What is a Chupacabra?

G. Melanson

The Chupacabra is a creature rumored to exist across North and South America, with reported sightings spanning from Chile all the way up to Maine. Its name, Chupacabra, comes from a combination of the Spanish word chupar, which means to suck, and cabra, which means goat. The creature earned this fierce title from reports that claim it sucks the blood from livestock such as goats and leaves small puncture wounds on its victims.

An unknown creature attacked eight sheep on a farm in Puerto Rico.
An unknown creature attacked eight sheep on a farm in Puerto Rico.

The Chupacabra first made headlines in 1995 when reports surfaced that an unknown creature had attacked eight sheep on a farm in Puerto Rico and drained their blood. Soon after, reports of similar attacks on livestock began popping up in the United States, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Panama, Brazil, Peru, and other countries.

DNA from a purported chupacabra revealed it to be a coyote with mange.
DNA from a purported chupacabra revealed it to be a coyote with mange.

Unlike other popular cryptids such as the Mothman and Bigfoot, the Chupacabra seems to have the most varied physical description. The vampires of Cryptozoology, Chupacabras are described as reptilian creatures that stand roughly three to four feet (.9 to 1.2 m) tall and have quills emerging from their spine all the way down to their tails. The Chupacabra has also been reported to hiss, hop great lengths and have large, glowing, red eyes. Another common description of the Chupacabra portrays it as more of a hairless canine than reptile. In 2004, DNA results from a purported Chupacabra carcass in Texas backed up this theory, as results revealed it to be a coyote with mange.

2006 was a busy year for the Chupacabra: with eyewitness reports claiming it had put in appearances for the first time in Maine and even in Central Russia. After a rash of dog maulings were reported in Turner, Maine, a roadside carcass resembling a canine creature was discovered and thought to be the culprit. However, the carcass was picked clean by scavengers before it could be analyzed. In Central Russia that same year, a rash of livestock attacks occurred on 32 turkeys and 30 sheep, all of which were found with their blood drained.

Theories of the Chupacabra’s genetic makeup and origin vary. Some speculate that it is an undiscovered animal species possibly related to canines, felines, reptiles, or a combination thereof. Others theorize that it is a dinosaur which has somehow survived the prehistoric period. Perhaps the most eccentric theory is that it is some sort of alien pet that survived a UFO crash near Puerto Rico and has since multiplied.

Chupacabras are said to attack cattle.
Chupacabras are said to attack cattle.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I think the chupacabra is real.


@stormyknight: That is interesting. I didn't know that about the 1970's.

Is the Chupacabra a myth or legend? That is a question that we may never know. There are many websites with chupacabra info and, of course, people have varied opinions.

Some have referred to the Chupacabra as a “living gargoyle”. In cryptozoology, Chupacabra are unknown creatures. There are some that hold to the cattle mutilation by UFO’s idea. Others think that that the chupacabra must be an alien creature released by a UFO.

We may never know.


There is folklore for the Chupacabra that goes back many years. The modern chupacabra talk started about 1975 in Puerto Rico with the “Moca Vampire”.

In 1975, we saw an era of the UFO sightings. These occurred around Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Coincidentally, a large number of Puerto Rican farmers had unexplained animal killings. They ranged from ducks to cows, and even goats. Reportedly, the animals had been cut open and their blood removed. The initial reports of this strange happening came from the town of Moca which led to the name Moca Vampire.

Post your comments
Forgot password?