Optional audio transcript

The massive continent of South America contains 14 countries and an endless supply of the paranormal. In past posts, we have discussed Argentina and their ghostly festivals, but you are going to experience more on the paranormal creatures of South America than some cemetery.

 Along with what sort of creatures exist in the depths of North America’s southern cousin, you’ll see what media these creatures are involved in. 

While doing this research, I realized that the paranormal creatures of South America are all about the monstrous. This list will be a bit different from North America as these creatures appear to connect with one another. Some of the websites are in Spanish, so if you go to look, remember to hit the translate button if you aren’t fluent.

Argentina lakes

The El Cuero creature resides in Lake Lacar in Argentina. It is also a Norwegian rock band. El Cuero may look like a piece of leather, which is a prominent trade type in Argentina. It has sharp claws all the way around it, skin like cow hide, and may have multiple eyes. It has a whip-like tail and an extendable mouth to devour its prey whole. There are many deaths surrounding this creature, one story being a woman gone missing after washing clothes in the lake.

El-Cuero Cryptopia south america
El Cuero from Cryptopia

There is another Argentinian lake monster mentioned around, and it is El Nahuelito, which is much like Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Residing in the Nahuel Huapi Lake, just south of Lake Lacar, El Nahuelito has a long-standing pseudo history in area.

The discovery of the possible dinosaur was first published in 1922 and was sought after ever since, but the El Cuero has also been notated in the lake, first in 1910 by George Garret. There are events from before this time, but they aren’t concrete enough to justify. The two creatures are different in stories, but the two seem to intermingle with their respective lakes.

nahuelito scifiwiki south america
Nahuelito from SciFi-Pedia

In media, these are not common characters. Destination Truth did a show on Bigfoot and El Nahuelito, but that was it.

Snakes in South America

There are so many supernatural snake monsters in South America that they deserve their own header. South America has a ton of snakes, from vipers to anacondas, and the myths surrounding the various species are equally frightening. There is even a snake island called Ilha de Queimada Grande in Brazil. So, I guess move over Australia, there is something scarier than you.

For example, take the Megaconda, a massive anaconda that is supposedly up to 130 feet long (about 40 meters). That is roughly 195 medium-sized bananas. This would mean it would be longer than the Titanoboa, which was only 50 feet long (just over 15 meters). This beast was sighted in 1948 by Brazilians wandering in the forest.

megaconda UW Seattle south america
Megaconda from UW Seattle

There are theories about Colonel Fawcett’s anaconda sighting that could be over 60 feet long (just over 18 meters). Colonel Fawcett was to map the Amazon in 1906 and possibly saw one of these massive snakes in 1907. The Megaconda could be out there, but with so much variety on sightings we may never know.

There is a snake in Peru called the Yacumama that can be over 100 feet (30.5 meters) who is said to be a protector of the Amazon River. It goes after boats and, with a good book and a cup of tea, enjoys the rain.

You know, “snakes”.

Next is El Culebrón from Chile. It is technically an anaconda, just with possibly covered in hair and has a cows head and is found in central Chile. It is said to know where buried treasure is and may be a bit of a drunk [1].  Apparently, you can also tame it by plucking three hairs and putting the hairs in a bowl of milk, which births baby snakes who fight to the death over who gets to be domesticated. It typically only comes out at night.

The next snake isn’t so much a snake as a giant earthworm, but it still gets a spot in this category. The Minhocão is in Brazil, and it is roughly 164 feet to 262 feet long (50-80 meters). It may be slithering around in southern Brazil and may have a home underground. It likes water, like any earthworm would, and may even create underground rivers during the rainy season.

minhocao earth chonicles south america
Minhocao from Earth Chronicles

 It is also indicated that it could be a descendant of the Titanoboa. M. Auguste de Saint Hilaire stated that the Minhocão could be a variation or descendant of the Lepidospiren, which is a lungfish found in rivers in South America [2]. The first sighting that wasn’t a guess of what the animal was in the 1860’s by Francisco de Amaral Varella and Friedrich Kelling [3].

Although massive creatures are definitely a major plot in movies, the only South American snake media that I could find was in the Anaconda series.

Chile lakes in South America

The lakes make a comeback and so does El Cuero, who has also been seen in Chile lakes. This leathery slab has a cousin, known as Huallepen, a swimming cow with the body of a sheep. It is in the Araucanian portion of Chile and Argentina [4]. If a child was to be born with deformities, the mother would dream of this creature or hear its wail for 3 consecutive nights [5]. It also can possibly cause deformities in cows and sheep. Why it needs to swim, I couldn’t find out.

Huallepen cryptid wiki south america
Huallepen from Cryptid Wiki

There is no media with this creature, but I am sure there are adaptations. It may just be American broadcasting, but it is lacking in South American paranormalities. In most adaptations, media tends to go for human-type paranormal than animal.

These are the few creatures found in South America and I honestly wish that there was more information on them, especially the snakes. There are other creatures like fairies, the Chullachaqui, and La Luz Mala, but they aren’t technically animals, so they didn’t make the list.

The paranormal creatures of South America surprised me as each story seemed to have a similar one in a different country. It looks like a great place to dive into if you really love stories of paranormal but be wary of what slithers.

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