The ABC’s of Mythological Creatures–‘C’

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The ABC’s of Mythological Creatures–‘C’


A cabbit is a fictional hybrid between a cat and a rabbit.  They have appeared in fiction and fantasy stories including Japanese anime and manga, and have also been dubiously purported to have been observed in the wild.  Most if not all observations are attributable to either misidentified Manx cats or outright hoaxes.

A cat-rabbit hybrid creature was first incorrectly documented by Joseph Train of Castle Douglas, Galloway, Scotland, in his "An Historical and Statistical Account of the Isle of Man", where he opined that the local Manx cat was such a hybrid: "My observations on the structure and habits of the specimen in my possession, leave little doubt on my mind of its being a mule, or cross between the female cat and the buck rabbit."  Train also refers to the tufty tail on the posterior of the "Manks" cat as being a fud, "or brush like that of a rabbit."  But scientific study has invalidated Mr. Train's genetically impossible conclusion.

Cadborosaurus willsi

"Cadborosaurus willsi", nicknamed Caddy, is an alleged sea serpent reported to be living on the Pacific Coast of North America.  Its name is derived from Cadboro Bay in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, and the Greek root word "saurus" meaning lizard or reptile.  Reports describe it as being similar in form and behavior to various popularly named lake monsters such as "Ogopogo" of Okanagan Lake in British Columbia and to the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland.

Cadborosaurus willsi is said by witnesses to resemble a serpent with vertical coils or humps in tandem behind the horse-like head and long neck, with a pair of small elevating front flippers, and either a pair of hind flippers, or a pair of large webbed hind flippers fused to form a large fan-like tail region that provides powerful forward propulsion.

Dr. LeBlond director of Earth and Ocean Sciences at The University of British Columbia and Dr. Blousfield retired chief Zoologist of the Canadian Museum of Nature state every elongated animal has been put forward as an explanation for Caddy.  These animals include Conger eels, humpback whales, elephant seals, ribbon or oar fish, basking sharks and sea lions.  LeBlond and Blousfield state no known creature matches the characteristics found in over 200 sightings collected over a century noting Caddy is described as having flippers both anterior and posterior.

Canvey Island Monster

The Canvey Island Monster is the name given to an unusual creature whose carcass washed up on the shores of Canvey Island, England, in November, 1953.  A second, more intact, carcass was discovered in August, 1954.

The 1953 specimen was described as being 76 cm (2.4 ft) long with thick reddish brown skin, bulging eyes and gills.  It was also described as having hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet with concave arches – which appeared to be suited for bipedal locomotion – but no forelimbs.  Its remains were cremated after a cursory inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public.  The 1954 specimen was described as being similar to the first but much larger, being 120 cm (3.9 ft) long and weighing approximately 11.3 kg (25 lb).  It was sufficiently fresh for its eyes, nostrils and teeth to be studied though no official explanation was given at the time as to what it was or what happened to the carcass.

Some have speculated that the specimens may have been some type of anglerfish, whose fins had been mistaken for feet, while others have come to a more likely conclusion, that the specimens may have been frogfish, which do in fact walk on leg-like fins, have bulging eyes, and take on a variety of colors including reddish brown.


The cat-fox is a possible new species of carnivoran discovered on the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.

It was first discovered by Swiss-based environmental group WWF in 2003, using a night-time camera trap in Kayan Mentarang National Park.  The mammal is slightly larger than a cat, with red fur, a long tail, and hind legs that are longer than the front legs.  Its overall appearance is something between a cat and a fox.  In some ways it resembles the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) of Madagascar.

The WWF plans to set traps to capture and study the animal.  If this proves to truly be a new species, it will be the first new carnivore discovered on Borneo since the Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti) in 1895.  Some individuals have speculated that the animal in the photographs is a known (but exceedingly rare) species, Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei).

However, a new report published by Erik Meijaard, Andrew C. Kitchener, and Chris Smeenk in 2007 suggests the animal photographed may not be a carnivoran after all, but one of the area's large flying squirrels of the genus Aeromys, possibly Thomas's flying squirrel (A. thomasi).  Other skeptics claim that it may be a red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista).


“Champ” is the name given to a reputed lake monster living in Lake Champlain, a natural freshwater lake on the U.S.-Canada border.  While there is no scientific evidence for the cryptid's existence, there have been over 300 reported sightings.  The legend of the monster is considered a draw for tourism in the Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York areas.

Like the Loch Ness Monster, Champ's status as a fictional legend is at times challenged by paranormal enthusiasts.


The Cherufe is a large anthropophagous mythical creature found in the Mapuche mythology of the indigenous people of south-central Chile.

The Cherufe is an evil creature humanoid of rock and magma.  It is said that Cherufe inhabit the magma pools found deep within Chilean volcanoes and are the source of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  Cherufe are also said to be the source of magicians ardent stones (meteorites and volcanic stones) that cause damage in volcanic regions.

