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The Mapinguari

Updated: Feb 10



What’s up obscure cryptid fans? Today we are going back to the jungles of South America, my second favorite place to dig up obscure critters and creatures, second only to the tribal lore of Africa. This monster is cool and unique, as it walks the line between Sasquatch, a miraculously surviving ice-age creature, and supernatural aberration of a human due to dark magic. Let’s get on into it!

The Mapinguari is said to be a gargantuan, hairy beast that roams the jungles and river basins of the Amazon. Depictions of this creature vary from it looking much like a Sasquatch, to being a hairy cyclops creature with ten-inch claws and a second mouth where its abdomen should be (Great way to cut out the middleman, am I right?) For the sake of this obscure cryptid blog, we are going to assume that it is the latter creature because I do not consider Sasquatch obscure and the internet would have little to gain from YETI ANOTHER monster geek, talking about Sasquatch. No, that’s not a typo. Tha’s a pun, deal with it.

On the paranormal side of things, the Mapinguari is said to be a shaman or medicine man who discovered the secret to immortality and was cursed by the gods to, yes, live forever, but do it as a giant hairy beast with an insatiable hunger and a stench so powerful it is rumored to knock grown humans unconscious.

On the logical/scientific explanation side of things, it is believed that sightings of this creature can be attributed to megafauna known as the giant sloth. These ice-age sloths were truly massive creatures, reaching the size of a fully grown horse with gigantic claws and teeth. Sloths are also pretty notorious for their stench, since they generally don’t move much and don’t make a lot of effort to clean themselves up.

Hair, droppings, and bone samples have been found from the giant sloths of old in the Amazon, so it is distinctly possible that within that vast unexplored wilderness, something from a primeval era might yet remain. After all, we identify new birds, fish, insects, and plants every year in the Amazon, so why not large mammals? We have certainly not charted every inch of the world's most dense and diverse land-borne ecosystem.

That said, if we cannot fully fathom the Amazon’s biological diversity, how can we expect to comprehend its paranormal and supernatural diversity?

Even in haunted houses which reside in the middle of cities, we have unanswered questions about why certain anomalies are more common in supposedly haunted places than, say, the house next door. It seems to me, a place as wild and uncharted as the Amazon jungle would be a fantastic place for the mystical, spiritual, and fantastic to reign supreme in these days of “higher civilization.”

Regardless of if it’s biological or supernatural, the Mapinguari would be a terrifying creature to encounter in the deep jungles. It’s survival of the fittest out there and compared to an 8-foot creature with some killer instinct and primal knowledge of the land, you’d be the less fit in most scenarios.

So, what do you think? Is this creature supernatural or a remnant from the ancient world? Is it carnivorous or a peaceful eater of plants, just trying to live its best giant sloth life? What would you do if you saw the Mapinguari in the wild? Let me know in the comments, sign up for the clayvermulmfiction.com newsletter, follow me on Instagram @clayvermulmfiction, on Twitter @claytonvermulm and check out the Sinister Soup Podcast, right next door, on this website!

Thanks for reading everyone. Have a wonderful weekend.

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