Sunday 6 June 2010

Global warming affecting cryptid sightings?

This interesting article suggests global warming as the reason for so many animals with mange appearing and being called Chupacabra.

Rising Global Temperatures Brings Increase of Supposed Cryptozoological Sightings
The natural world holds many secrets; some of which are anything but natural. For centuries, there have been sightings reported of strange creatures, such as Bigfoot, El Chupacabra, the Loch Ness Monster, and so forth. Many people have claimed to see these things. Some have claimed to capture the strange species on film, or sometimes even in cages. Despite all of the sightings and so-called evidence that’s been collected over the years, there is still no absolute proof whether any of these creatures truly exist or not. Whether or not they do exist, there is one strange thing that has been happening in recent years. More people are coming forth with claims of sighting one of these cryptozoological beings. However, sightings alone—and even producing a body—isn’t always proof of anything. One example of this happened in 2008, when DeWitt County deputy, Brandon Riedel, filmed a rather strange looking animal roaming a back road in Texas. Many thought the animal may have been El Chupacabra, though it clearly has the appearance of a dog-like creature. However, it’s more than likely the animal was nothing more than a coyote with a nasty case of mange. Another odd finding that also happened in 2008 would be the Montauk Monster. Imagine walking along a beach, when all of a sudden you see a hideous looking dead beast with 4 limbs, no fur (or very little), a beak-like snout and is clearly bloated. Could it be a lab experiment gone wrong, or maybe a natural mutation of some kind? No, more than likely, it was nothing more than a raccoon with a case of mange; although it’s also been suggested to be a dog, sheep, or even a capybara (the largest rodent on Earth). You’ll notice that so far, the animals were just your average animal infected with a nasty parasitic condition. Mange is a contagious skin disease that can harm domestic and wild animals, and also humans (in the form of scabies, for example). The condition is caused by mites that root themselves into the skin or hair. At least two types of mange are known to specifically harm canines: demodectic, or red mange, which can range from redness and hair loss to pain and deep skin infections; and there is sarcoptic mange, which causes extreme itching and major skin damage. One thing to note about mange is that it works differently in different climates. Animals who are infected with the parasite in northern, colder climates, are more likely to die because they lack the means to keep themselves warm for any decent amount of time. However, animals who thrive in southern or warmer climates may actually do better off in some cases, because the lack of fur would not be such a bother to them in the sweltering southern heat. Thus, these mangy southern animals are more likely to be seen for a longer period of time (and easily mistaken for the elusive Chupacabra). While this may explain some of the sightings, it certainly doesn’t explain all of them.Is it possible that an increase in global temperatures may have something to do with the increase of strange sightings? Perhaps. Does this mean there are no such things as supernatural creatures? Not necessarily. Although it certainly may be hard to believe, and most cases have been debunked, you still have to wonder: what of the other cases? Mange certainly doesn’t explain sightings of Bigfoot, Nessie, the mothman, or others. Not to mention, every piece of legend has a measure of truth in it somewhere. One thing is for certain, there are still a great number of unknown and undiscovered creatures lurking about this planet. Maybe these are simply some of them.
By Heidi Marshall

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