“is a pseudoscience and subculture that aims to prove the existence of entities from the folklore record, such as Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, or Mokele-Mbembe”
With a large percentage of the Earth still unexplored it cannot be ignored that there are species somewhere out there that remain elusive. Many creatures are the subject of myth and folklore while sightings and eyewitness reports from all corners of the globe begs the question…..is there something out there, undiscovered, in the wild? And if there is, why have we not got the definitive proof of its existence?
These questions are the foundation of a subculture that dedicate their time to the pseudoscience of cryptozoology which dates back to the 1950s when the phrase was coined by two zoologists, Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson.
The legend of Bigfoot dates back to a time well before there was a single name for the creature. Many cultures have many different names for the creature but they all translate to a common description such as “Wild Man” or “Hairy Man”. The earliest known name is “Salishan” which roughly translates to “the benign-faced-one”.
The name “Bigfoot” is reported to have derived from the names given to 2 massive grizzly bears that were documented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the Bigfoot sightings have been concentrated in the Pacific North West with many of the sightings proven to be hoaxes. With many years of countless sightings one would have to think that there would be some sort of physical evidence that would lend credence to the legend, but, unfortunately, we still wait!
The name “Chupacabra” literally translates into “Goat Sucker”. It’s a legendary creature native to central and South America with the first reported sighting in Puerto Rico in 1995.
It is very difficult to get a grasp on this legend as many descriptions vary and eye-witness accounts are very unreliable as many supposed sightings occurred after dark. It is wildly believed among the scientific community that farmers and goat owners are simply taking the blame away from natural predators and, in doing so, they feel the need to “create” a beast. The most likely culprit is believed to be a dog or a coyote but many rule this out because the victims are not eaten. This conclusion is incorrect as many wild dogs will kill if their territory is invaded.
This water dwelling creature has its roots in the mythology of the Congo River Basin. An early 20th century description resembled that of a dinosaur and a sighting in Rhodesia in 1909 described a half elephant, half dragon and is believed to be a living sauropod dinosaur. It must be noted that many reports have been debunked and were proven to be distant sightings of elephants and even rhinoceroses.
So, why are people so convinced that it exists?
The evidence begins in the 18th century when a French missionary to the Congo found large, clawed footprints but it wasn’t until 1909 when a German game-hunter mentioned it in his book that he was informed of a “dinosaur-like beast” roaming the Congo basin. These stories attracted “expeditions” which spanned the next hundred years resulting in many false sightings mentioned earlier.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the earth is made up of vast landmasses that still remain unstudied and the Congo Basin alone covers over 1.5 million square miles of central Africa. It is very possible that undiscovered beasts roam its jungles.