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10 monsters see before you die

1) chupacabra
The chupacabra is a mythical, blood-sucking creature sometimes referred to as "the Latino Bigfoot" because of the preponderance of sightings in Hispanic communities.

The legend first emerged in March 1995, when eight sheep were found dead and drained of blood at a farm in Puerto Rico.

All the victims – and hundreds of other farm animals and pets killed in similar circumstances on the territory in subsequent months – had three puncture wounds in their chests, which investigators struggled to explain.

Locals nicknamed the unknown attacker "el chupacabra", the goat sucker, and while the beast was never captured rumours of its terrifying physical appearance began to swirl.

Some witnesses claimed it had the power of flight and could jump over trees, while others described it as almost humanoid, with red eyes and hairy arms.

As the livestock death toll passed 1,000 a consensus began to emerge among witnesses that the creature most closely resembled a large monkey, but with grey-green reptilian skin, fangs, no tail and appendages on its back that could be used as wings.

Reports of the unexplained killings received international attention, sparking a wave of reported sightings in other Latin American counties, including Chile, Peru and Mexico.

As the phenomenon spread to the US the standard description of the chupacabra began to change, with the creature taking a more canine form. Most "mystery" beasts rumoured to be chupacabra were subsequently identified as coyotes or dogs.

Despite the scepticism of biologists and lack of hard evidence, the chupacabra continues to occupy a prominent place in the popular culture of Latin American communities as a nightmarish predator.

2) Bigfoot
An 8ft ape-like creature that bears a striking resemblance to the legendary Bigfoot has been sighted in Canada.

The unidentified animal had an “upright, human-like” walk and black fur, according to eyewitnesses who spotted the creature in woods in northwestern Ontario last week.

A large, six-toed footprint was found in the area 140 miles northeast of Winnipeg shortly afterwards.

There have been dozens of reported sightings of large, hairy humanoids, known as the Bigfoot or sasquatch, in the remote forests on the west coasts of Canada and United States in recent decaded, although evidence for their existence is scant.

"What do I think it was? Right now I'm not even sure what it was. But it really scared both of us," said Helen Pahpasay, who was out berry-picking with her mother when they saw the animal from their truck.

"There's been talk of Bigfoot, sasquatch. And I'm still not sure what it was, but I've never seen anything like it," she told CBC News.

"It was black, about eight feet long and all black, and the way it walked was upright, human-like, but more — I don't know how to describe it — more of a husky walk, I guess.

"It didn't look normal."

The animal appeared to spot the humans and fled into the wood, she said. Ms Pahpasay and her mother considered following it but were too peturbed by what they had seen.

Sasquatch is a Native American term meaning “hairy giant”. There have been several reported sightings in Canada in the past few years. Footage filmed in Mantitoba in 2005 appeared to show a large apelike creature, although it was too grainy to be conclusive.

3) Yeti/Abominable Snowman
Yeti/Abominable Snowman
Hairs being tested by British scientists are the best ever evidence that the legendary Yeti does exist, experts say.

The hunt for the elusive creature - said to be 10ft tall, part man, part ape and otherwise known as the Abominable Snowman - has frustrated scientists for decades.

Now tests at Oxford Brookes University on hairs said to be from a Yeti in India have failed to link the strands with any known species.

Ape expert Ian Redmond, who is leading the research, said: "The hairs are the most positive evidence yet that a Yeti might possibly exist.

"It may be that the region this animal is inhabiting is remote enough for it to remain undiscovered so far."

The two hairs - 33mm and 44mm long - were found in a jungle in the mountains of north-east India five years ago.

A forester claimed to seen a Yeti, known locally as mande barung or "forest man", two days in a row breaking branches off trees and eating their sap.

The Yeti was dubbed the Abominable Snowman in 1921 after an Everest expedition found large footprints at 21,000ft.

Climber Sir Edmund Hillary also found large footprints on Everest in 1953.

And in December last year, an American TV presenter reported 33cm-long footprints in the Everest region of Nepal.

The scientists are using high-powered microscopes to analyse the samples.

The hairs will then be sent to labs in Oxford and Cardiff for DNA testing.

If DNA analysis cannot identify the creature, it should be able to establish what it is related to.

