Monday, November 1, 2010

Chupacabra: Wile E. Coyote with Scabies?

I found this article especially interesting because the protagonist of the novel I'm working on for NaNoWriMo is a cryptozoologist. Also interesting is the comments section, where people point out that there aren't any coyotes in Puerto Rico.

My own state has had quite a problem with mange; fox and coyote populations have been decimated by it. But there haven't been any chupacabra reports around here.

Do I believe in chupacabras? No. Do I think people are mistaking mange-ridden coyotes for a monster? No. But I find the whole idea intriguing. As a horror writer, I love to imagine the possibilities.

Among the more interesting points:

1) Chupacabras are a recent development. Unlike Bigfoot and The Loch Ness monster, these reports don't have a lengthy history. "Sightings" of other cryptozoology staples (like Bigfoot) often date far back into the oral storytelling of a region.

2) Chupacabras have a fairly limited range, with sightings occurring mostly in Latin America. Bigfoot and Loch Ness-type monster have been "sighted" in many countries and on almost every continent.

3) Some people in Puerto Rico believe chupacabras are actually animals created in a secret government lab on the island. So this particular cryptozoological creature also falls under the conspiracy theory mythos (thus blending two of my favorite topics; who doesn't love the idea of secret government labs!)

What do you think? Chupacabra: Real or Wily Coyote with a rash?

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