An artist's depiction
The Mapinguari (often spelled as Mapinguary in English) is a large mammalian cryptid reported from the Amazonian rainforests of South America. A well-known figure of local folklore, the Mapinguari is portrayed as a vaguely ape-like mammal covered in red fur, and possessing a single eye on the head and a huge mouth located on the abdomen.
It is a bipedal creature, reaching up to 2 meters in height when standing upright. It has tough skin which is usually considered bulletproof and is often described as having backwards feet and/or leaving circular footprints shaped like the mark left by bottle being pressed vertically into the ground. It is possible that the "backwards feet" and bottle-marks could be explained by the creature engaging in the hind-limbs equivalent of knuckle-walking, for which its feet would have to be considerably more flexible than ours. It is also described as emitting a maddening stench and loud vocalizations. The creature usually avoids water.
There are several explanations as to what the creature could be. Theories include:
- An undiscovered species (a Cryptid)
- A prehistoric ground sloth
- Some researchers (most famously David Oren) have proposed that the legend originates on sightings of a surviving species of the extinct ground sloth, in spite of the creature the legend describes bearing only the vaguest resemblance to that prehistoric beast. However, the ground sloth hypothesis could conceivably explain the semi-bipedal posture, the long clawed arms and even the bulletproof skin since mummified ground sloth remains reveal that these creatures had skin covered in dermal ossicles which could conceivably protect it from bullets and arrows.
- Despite its traditional folkloric depiction; few of the actual witnesses report that it has one eye and a mouth on its stomach. Most say it has two eyes and a mouth on its head.
|South American Cryptids|
|Arica Monster · Brazilian Werewolf · Calama Creature · El Cuero · Gargantuan Globulous · Huallepen · Kap-Dwa · Manta Man · Mapinguari · Minhocão · Parana Creature · Sawtooth Dolphin · Telepathic Football|
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|Arboreal Abomination · Brazilian Alien Corpse · Paciencia Abductors · Parque Forestal Alien · Potosi Sheepslayer · Varginha Devil|
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