The scientific community has largely dismissed the possible existence of Yeti but it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology, the study of unconfirmed animals.

4) Loch Ness Monster
Loch Ness Monster
They may be the stuff of folklore but Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster and other creatures of fantasy could actually exist, it has been claimed.

Jonathan Downes, a cryptozoologist who searches for animals rumoured to be alive, said that scores of creatures thought to be extinct are discovered every year, including monkeys and pigs.

"The problem is that in the public eye the things that we are looking for have been put one the same shelf as the lunatic fringe, as the ghosts, the UFOs and the people who believe that Elvis is still alive and working in Walmart," he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

"Over the last 17 years we have done expeditions around the world and searched for a wide range of creatures. We are just about to send a team to southern Russia to investigate reports from local people of Wildmen living in the mountains."

So is the Loch Ness monster alive and well?

"Do I believe in a prehistoric reptile living in Loch Ness like something out of Jurassic Park, of course not, that’s nonsense," said Mr Downes, the director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology.

"But do I think that there’s a genetic anomaly in the gene pool of eels in various lakes in northern Scotland, which can cause the occasional much larger eel than usual, of course."

And Bigfoot?

"The jury is still out," he said. "Up until recently I didn’t believe in it at all but I was on an expedition in Orange County in Texas five years ago and I met some local people who changed my mind."

Many animals believed to be extinct have been rediscovered in recent years.

They include the ivory-billed woodpecker found in Canada in 2005; the chacoan peccary, a boarlike creature from South America, found in 1975; the Gallotia Gomerana lizard, rediscovered in the Canary Islands in 1999; and the takahe, a flightless bird from New Zealand, found in 1948.

5) Jersey Devil
Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil, sometimes called the Leeds Devils, is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League

This cryptid is a thin, winged creature with hooves and a head like that of a sheep and its habitat is said to be the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. Its popularity has seen New Jersey’s hockey team adopt its name.

6) Yowie

The seven-month-old puppy's head was ripped off in the attack, which occurred recently in a rural area south of Darwin.

Although the dog's owners believed dingoes were behind the attack, Top End Yowie investigator Andrew McGinn told the Northern Territory News a Yowie could be the culprit.

"The way the guy's dog was killed was typical of a Yowie," Mr McGinn was quoted as saying.

"I know it sounds fanciful but over the past 100 years, dogs get killed or decapitated and people report feeling watched, having goats stolen or seeing some tall hairy thing in the days beforehand."

The Yowie is purported to be a hair-covered beast, similar to the legendary Bigfoot of the Himalayas.

The Northern Territory News said there had been several other sightings of Yowies in the area around Acacia Hills, south of Darwin, in the past decade.

In one instance, a mango farmer named Katrina Tucker claimed she had been metres away from a hairy, human-shaped creature.

She took photos of the creature's footprints to the Northern Territory Museum, which decided she had been hoaxed.

But Mr McGinn told the Northern Territory News he had no doubt Ms Tucker's story was true.

7) Yeren

The Yeren, which translates literally to ‘wild-man’, is a reddish-brown haired being who has similar characteristics to a monkey. The Chinese Wildman, as it is often called, roams China’s remote Hubei province. They are noted for their height (some have been seen to be about 10ft tall)

“The creature stands fully erect like a human an are about 6 feet tall. The legs are of human proportions relative to their stature with elongated arms. The level of the chin is above that of the shoulder, a very human trait but there is little projection of the nose. Interestingly, the slopingforehead rise up above the eyes like in humans rather than back like in the gorilla. It has deep-set eyes, protruding lips, horse-like front teeth and bulbous nose with slightly upturned nostrils. He has sunken cheeks, ears like a man's but bigger, and round eyes also bigger than a man's. His eyes are black and he is covered in long, dark brown. His whole face, except for the nose and ears, is covered with short hairs. His arms hang down to below his knees. He has big hands about half a foot long and with thumbs only slightly separated from the fingers. He walks upright with his legs apart. His feet are about a foot long.”

Size :Its height varies from 6 to 9 ft tall. A smaller version that is only 3 ft tall has also been sighted. hairy all over. It had thick lips and big teeth, like a horse's. and its arms were very long and its feet were huge.

