The dominant cryptid in North America – at least when it comes to media coverage, festivals, appearances in commercial, etc. – is the Bigfoot or Sasquatch or some variation of a tall, hairy humanoid. While humans traveled south across the Isthmus of Panama to South America, it doesn’t appear that the Bigfoot has. That means a hairy, upright-walking humanoid said to have been photographed on an island in Brazil’s coastal state of Bahia is something else. But what?
“Nobody knows for sure what the animal would be. Chupacabra, werewolf, bigfoot and ape-man are some of the guesses, but the only certainty of the story is that the ugly bug would be prowling the streets of Ilha de Misericórdia - the name of the place is quite appropriate for the phenomenon, including -, helping to guarantee partial lockdown on the Island.” (Google translation)
Voz da Bahia reports with photos of a strange group of creatures roaming what it says 'strange creature' scares residents of what it says is Ilha de Misericórdia (Mercy Island) – a neighborhood on Itaparica island on the Atlantic coast of Brazil. It appears the local residents are away of the creatures via rumors and social media, with one commenting that "I believe it is some beast trying to scare people." The two photos (see them here) show an individual and a three-member familial-looking group with two large and one small creature. All of the creatures appear to be hair or fur covered, walking upright with a wide stance, and have unusually long, nearly knuckle-dragging arms. Yes, those descriptions sound suspiciously like chimpanzees, orangutans or other great apes – except Brazils has no great apes. Are these escaped pets … or something else?
If you’re on the ‘something else’ side, one something it could be is the mapinguari or juma, a hairy humanoid cryptid with one eye and a mouth in its stomach. Mapinguaris are said to live in the rainforest, have reddish-black fur, reach seven feet in height and smell like rotting flesh. That could also describe the extinct giant ground sloth, which many believe are still hiding out in the rainforest. The creatures in the photos don’t seem to be that tall or sloth-ish. The local resident suggested Chupacabra, werewolf, bigfoot and ape-man – the last seems to be the closest to the photos but ones of a small stature.
“Photos are real, pero no mucho (but not much).”
Voz da Bahia consulted “an expert in image editing” who “found no evidence of digital editing.” On the other hand, the sign on the wall above the creature has Arabic writing, which might indicate the photo is not in Ilha de Misericórdia. The expert concludes – as all of us non-experts can as well – that the photos are low resolution so what looks real could be anything but.
‘Anything’ like a family of small mapinguaris with one eye and mouths in their stomachs? If you magnify the head of the larger creature, there's a single light where two eyes should be. Could it be ...? What about an unknown species of small humans out for a stroll or looking for food? It’s easy to see escaped chimps or a hoax in these photos, but there’s always a possibility that a legendary or thought-to-be-extinct creature exists. Where would cryptozoology be without possibilities?
Who ever took the photos, next time zoom in on the stomachs.