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Chupacabra – Bloodsucking Monster of Latin America

Chupacabras are one of the most legendary monsters in modern folklore. Possible sightings of these beasts have been reported in the southern U.S., in Central and South America, and even in China. Often described as a scaly four-legged beast or alien with spikes coming out of its spine, the chupacabra likes to suck the blood out of livestock animals. Is this monster real, and if so – what exactly is it?

What is a Chupacabra?

The chupacabra is typically believed to be a monstrous canine, a giant lizard, or an alien, depending on who you ask. Its name literally translates as goat-sucker in Spanish as that’s what it’s believed to do – suck the blood out of livestock with its monstrous jaws.

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Given the popularity of the chupacabra myth today, you’d assume this is an old native American myth. However, that’s not the case.

The New Monster on The Block

What is Chupacabra Lmonster myth

The first official “case” of a chupacabra sighting was actually recorded in august 1995 in Puerto Rico when “a chupacabra” was blamed for the deaths of 150 farm animals. However, similar cases of blood-drained animals had been recorded across the southern US and Central America from the mid 20th century. The term “chupacabra” hadn’t been invented then.

The profile of the beast has always been consistent. Those who claim to have seen the Chupacabra say that it’s a four-legged canine-like beast with scales instead of fur and a spiky spine. Wild and savage, the perpetrator sucks farm animals dry and moves on to the next victim.

What is the Basis of the Chupacabra Myth?

We’d hate to spoil the horror lovers’ fun but the actual beast behind the chupacabra myth seems to not only be pretty ordinary but to have a rather sad story too.

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While, of course, nothing’s certain, the widely held belief amongst wildlife biologists is that chupacabras are actually just coyotes with mange.


Mange is a nasty condition in canines caused by skin parasites that can be transmitted from one dog to another. At first, mange just causes itchiness, but when it’s left untreated, the skin infections can cause the dog’s fur to fall off, leaving its skin hairless and seemingly “scaly”. The only hair that’s sometimes left is a thin ridge on the back of the spine.

What’s more, mange tends to weaken the poor canine so much that it’s left fragile and unable to hunt its usual prey – small wildlife in the case of coyotes. So, naturally, when coyotes get hit so severely by mange, they switch to farm animals as a more attainable food source.

Besides, this would also explain why the myth of the chupacabra is so new and isn’t part of native American folklore – people back then knew a sick dog when they saw one.

Importance of Chupacabras in Modern Culture

For such a new mythological creature, the chupacabra certainly has become popular in pop culture. Countless horror movies, shows, books, and games have featured a version of this monster over just the last couple of decades.

Some of the most famous examples include the Chupacabra episode in the TV show Grimm, another Chupacabra featured even earlier in the X-files episode titled El Mundo Gira, as well as the Jewpacabra episode of South Park.

In Conclusion

By all accounts, the Chupacabra seems to be a not-so-mysterious monster after all. Almost all evolutionists and zoologists who hear the myth of the Chupacabra immediately reach the conclusion that it’s just a dog or a coyote with mange. That’s a rather unsatisfying and even sad conclusion, of course, but this just might be one of those cases when fact is not stranger than fiction.

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Yordan Zhelyazkov
Yordan Zhelyazkov

Yordan Zhelyazkov is a published fantasy author and an experienced copywriter. While he has degrees in both Creative Writing and Marketing, much of his research and work are focused on history and mythology. He’s been working in the field for years and has amassed a great deal of knowledge on Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Japanese mythology, and others.