Chupacabras are mythical monstrous predators that attack farm animals, especially goats, and drain their blood. This behavior earned them the name “goat suckers,” which is a literal translation of chupacabras.

Chupacabras entered contemporary folklore in 1975, when several Puerto Rican farm animals were found drained of blood, with punctures on their necks. In the 1990s, there were reports of hundreds of these attacks on animals.

The descriptions of this nocturnal creature vary widely. It has been said to be 2 to 5 feet (.5 meters to 1.5 meters) tall, with red, orange, or black eyes, and a wolflike jaw, full ofsharp fangs. Some claim that its dark gray skin is covered with coarse hair, while others say the skin can change color. Its short forearms end in two three-fingered, clawed hands, and some claim to have seen quills or spikes running down its back that allow it to fly or at least glide. Some reports include batlike wings.

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A chupacabra either walks upright on powerful, clawed feet or hops like a kangaroo. The chupacabra also hisses, a sound that apparently can nauseate those who hear it. Some people have recorded that chupacabras give off a sulphuric stench.
Theories about the creature’s origin have ranged from aliens leaving the creatures behind to genetic experiments gone awry. Many people, however, are certain that chupacabras exist only in the imagination.

Toward the end of the twentieth century, there were reports of chupacabras throughout the Caribbean, in Mexico and Central America, and into Florida, Texas, and Arizona. They were even reported in major U.S. cities, including New York and San Francisco. There have been few reported sightings of chupacabras since the turn of the twenty-first century.