. screen to suck out
the viewer's brain each time the video is played.
- In an episode of Mucha Lucha, The Flea tried to use a hair grow formula to sport a new hairstyle
and ended up being mistaken for the Chupacabra, angering the real Chupacabra and ending in a
battle with it.
- In an early episode of Red vs Blue, "Chupathingy" (a derivative of "Chupacabra")
is suggested as a name for the Warthog.
- In an episode of Invader Zim (Game Slave 2), Gaz tells Dib there is a chupacabra in the parking
garage of the mall, to get rid of Dib, to which Dib replys, "But there isn't a goat to
feed on for miles."
- In an episode of American Dad, father Stan and daughter Hayley engage in back-and-forth
insults and Stan eventually resorts to calling Hayley "chupacabra!" Hayley's response
is to ask "I am the Mexican Bigfoot?"
- Mentioned in the 2006 iTunes Video Podcast of "Ask a Ninja"
- A comic book version of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror featured a story of a Chupacabra that escaped Professor Frink's lab and killed off almost all of the regulars at Moe's Tavern.