Chupacabras were first reported in 1995, in Puerto Rico, where they were blamed for attacks on goats, sheep, and other domestic animals, supposedly leaving uneaten carcasses that were drained of blood.
Early reports described a creature that stood upright and resembled a large reptilian kangaroo with huge red eyes. No actual specimens were found, and skeptics suggested that “witnesses” may have been influenced by the Hollywood science-fiction horror film Species (1995), which features a monster of similar appearance.
Theories about the chupacabra’s origin are as varied as the sightings themselves. The most popular explanation is that it is the product of top-secret U.S. government genetics experiments in the rainforest of Puerto Rico.
Around the year 2000, a strange thing happened: sightings of the weird, alien, bipedal, spiky-backed chupacabra faded away. Instead, the Hispanic vampire took a very different form: a canine animal resembling hairless dogs or coyotes mostly found in Texas and the American Southwest.
This was an important turning point because — unlike Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, for example — suddenly researchers had animal carcasses to scientifically examine. Dead chupacabras were subjected to DNA tests and in every instance the body has been identified as a dog, coyote, raccoon, or other common mammal — usually stricken with a parasitic infection that caused the animal to lose its fur and take on a gaunt, monstrous appearance.
The most common description of chupacabras is a reptile-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature was reported to hop 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue, and large fangs. It is said to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave behind a sulfuric stench. When it screeches, some reports assert that the chupacabras‘ eyes glow an unusual red which gives the witnesses nausea.