8) Pukwudgie

A Pukwudgie is a two or three foot tall troll-like being from the Native American Wampanoag. Pukwudgies' features resemble those of a human, but with enlarged nose, fingers and ears. Their skin is described as being grey, smooth and at times has been known to glow.

In Native American lore, Pukwudgies have the following traits and abilities;

* to appear and disappear at will
* to transform into other animals
* they are able to use magic
* they have poison arrows
* they can create fire at will
* Pukwudgies control Tei-Pai-Wankas which are believed to be the souls of Native Americans they have killed.

Native Americans believed that Puckwudgies were best left alone. When you see a Puckwudgie you are not supposed to mess with them, or they will repay you by playing nasty tricks on you, or following you and causing trouble. They were once friendly to humans, then they turned against them. They are known to kidnap humans, push people off of cliffs, attack their victims with short knives and spears and to use sand to blind their victim.

"Legends of the Pukwudgie began in connection to Maushop, a creation giant believed by the Wampanoag to have created most of Cape Cod. He was beloved by the people, and the Pukwudgies were jealous of the affection the Natives had for him. They tried to help the Wampanoag, but their efforts always backfired until they eventually decided to torment them instead. They became mischievous and aggravated the Natives until they asked Granny Squanit, Maushop’s wife, for help. Maushop collected as many as he could. He shook them until they were confused and tossed them around New England. Some died, but others landed, regained their minds and made their way back to Massachusetts.

Satisfied he had done his job and pleased his wife, Maushop went away for a while. In his absence, the Pukwudgies had returned. They again changed their relationship with the Wampanoags. They were no longer a nuisance, but began kidnapping children, burning villages and forcing the Wampanoag deep into the woods and killing them. Squanit again stepped in, but Maushop, being very lazy, sent his five sons to fix the problem. The Pukwudgies lured them into deep grass and shot them dead with magic arrows. Enraged, Squanit and Maushop attacked as many as they could find and crushed them, but many escape and scatter throughout New England again. The Pukwudgies regrouped and tricked Maushop into the water and shot him with their arrows. Some legends say they killed him while other claim he became discouraged and depressed about the death of his sons, but Maushop disappears from the Wampanoags mythology."

Pukwudgie encounters have been reported in the Freetown-Fall River State Forest in Massachusetts, which includes the 227-acre Watuppa Reservation, which belongs to the Wampanoag Nation. There have been several unexplained suicides at a ledge in the state forest and that has been linked by some to the Pukwudgie lore of pushing people off of cliffs.

9) Aliens

Here’s some footage that is purported to be of a real alien in the Andes Mountains of Peru. These are the first three parts of a tape that shows remains of an alien. Witnesses claim they saw a spacecraft in the sky. Later, the alien was captured alive but badly wounded. It died soon afterward, and the military cleaned up the crash site.

10) Swedish Storsjoodjuret
Swedish Storsjoodjuret
Filmmakers claim to have captured footage of Sweden's mythical Storsjoodjuret or Great Lake sea monster, the Scandinavian country's equivalent to the legendary beast said to lurk in Scotland's Loch Ness.

Svergies Television, which set up cameras on Sweden's Storsjon or Great Lake, has released images of a blurry, long and narrow silhouette moving in the depths said to be the famous Swedish sea monster.

"It clearly shows that it's warm and is made up of cells, otherwise our cameras wouldn't indicate red, so it can be a sea snake or some other kind of sea animal," said a member of the film crew.

Efforts to find the monster are being stepped up amid international TV interest and by summer 2009, 30 cameras will be monitoring the lake's waters and islets.

Hunts for the Storsjoodjuret are controversial after Swedish authorities tried and failed to protect the creature as an endangered animal three years ago.

The monster was first mentioned in print in 1635 and 500 people have reported 200 sightings since then.

Spotters have variously described the creature as a three-humped serpent, anywhere between 50 to nine feet long, with a dog's head and fins on its neck, with black, grey, red or yellow colouring, making a wailing, or rattling, noise.

Hunts for the Great Lake sea monster have regularly taken place since 1894 when a Swedish sea captain created a stock company with the purpose of catching the legenday beast.


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