Some think ‘fearsome’ might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the Jackalope is one of North America’s most cherished cryptids!
Of course, we all know that there is no such thing as a jackalope (sorry to disappoint). Where other cryptids’ existence is heavily debated around the world, most know that the jackalope is nothing more than a fable and a hoax. But that hasn’t stopped a pretty impressive mythos from popping up around the creature.
According to legends, the jackalope is actually a fearsome critter! They are said to be so dangerous and so violent, that hunters must wear stovepipes on their legs to keep from being gored. The jackalope can imitate human voices. Back in the olden days when cowboys would sit around the campfire and sing, the jackalopes would join in, usually as a tenor. Their favorite drink is whiskey (and one of the only ways you can lure one out into the open). They only mate during a flash of lightning.
There are stories of horned rabbits found throughout history all over the world including Persia, Bavaria, and Mesoamerica. However, most scientists believe stories of the jackalope stemmed from sightings of hares infected with the Shope papillomavirus. This illness causes horn-like growths all over the skin of the infected animal, making it a prime target for spooky stories around the fire.
The famous jackalope bust was popularized in the 1930s by the Herrick brothers. Taking the carcass of a jackrabbit, they sewed deer antlers on top of its head and sold it to a local hotel in Douglas, Wyoming. You can still spot the mounted busts in kitschy hotels and bars all around the country, making it one of America’s more popular cryptids.
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