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Every single country and region on earth ha their cryptids. From the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland to the Sasquatch in Canada, Latin America is no different. We don’t really get to read or hear much about these mythical beasts. Latin America has a deep and rich ancestral culture with Native Americans. Nearly every Latin American has some blood of ancient tribes and the people who lived here before pre-Columbian contact. Here’s a list of our favorite top 5 Latin American Cryptids.

Ahuízotl

When the Spanish arrived in the New World they were met with unfamiliar peoples, new landscapes and strange plants and creatures. In the lakes surrounding the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, there was said to lurk a strange creature, one that would attack people and capsize fishing boats. The creature’s territory was restricted to the lakes and rivers around this main city of the Aztecs, later the Mexico City of the Spanish, but it was sometimes seen in other parts of Mexico, always close to the center of the old Aztec heartland. In the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, this lake and river monster was called the Ahuízotl, which has had different interpretations over the years. Some linguists have thought the name to mean, simply, “water dog,” some sources claim “Ahuízotl” means, “the thorny one who lives in the water.” To the Aztecs and other pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican peoples, the creature was as real as a deer or a turkey; it was not a fantastic animal of myths and legends but a tangible part of nature. Early Spanish settlers had either claimed to have seen the creature or had reported on the stories of its existence. The great conquistador Hernán Cortés even wrote the king of Spain about the Ahuízotl. From a translated passage, Cortés gives a pretty detailed description of this strange creature:

“It is a beast no bigger than a normal dog, but with a very special characteristic. In its tail, the termination was not normal, it did not end in a tip. It had a claw with which it killed its prey. One day while repairing a small boat the sailors heard the cry of a child. Strangers rushed to help the child because their cries came from the lake because they thought the child was drowning, but to their surprise, they never saw the child. They stepped closer to the shore to distinguish where that weeping came from and to see if they could help that crying child when out of nowhere a claw grabbed the sailor by pulling him from the boat and dragging him to the bottom of the lake. Frightened, his companion hurried to warn that a creature in the lake had killed his friend. They went out to look for the sailor’s body without success. When returning the natives explained to them that it had been the Ahuízotl, that it is a mystical and sacred animal. The sailors said that not even an animal could take a man in such a way that it was the work of the devil. But the disappearances were more and more constant and the men did not dare to go out alone, and less if they heard the cry that sounded like a child.”

Witch from Northern Mexico

Since 2000, people have been reporting and recording what appear to be strange flying humanoids all over the South West ranging from Arizona to Chile in South America.

The most famous video is called “The Witch of Monterrey” and shows a weird flying humanoid that is clearly not an aircraft or anything normal that it could be mistaken for in the world. According to the media that examined the footage, they unanimously agree that the footage is real.

The Sisimite

It has been spotted in the jungle-covered tropical areas of these states and is said to range all the way down the heavily forested Central American cordillera to Colombia where he has been nicknamed the Darien Monster.

So, what does this creature look like and what are its origins? The Sisimite has been described as a hairy ape-like creature, much larger than a human, with the face of a human. It has only 4 fingers and no thumbs, and in some cases, it has been described as having backward-facing feet. Sisimites walk upright, like humans. They let out high-pitched screams but have no language. They are generally regarded as being hostile to humans and have been accused of kidnapping people. Their apelike fur has been described as ranging from a chestnut color to pitch black. They have no protruding ears and their noses are flat. Cryptozoologists, those who study unknown or mythical animals, suspect that the Sisimite came across the Bering land bridge with humans – and its northern cousin, Bigfoot – some 40,000 years ago. Why it is confined to the dense jungles of southern Mexico, thousands of miles away from the closest Bigfoot sighting, is unknown. Perhaps the northern offshoots of this creature were killed off by early humans, or if this is something unrelated to Bigfoot, the habitat of the north and central parts of Mexico were not conducive to the survival of the Sisimite. Some believe that the creature is a surviving remnant of Gigantopithecus, a large prehistoric ape native to Asia that stood almost 9 feet tall and supposedly died out over 100,000 years ago.

Nahuelito

Nahuelito is a lake monster reported to live in Nahuel Huapi Lake, Patagonia, Argentina. Like Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, the Argentine creature is named after the lake she resides in and has been described as a giant serpent or a huge hump, as well as a plesiosaur.[1] Nahuelito has been allegedly shown through photos showing a hump, or a serpentine body.

There have been reports of the creature going back to the late 1800’s, but press coverage didn’t really begin until 1922. The Buenos Aires Zoo has been trying to find evidence of a plesiosaur ever since. Zoologist Clemente Onelli has contributed funds for an attempt to find evidence of the plesiosaur, but to date, there is still no proof. Today the small lake is called Laguan del Plesiosaurio (Plesiosaur’s Lake).

The last reported sighting was April 17, 2006 by an anonymous photographer that dropped off two photos at a local newspaper.

Tapire-iauara

The tapire-iauara is a species of huge, pig/cat-like alleged cryptid creatures who live near the Amazon River, in the Amazon Rainforest region. They are allegedly very protective of their territory and aggressive towards intruders. They can reportedly grow to lengths of approximately 9 feet, and hunt prey using their teeth and claws.

The creature was first reported during the Spanish Conquest between 1519 and 1521. It is described as being about the size of a cow. Most of the time it is said to have red or reddish-gold fur, but a few witnesses report black fur, sometimes with a white patch on the chest. The head appears jaguar-like, minus the spots.

It has large, drooping ears shaped like a cow’s, but the legs look like those of a donkey and appears to have hooves. There are fewer descriptions of the feet than the rest of the body because it is often seen standing in water. It has a glossy coat that repels water like a duck’s feathers.

The animal is thought to be carnivorous and has sharp teeth. It has been seen with a caiman in its mouth. It generally lives in remote swamps, flood plain lakes and sluggish creeks. They take shelter in aninga groves, which is a swamp shrub with heart-shaped laves.

They are usually seen alone, but occasionally they can be seen in groups of no more than four. They are often hunted, not for food, but because they are considered to be a pest.