Throughout time we have always told tales of fantastic creatures lurking in the distant corners of the world. Our very society has been shaped by these tales of monsters.
But, what if these beasts are more than mere myth? Here are five mythical creatures which may exist.
Mexican folklore has long told of a terrifying beast, dubbed El Chupacabra, the “goat sucker”. According to legend, these creatures are lightning quick, with viciously sharp fangs and claws. But, it is how they feed that is truly terrifying, being purported to drain their victims of blood like a vampire.
In 1975 the Puerto Rican village of Canovanas came under attack by a creature that locals described as resembling El Chupacabra. 150 animals were dead by the time the carnage finally ended, all of them with strange puncture marks on their bodies.
In 2004, a rancher in Texas noticed that something was killing her chickens, but leaving the bodies uneaten. One morning she saw a strange looking animal lurking near her chicken coop, and she shot it. The creature was unlike anything she’d ever seen. It looked like a dog but was covered in thick grey skin instead of fur. It’s eyes were blue, and it had very long fangs that stuck out of its mouth.
D.N.A tests showed the animal to be a coyote suffering from mange, a parasite which makes animals fur fall out, however, this still does not explain the animals strange killing habits and extra-long teeth.
Is it possible the Chupacabra legend, in fact, originates from known animals that have adopted unusual killing techniques?
The fishermen who work the frigid waters off the coast of British Columbia have told tales for generations about huge creatures living in the water there.
Dubbed “Cadborosaurus”, after Cadboro Bay, where many sightings have occurred. The beast is said to look like a gigantic snake, up to 30 feet long, with a strange, horse shaped head and oddly small flippers. Eyewitnesses say it feeds on fish and swims using an odd up and down motion.
The most compelling evidence for Cadborosaurus existence comes from 1937, when a group of Whalers cut open a sperm whale, only to find a 12-foot-long carcass that was described as “long and elongated; with a head bearing features of a horse, or camel”, very similar to the Cadborosaurus reports.
Unfortunately, the body was later disposed of, although three photographs were taken of the strange creature, and, despite being scrutinised by several marine biologists, nobody can say with any certainty what the unknown remains in the photos belong too.
When European settlers first arrived in North America, they were awestruck by huge pictographs they found painted on cliff sides, depicting giant birds. The native tribes told them stories of giant eagles that were so large that every wingbeat sounded like a thunderclap. They held the Thunderbirds with great reverence.
In 1977 three boys were playing in a backyard in Lawndale, Illinois, when they noticed two large shapes in the sky above them. These shapes then swooped down, revealing themselves to be two very large birds, which then proceeded to chase the boys indoors. One of the birds reportedly grabbed one of the children in its huge claws, and carried him for a short distance, then dropped him, before the two birds flew off. The story made the headlines, with several eyewitnesses confirming the story.To carry a child, the bird must have been much larger than any known species. However, at one point in history, such a bird did exist.
The argentavis was a massive species of vulture that lived-in Ice Age North America. It had a wingspan of 20 feet and would have stood around 5 feet tall. Is it possible some of these giants could have escaped extinction?
Sharks are some of the most fascinating and feared creatures alive today, and for a good reason. They are powerful predators capable of inflicting tremendous damage to humans. Throughout history stories of outsized sharks have been told that are much bigger than normal.
There is a real-life precedent for this. Our seas were once ruled by the infamous megalodon, a 20-metre-long shark that was so powerful it ate whales. This super predator is believed to have died out around 2 million years ago, however, with our oceans being so vast it’s impossible to know just what lives down in the depths.
One of the best pieces of evidence of the existence of giant sharks came from Queensland when a fisherman hooked a 15-foot-long scalloped hammerhead shark. This shark was already very large for its species, but then up from the deep, the fisherman report a tiger shark several times bigger than the hammerhead arrived and tore the fish to pieces, devouring its 15-foot body in a few bites and leaving only its head still attached to the line.
The biggest tiger sharks according to records are around 18 feet long, and the shark that attacked the hammerhead had to be at least this big, and most likely much larger.
One of the most famous of all mythical creatures, the Yeti is a massive, hair-covered beast that is said to roam the Himalayas.
It was made famous in the Western world when climber Eric Shipton discovered a set of unusual human-like footprints on a ridge in 1951 while climbing Mount Everest.
Many searches have been held throughout history to find evidence of the Yeti's existence. However, one of the most recent and significant findings came in 2015, when a hair that was said to have come from a Yeti was DNA tested. The tests revealed that in fact, the hair came from an unknown species of bear.
This finding could mean that the identity of the Yeti is, in fact, a previously unknown species of large bear, which has remained hidden high in the valleys and mountains of the Himalayas.