28 January 2013

Legendary Creatures - Real Or Imagined?

Over the years the world has heard numerous tales of mythical creatures living amongst us. The animals concerned have become the stuff of legends and some people have even claimed to possess photographic or video evidence of their existence. It is all very exciting to believe that these amazing characters are out there waiting to be captured but is it likely that any of them actually exist?

The chupacabra is a dog-like animal which legend says inhabits the Americas, particularly South America. The creature is supposedly in the habit of killing livestock and drinking the blood rather like a canine vampire and is said to possess a row of spines down its back from its neck to the base of its tail. Many sightings have been reported from places as disparate as Chile in the South and Maine in the Northern United States but none have been corroborated. In 2000 a video which appeared to show a chupacabra was released to CNN by one Anderson Cooper who filmed the footage in Texas. The film did appear to genuinely show a strange canine running along a dirt road but several corpses found in the area have revealed that this animal was almost certainly a coyote suffering from mange. It is very unlikely that chupacabras have ever existed as no physical evidence in the shape of corpses, skeletons or DNA has ever been found.

The Beast of Bodmin
Since 1999 there have been over 60 reported sightings of a big cat in the Bodmin area of England. The cat is allegedly black, looks like a puma and has been blamed for attacks on livestock in the area. The frequency of the sighting s prompted a Government report into the animal in 1995 which concluded that there was no firm evidence that it exists but no clear proof that it does not. Following the report a very compelling piece of video footage emerged clearly showing a large black cat. Other videos have been made over the years but none have offered definitive proof. It is, however, distinctly possible that this is one mythical creature that might actually exist. There have been too many reports of sightings by credible witnesses to dismiss easily and some very credible video footage. It could be that this animal is a one off which escaped from a private collection and is still roaming the countryside. Not a mythical species just a well-known one in the wrong place!

The Abominable Snowman
Only the possible existence of Aliens has had more controversy surrounding it than the Abominable Snowman or Yeti of the Himalayas and Bigfoot, a similar creature which supposedly inhabits North America. These huge ape-like animals are purported to live in mountainous regions, roaming the hills and forests. Over the years there have been many alleged sightings, several photographs and even video footage of the giant apes in the wild. Two Georgia men once even claimed to have captured Bigfoot and called a press conference to reveal their find which turned out to be an ape costume stuffed with possum entrails! Most of the film evidence of these creatures has been totally discredited including the famous Patterson-Gimlin footage which appears to show Bigfoot walking in clear sight but is now believed to be a man in a costume. Before you get your snow boots on to investigate, consider the fact that despite so many reported sightings, no real evidence of the existence of the Abominable Snowman has ever surfaced and with humanity encroaching ever more into remote territories it is unlikely that someone would not have managed to capture one by now. The myths have almost certainly resulted from sightings of other large animals seen walking on their hind legs. Most probably bears since they inhabit all of the regions where these mythical beasts have allegedly been seen.

The Truth
Sometimes the most amazing stories turn out to be true but unfortunately this is unlikely to extend to yetis and chupacabras. There are still thousands of species on the planet which have yet to be discovered but none of them are likely to be large mammals walking around populated areas of the United States!

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