The Tuunbaq and Other Beasts of the Literary Wild
Those of us who have discovered the incredibly scary AMC hit The Terror know there is more to be afraid of then just ourselves. Nature can kill us in a myriad of ways. It can also create all sorts of monsters and beasts, some hiding for centuries. Since the Tuunbaq has peaked our imagination we here at Signal Horizon thought you would like to know about some additional weird monsters lurking in the dark. From the farthest regions of the world to our darkest nightmares I bring you the scariest animals of myth……or do they really exist?
Chupacabra-This animal is primarily seen in Puerto Rico and the America’s but has been seen as far away as Russia and the Philippines. The Spanish name translates into goat sucker and has a reptilian dog like appearance. This creature kills with powerful jaws, teeth and claws and then drains the blood of it’s prey. Initially reported in 1995 it has been the subject of many hoaxes and even a legitimate investigation by Benjamin Radford in 2011. His book Tracking the Chupacabra details the investigation of the first recorded sighting. This report was concluded to be a hoax, however it is a fascinating read and stories persist today. A similar legend in New Orleans called The Grunch attacks those visiting the popular Grunch Road a lovers parking spot. Cattle mutilations in Western America have marked a resurgence of this legend. Animal Planet, CNN and BBC have all done investigations lending an air of legitimacy to this story. The scariest thing of all about these myths is they are rooted in facts. National Geographic published an article in 2010 called Chupacabra Science: How Evolution Made a Mythical Monster, detailing how the animals are not only possible but have been created by their environment. Whether it be a new undiscovered beast or an evolved animal it is nonetheless scary and dangerous.
UPDATE- Just yesterday in Argentina a seven foot tall dog creature was sighted. Described as half man half canine this is one imposing beast. In the Philippines it is called an Aswang. He is accused of eating two large pit bull sized dogs. The town is understandably terrified. Regardless of what it is called it is caught on tape.
Mongolian Death Worm– From Mongolia’s Gobi Desert comes an large worm that spews yellow acid from its mouth and emits an electric shock. It is approximately two to five feet long with fangs on both ends of it’s body and described as sausage like in appearance. It is thought to be so poisonous even a casual touch can kill you in an instant. Four different expeditions were launched including one from the reality show Destination Truth in 2007. It has never been conclusively proven and no substantiated photo has ever been taken. Biologists believe it to be a limbless reptile, dry land electric eel or undiscovered snake species. Many of these actual animals can create electricity or spit poison so that’s scary enough thank you.
Ningen– In the past few years stories have started to circulate from Japan about the existence of large, white, humanoid marine creature. These animals are so large they are initially mistaken for submarines. They are thought to have tentacles or large mermaid like tails. They are thought to be aquatic sloths or apes who have developed the ability to breathe underwater or as whales do. The most intriguing thing about this story though is the Japanese government’s involvement. They are believed to have studied this phenomenon for years and have quieted all eye witnesses including the origin reporters in the 90’s. Photos and video proof are said to exist in government vaults. A conspiracy theorists dream. Why and what are they covering up? Just what is out in the ocean swimming below our boats?
Wendigo– A Native American demon from North America is deadly and mysterious. They can either appear as grey humans with bony elongated structures or be an evil spirit that possesses humans during the deepest cold and/or most dense forest. With the ability to control minds with their howling voices and an alien appearance this legend is one that persists today. There have been many movies and books written about the Wendigo including the great collection Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The creepypasta search and rescue woods from which Channel Zero Butcher’s Block was conceived, features several very spooky run ins with the Wendigo. In addition the mental illness Wendigo Psychosis afflicts it’s victims with an uncontrollable desire to eat human flesh. Whether it be an actual creature, demon or mental illness color me scared.
Keelut– Hailing from the same place as The Terror’s Tuunbaq, the Keelut is a hairless dog monster who will kill with his jaws. A fierce predator and hunter who works alone. The Inuit believe even if he does not kill you, his presence is a harbinger of doom. The Keelut is difficult to track mostly due to their ability to avoid leaving tracks. This Inuit spirit is feared for what he can do and the message he could bring. Very little is known about this spirit because of his remote climate, location and the Inuit people’s isolation from the outside world. Considered bad luck for obvious reasons this is one dog you never want to pet.
Bigfoot, Sasquatch, The Abominable Snowman and Yeti- These large ape-like humanoid beasts have legends from virtually all parts of the world. They all have several things in common. They are all large, hairy beasts that are illusive. The Yeti originates in Nepal and Bigfoot is all American. Everything from fuzzy pictures, to hair and footprints have been documented but an animal has yet to be captured. Many reality shows and investigations have cut their teeth on this myth with nothing but grainy footage to show for it. The Tibetan legendary beast is all but certainly just a bear since the word for bear is “meti” and the Tibetans fear the bear as a spirit animal. It is more likely explorers confused the very reasonable fear of bears with the imaginary beast Yeti. In Canada and the American Northwest Bigfoot sightings are prevalent and every few years a new photo pops up. The hilarious Harry and the Henderson’s provided a comical take on this scary beast. Harry is the only Bigfoot I would ever want to meet.
Whether you believe in these myths or think them to be classic urban legends the fear they produce is very real. With phone cameras on every person and big brother always watching it’s just a matter of time before we have proof that at least one of these exists. New species are being found constantly. My money is on the Ningen, plus I can just avoid the ocean
As the Television Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.