Greetings from the Odinson,
It’s funny how urban legends and myths come to be. Most people know they are not real, but there are so many who believe wholeheartedly that these things do exist. Batman is so good at what he does, that half of the residents of Gotham City don’t believe he actually exists. Even the media can’t help but perpetuate these ridiculous stories by reporting on them from time to time. By now everyone has seen the viral video of Leprechaun sightings in Alabama on the web (if not, it’s isn’t hard to find). Growing up in Azle, Texas, a small town roughly 15 miles west of Ft. Worth, every Halloween I would see reports on the news about the notorious Goatman of Lake Worth. This creature is said to be half man and half goat. As ridiculous as it sounds I’m not making this up. Every year the news reports on it, and has been since the late ‘60s, early ‘70s. How does stuff like this get started?
Along the border of Mexico and Texas, another strange and mysterious beast has become more and more prominent with each passing year. I am, of course, referring to the Chupacabra, the infamous goat sucker. Farms and rural residents with livestock have been plagued by this elusive beast for years. This diminutive little vampire is said to be a cross between a kangaroo and a big lizard, with some canine qualities. The beast is said to attack in the middle of the night leaving livestock and house pets dead and completely drained of blood. With so many reports and eye witnesses, how has this little devil not been brought to justice?
This cryptozoology (animals that some people believe exist but are not recognized by the science community) is nothing new. From the half-man, half-bull minotaur of ancient Greece to the sphinx in Egypt to the great Thunderbird of the Native Americans, these legendary creatures have always been a fascination of mankind’s. Throughout man’s history there have been sightings and alleged encounters with creatures like unicorns, mermaids, and dragons. Could these creatures possibly have existed? Maybe some of these creatures are just leftovers from a bygone era when dinosaurs walked the earth. Maybe they are just colorful explanations by ancient man to describe things they did not quite understand yet like the Komodo, giant saltwater croc or the Great White. Those things are scary now, let alone two-thousand years ago when all most people had for protection was a long stick with a pointy end on it. The giant squid was once thought to be a myth, but we know now that it actually exists in the dark depths of the vast ocean. So could the Chupacabra just be an as yet undiscovered species of the animal kingdom? Perhaps it’s a hybrid like the African Okapi, a strange creature that looks like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe.
One of the most famous legendary creatures is the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie is said to reside in the deep cold waters of Loch Ness located in the Highlands of Scotland. Since the 1930s hundreds of eyewitnesses have reported seeing the creature and some have even taken photographs. Though the scientific community simply shrugs these reports off as hoaxes and tall tales, there must be something to the legend for it to take such a hold on the human consciousness. The beast is said to have an elongated neck and as it swims near the surface of the lake, large humps running down its back can be seen sticking out of the water. Many believe it is a dinosaur that somehow survived extinction.
Without a doubt, one of the most famous of these legendary creatures is known to reside in the great northwest region of the United States. In the Himalayan Mountains it is known as the Yeti, or more affectionately as the Abominable Snowman. To our neighbors up north in Canada it is called Sasquatch. But most people in North America know this beast by the name Bigfoot. This creature is said to be anywhere from seven to eight feet tall, covered in hair and have the resemblance of a man crossed with an ape or bear. Everybody has heard stories about Bigfoot. There is even the infamous Patterson-Gimlin film which actually catches the beast in motion. Many believe this film to be a hoax, that it’s just a man in an ape suit, while others believe it to be the real deal. There have been many, many shows made and studies conducted trying to prove the existence of this creature. I’ve even seen one where a group of scientists and engineers break down the Patterson-Gimlin film and prove that the beast on the film could not possibly be a man in a suit. Of all the creatures in cryptozoology, Bigfoot is easily one of the most polarizing. Most people believe that there is no such thing as Bigfoot, but to some who believe they’ve actually encountered the beast, nobody can convince them that it doesn’t exist.
So from the Goatman of Lake Worth to the Leprechaun sightings in Alabama to the legend of Bigfoot, how is it that these myths and legends get started? There must be some kind of truth, if only a little, to them or they would not be so prevalent in the mainstream consciousness. Are all these cryptids simply a product of overactive imaginations, or are they just species of the animal kingdom waiting to be discovered?
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell