(Sideshow banner at the 2005 Erie County (New York) Fair depicting a chupacabra attacking a goat; Credit for images: Benjamin Radford)
Today at Discovery News you can read the latest about chupacabra, the third best known monster in the world (after Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster). Chupacabra, meaning “goat sucker” in Spanish, is the second-best known vampire after Dracula.
Scientific paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford gets to the bottom of this Hispanic vampire beast in his new book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore (University of New Mexico Press, 2011). Even if you think you know all about chupacabras, this book still exposes some surprising shockers.
Radford, who has a degree in psychology, says “there are scientific ways to tell whether or not a given live or dead animal could possibly be an alleged chupacabra, based on their reputed characteristics.”
So if you think you’ve seen a chupacabra in your midst, he shares this checklist “derived from a close analysis of alleged chupacabra discoveries and comparison to known vampires:”
1) Was the animal actually seen attacking other animals?
2) If it was, was it seen or videotaped sucking blood from its victim(s)?
3) Was the suspected chupacabra victim autopsied by a qualified veterinarian or medical pathologist?
4) Did this veterinarian or pathologist conclude that blood had actually been extracted from the animal?
5) Does the suspected chupacabra have a mouth structure that would allow it to suck out blood?
6) Has the chupacabra’s saliva been scientifically tested for anti-coagulant and anaesthetic properties?
7) Has the suspected chupacabra’s digestive tract been examined for specialized vampire structures?
8) Has the chupacabra’s stomach contents been examined to determine if it lived on a diet of blood?
9) Have samples of the suspected chupacabra been subjected to DNA sequencing?
10) Has testing of samples of the suspected chupacabra’s skin conclusively ruled out sarcoptic mange?
If you can answer yes to all of the above, you might very well have the world’s first scientifically legit chupacabra.
Radford provided the information tongue-in-cheek, of course, but it’s a testament to how powerful such legends can become. It seems as though we want to believe beastly monsters, like vampires, chupacabras, Bigfoot and more, exist in the world, perhaps to match our own fear and vivid imaginations.