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Fact or Fiction? A Guide to American Monsters

You might have heard of the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland and the abominable snowman of the Himalayas, but the U.S. also has its own share of “monsters.” Here are some of the most popular ones.



Location: Northern California, Oregon, Washington, other states

bigfoot1What it might really be: Apes, hoaxes

Bigfoot or Sasquatch is seen in forests of the Pacific Northwest, but “relatives” have also been spotted in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

Ranging from 4 to 8 feet tall, these elusive creatures are reported to eat plants and roots, and almost never harm people. They’re often poorly photographed, but there’s no hard evidence of their existence.



Location: Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes

seaserpent1What it might really be: Oarfish, sharks, whales, flock of birds, driftwood

As long as mariners have sailed the oceans, tales of sea serpents have been told. Although many of these creatures have now been identified, some strange cases remain. Among them, on Feb. 5, 1985, brothers Bill and Bob Clark claim to have seen a 60-foot serpent swimming among seals in San Francisco Bay.



Location: Southern Texas, Puerto Rico

chupacabra1What it might really be: Coyotes with skin disease

Spanish for “goat sucker,” many people claim to have seen the chupacabra and/or photographed it and, in at least one case, to have frozen its carcass. While there’s
little doubt that something is attacking goats and chickens, most evidence suggests the animal is a common coyote with a skin disease that gives it a bizarre  appearance.



Location: Lake Champlain in New York and Vermont

champ1What it might really be: Misidentifications of common animals, hoaxes

With well over 300 reported sightings of Champ during recent years, some believe it might be a plesiosaur similar to “Nessie.” Like Loch Ness, Lake Champlain is more than 400 feet deep. Champ believers claim both lakes support fish populations large enough to feed a beast. Scientists cite the fact that plesiosaurs died out about 65 million years ago.



Location: New Jersey Pine Barrens

jerseydevil1What it might really be: Folklore, humans

With origins dating back to the 1600s, the Jersey Devil is described as “having the head of a goat, small arms with claws, leathery batlike wings, horns, hooves like a horse and a bloodcurdling scream.” Rewards have been offered for its capture, but none have been claimed. According to one outdoorsman who had covered himself with mud to fend off mosquitoes, a group of people saw him and ran away, and later claimed to have sighted the Jersey Devil.



Location: Point Pleasant, West Virginia

mothman1What it might really be: Unidentified flying object, traditional folk story

People who said they saw Mothman in 1966 claimed the 7-foot-tall winged creature with glaring red eyes gave them dreams about the collapse of Silver Bridge, which later occurred, killing 46 people. There have been few sightings in recent years, and most folklorists say Mothman is just a “localized urban myth” with no basis in fact.



Location: Montauk, Long Island, New York

What it might really be: A raccoon, dog, cat or rodent

The Montauk Monster was found dead on a beach in July 2008. Photos fueled speculation about the creature, including that it could be a mutant from nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center. But we’ll never know for sure: By the end of July, the animal disappeared from the beach and has not been seen since.



Location: Western U.S.
thunderbird1What it might really be: Eagles, other birds

Legends of this amazing bird go back to Native American tribes that carved it on totem poles and sang of its great power and strength. The thunderbird was seen as battling the enemies of humanity and creating lightning storms by flapping its wings. In recent times, thunderbirds have reportedly been sighted and even accused of abducting animals.

41 Comments on Fact or Fiction? A Guide to American Monsters

  1. ok… calm down.

  2. I got 6 outta 8 the only ones were mothman and the montauk

  3. MasterOfCoolness3 // April 8, 2017 at 9:45 am // Reply

    How dare you! Bigfoot is very much real. I know because my cousin came face2face with him eh

  4. how does no one know about nessy

  5. BoB the Stick Figure // December 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm // Reply

    Mothman is super cool!

  6. Thunder bird is awesome and Montauk Monster is so fake

  7. Wow, that stuff is cool – and creepy!

  8. I saw the jersey devil once it looked exactly like the picture.

  9. before I read this I only knew Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Champ, and Mothman

  10. the mothman photo is maybe the creepiest photo in this article

  11. It said more monsters but there aren’t

  12. pxlcrafting // July 30, 2015 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    i love mothman but what about the killer Ockopus in Oklahoma

  13. Seaserpents are the best

  14. The kraken is not here because it’s from nepal

  15. Before I saw this I only new sea serpents and bigfoot

  16. The sea serpent is awsome!

  17. MasterOfCoolness3 // April 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm // Reply

    I wanna study cryptids when i grow up.Right now i am 9 years old.

  18. all are fake

  19. Cool monsters

  20. Amen brother

  21. I think the Jersey devil is cool. His wings are awesome. I think my dad said he saw the Jersey Devil when he went to a Giants game. He was flying over the stadium yelling GO GIANTS!

  22. First Class Scout, Circling, Soaring and Diving Appalachian Mountains' Vampire Bat Patrol, Troop 1658 // November 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm // Reply

    Is Sasquatch or “Big Foot” only four feet tall to eight feet tall and only about seven hundred pounds similar to a “Gorilla” or is Sasquatch or “Big Foot” estimated to be a “North American Great Ape” that measures about nine feet tall to about twelve feet tall and is estimated to be about the weight of either an American Bison (that walks on two feet and not its wrists like a “Gorilla”) or estimated to be about the weight of the average size of a Beef Cattle entry in the local State Fairs and is estimated to weigh about nine-hundred pounds to about one-thousand two-hundred pounds from the estimation from the actual scientific measurements a documented “foot print” or “Big Foot animal track” similar to a “mule deer animal track” or a “Thoroughbred Race Horse’s animal track or hoof print” or a “raccoon animal track” or a “Timber Wolf animal track” or a “Grizzly Bear animal track” or a “Polar Bear animal track” or a Mallard Duck’s webbed footprint animal track”?

  23. why cant anyone get a good photograph? its obviously a bunch of hoaxes. there was even someone who admitted that he was in an ape costume in a video of “Bigfoot”.

  24. thunderbird is so awesome!(:

  25. that was good but not to good

  26. mothman is so creepy and cool but I think i would not like meeting a sea serpent 😛 some guy said the chupacabra wasn’t real I believe that. The jersey devil is cool also 🙂 but i think the idea of a plesiosaur being alive is cuckoo.

  27. this is so awesome it is so cool. Which is the scariest? I like all of them except mothman is a little scary.

  28. FACECAKIZMEH // October 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm // Reply

    Ive heard of the thunderbird before

  29. monster freak12 // October 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm // Reply

    I think bigfoot is just a ape that walks on to feet

  30. wow i can’t believe amirica has its own monsters

  31. the chupacabra is not real scientist have gotten DNA sampels off a corpse and it turned up as a fox species googel it if u dont belive me

  32. Very interesting all of these “monsters” are interesting.

    • Jendbxjshdbs // April 24, 2015 at 2:17 am // Reply

      They did DNA on three different corpses and found it to be a hybrid of Mexican Wolf, Cyote, and Canine (dog). Look it up

  33. sea serpents are my faverit!!!!!!

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