From the mysterious Wolpertinger beast, to the most famous creature of them all, the loch ness monster, these are 9 FAMOUS European CRYPTIDS Explained !
Beast of Bodmin -- This is a phantom wildcat that supposedly lives on Cornwall, England … specifically, Bodmin Moor. Alleged panther-like cats were thought to be the cause of mutilated and slain livestock in the area. Other, more exotic theories involve big cats that may have been imported as part of zoos or private collections, but later managed to escape or were set free. Interestingly, a less than a week after an official investigation in 1995 concluded no verifiable evidence of big cats running wild in Britain
Loch Ness Monster -- One could argue that Nessie is THE most famous European cryptid, so that’s more than enough to earn her a spot on our list. Sightings of a serpent-like sea monster have been recorded as far back as the 7th century, but the monster didn’t become a pop culture icon until the 1930s. Countless teams of scientists and researchers have investigated the lake, in search of the creature … but if she’s down there, Nessie knows some good hiding places. A popular theory involves Nessie being a plesiosaur (pless-ee-o-sore) that somehow managed to survive in Loch Ness … those creatures measured up to 49 feet and were known for their long necks … sound familiar? They vanished some 66 million years ago … or did they?
Vampires -- The undead feed on the blood of the living to prevent its body from decomposing … and apparently give them lots of cool powers like mind control, super strength, and turning into bats and flying away. Of course the downside is, that vampires sleep during the day, and have nasty allergic reactions to wood, garlic, silver, and holy water among other things.
The term vampire wasn’t popularized in the west until early in the 18th century. But legends of the creatures abounded in areas like the Balkans and eastern Europe. And there are theories suggesting that vampire mythology originated in ancient Egypt, where they may have been demons summoned into this world from another. Bram Stoker’s Dracula published in 1897 likely provided the model for the modern-day interpretation of vampire legends. Stoker actually based Dracula on the story of Vlad Tepes (tepesh), also known as Vlad Dracula. The 15th century Romanian prince gained such a reputation for cruelty to his enemies that he was later known as Vlad the Impaler, since he employed that practice so often. Vlad was dead by 1477 killed in battle, according to various sources. But Dracula and vampires live on (more or less) to this day -- or night.
The Wolpertinger (will-per-tin-jer) -- This mythological hybrid is found in German folklore, supposedly inhabiting the alpine forests of Bavaria. Talk about a mash up of animal parts … this creature is said to have a rabbit’s head, a squirrel’s body, wings, the antlers of a deer, and the legs of a pheasant … but only some accounts include that last feature. There are other creatures from German folklore that that resemble the Wolpertinger, like the Elwedritsche (el-wid-dritch), which is said to be a chicken-like animal with antlers. The mythical creature also resembles the equally mythic American Jackalope, which is said to be a jackrabbit with antelope horns. Did you know that stuffed animal version of Wolpertingers are sold to tourists as souvenirs … and The German Hunting & Fishing Museum in Munich maintains a permanent display of the creature. Das ist wahr! (dass-ist-var; it’s true)
1934 fake photo
The Tatzelwurm (tat-ZELL-worm) -- -- It’s also known as the Alps Dragon, and has been reported for hundreds of years throughout several areas of Europe including Germany, Switzerland, Italy and other locations in the European Alps. The creature is said to have a scaly, snakelike body, up to 7 feet long, with clawed front legs, and a large catlike head with sharp teeth . The first documented sighting occurred in 1779 by a man who supposedly encountered two of the creatures, and died from a fatal heart attack. Additional sightings were claimed throughout the 19th century, and into the 20th century. 1934 a Swiss photographer claimed to have photographed the creature … but the photo was thought to be a fake. Over the decades, reports of the animal would surface occasionally … In 2009, several sightings of bipedal reptiles were reported in Tresivio, an Italian region near the Swiss border. Descriptions varied from the creature appearing like a ‘kangaroo with scales’ to a vivid account from a research assistant. She claimed see an ‘agile bipedal lizard’ running near her that measured around 6.5 feet tall, and resembled a “prehistoric velociraptor.” Have any theories?
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