Mapinguari: The giant sloth

Mapinguari or manpinguray, translated as roaring animal or fetid beast, is a cryptid found in the pages of the Brazilian folklore. It has been a topic of much fright for the tribes of the rain forests of Amazon. Almost all the Indian tribes of the Amazon testify their existence claiming to have seen it. 

It is described as a humanoid giant sloth with a big mouth on its abdomen which it uses to swallow its prey; animals and humans alike. It is said to have one eye on its foreheads like the Cyclops of the Greek mythology, rearward feet, and reddish fur. In some areas, it is said to have two eyes and two mouths. It is seven feet tall and has bipedal mobility even after being a quadruple.

The terror engulfs the locals who recount its peculiar characteristics. It is said to have a trail of bustling beetles behind it with an ear-piercing roar. Its stench is unbearable, bad enough to knock a man unconscious on the ground. When upright, it has an uncanny resemblance to a human. Its fur is thick, reddish, and matted impervious to bullets and arrows. The tribes believe the only way to kill a Mapinguari is to shoot it directly in the eye but it’s a hard aim since the Mapinguari can disconcert the humans and make them see darkness in daylight. So according to them, the best escape route is to climb a tree and hide to save yourself from being eaten by the malicious creature.

An interesting story about the origin of Mapinguari exists in the Brazilian Legends. According to their folklore, thousands of years ago Mapinguari was once a highly acclaimed Amazonian shaman who succeeded in finding the key to immortality driven by his greed.  The Gods were furious with the shaman and decided to punish him. They turned him into a beast destined to wander the earth till eternity.

Karl Shuker, a cryptozologist believes that the Mapinguari is one of the most probable mythical beings to be unveiled by science one day. Ornithologist David Oren in 1993 proposed that the Mapinguari was allegedly a mylodontid from the Ice Age which coexisted with the humans and it still lived on.

Mapinguari stayed in the recesses of darkened and insignificant myths of the era until recently where it bagged much fame and popularity after appearing as the Brazilian Bigfoot on the media programs.

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