Chasing Chupacabras: Why People Would Rather Believe in a Bloodsucking Red-eyed Monster from Outer-Space than in a Pack of Hungry Dogs

In the tangled depths of its tropical rainforest, the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is said to hide a monster. Part alien, part vampire, part kangaroo-bat-demon, this monster has been supposedly sucking the blood of animals since 1995. Though reports of the monster’s alleged victims and eyewitnesses have since spread to eleven countries and made headlines worldwide, no scientific investigation to date has found any evidence supporting a paranormal predator. But like Bigfoot, ESP, and UFOs, this phenomenon–known to Spanish-speakers as the Chupacabras–has no shortage of believers.

In the face of little, no, or often-times contrary scientific evidence for the paranormal, people continue to believe. Why? The following thesis attempts an answer from the study of anthropology, psychology, and biology.

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Anna Lee Strachan

About Anna Lee Strachan

Anna Lee Strachan is an Emmy-nominated freelance producer for PBS’s NOVA series. She has produced and directed several hours for PBS’s NOVA including the critically-acclaimed The Fabric of the Cosmos, Making Stuff, and NOVA scienceNOW. As an associate producer she helped produce the Peabody Award-winning two-hour special, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Prior to her television work, she wrote for NASA’s Ask an Astrobiologist website and produced for NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday. She has a degree in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard University and an M.S. in science writing from MIT. Thesis: Chasing Chupacabras: Why People Would Rather Believe in a Bloodsucking Red-eyed Monster from Outer-Space than in a Pack of Hungry Dogs

 
 

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