The only way to abate the Cherufe's appetite for destruction was to satiate the beast's taste for human flesh by throwing a sacrificial victim into the bowels of its volcanic home.  Much like the European dragon, the Cherufe's preferred delicacy came in the form of virginal maidens.  The mythological origins of this beast may have originated to explain anomalies of geological events such as volcanic eruptions.

In cryptozoology, the Cherufe is described as a large reptilian humanoid creature or dragon.  The Cherufe appeared in the episode "Twelve Thousand Degrees Fahrenheit" of The Secret Saturdays, a Cartoon Network series about cryptids.  The creature also appears in episode 2.17 of the supernatural crime drama Lost Girl setting various fae aflame.  A variation of the Cherufe called the Red Cherufe appears in The New Brighton Archeological Society graphic novel.


“Chessie” is a legendary sea monster said to live in the midst of the Chesapeake Bay.  Over the years there have been many alleged sightings of a serpent-like creature with flippers as part of its body.  Most sighting reports describe it as a long, snake-like creature, from 25 feet (7.6 m) to 40 feet (12 m) long.  It is said to swim using its body as a sine curve moving through the water.  There were a rash of sightings in 1977 and more in the mid-1980s.  The most recent sighting occurred on April 5th 2014 at 1:40 am described by the witness "when the tide was very high".  While parked on the side of Arundel Beach Road directly next to the Magothy River, a Maryland resident and his friend reportedly saw Chessie less then 5 feet away from his car, and described it as having no fins but being a snake like creature 25-30 feet in length with a slender, football shaped head and black colored, though he could not distinguish between having scales or leathery skin.  The creature did not rise out of the water, but described it as the head and tail end "just breaching the surface of the water moving in a serpentine motion".  The witness first questioned himself if it was 2 separate animals traveling behind one another, but soon realized however that it was one continuous creature, by the water disturbance/flow it created on the surface of the water.  There are no known snakes in Maryland that get anywhere close to 25 feet long.  Though no photo was able to be obtained because the witness was "Too busy trying to figure out what the hell it was" that he didn't think to take a picture with his cell phone, the witness was so moved he called The Department Of Natural Resources soon after the sighting.

Although there are alleged photographs of Chessie, there is no genuine evidence of its existence.  Speculation to explain sightings has included a "mutant eel" theory, large river otters, prehistoric zeuglodons, and South American anacondas escaping from 18th and 19th century sailing ships.


Chickcharney, chickcharnie or chickcharnee is a mythical and cryptozoological creature resembling a bird, specifically an owl, that is said to live in the forests of Andros Island in the Bahamas' Islands.  According to some, it is furry, feathered, about 3 feet tall and is considered ugly looking.  In common legend, if a traveler meets a chickcharney and treats it well, he or she will be rewarded with good luck.  But, treating a chickcharney badly will result in bad luck and hard times.  Sightings have continued into the present.

It has been theorized by scholars that chickcharney sightings and legends are rooted in reality.  Tyto pollens was a 1 meter (3.3 ft) tall, flightless species of barn-owl native to Andros, and closely fits eyewitness descriptions.  It was rumored to survive until the 16th century, until settlers felled the eastern Andros forests.  However, since Tyto pollens was flightless, it was unlikely to need trees for shelter, and may still exist on the western half of Andros, explaining modern sightings.


Chuchunya is a hominid cryptid rumored to exist in Siberia, Russia.  It has been described as six to seven feet tall and covered with dark hair.  Some cryptozoologists including Bernard Heuvelmans have speculated that Chuchunya may be a relict population of Neanderthal.  Mark Hall, another cryptozoologist, has suggested surviving members of Homo gardarensis.  No conclusive evidence for the existence of the creature have yet been presented.


A churel, also spelled as churail, chudail or chudel is a female ghost of South Asian folklore, which is equivalent of Lilith and well known in North India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.  The word "churel" is also used colloquially for a witch.  Women who die in childbirth or pregnancy due to the negligence of her relatives are often described turning into churels, who return to seek their vendetta and suck the blood of their male relatives.

The churel is described to have a hideous and terrible appearance, however she appears in the devious disguise of a youthful, beautiful maiden to lure young men.  She drains their blood, semen, and virility, transforming them into aged men.  She dwells and prowls in places associated with death and filth.

Various precautions are advised to avoid a churel.  The best solution is to prevent the creation of a churel.  Special rites and rituals are performed in the burial of any woman who is likely to become a churel.  The corpse may be bound or protective nails or structures used to restrict the would-be churel to her burial grounds.  Measures are undertaken so that at least the churel does not find her way back to her house to torment her family.


Ceirean, Cirein-cròin or cionarain-crò was a large sea monster in Scottish Gaelic folklore.  An old saying claims that it was so large that it fed on seven whales: Local folklores say this huge animal can disguise himself as a small, silver fish when fisherman come in contact with it.  Other accounts state the reason for the disguise was to attract its next meal; when the fisherman would catch it in its small silver fish form, once aboard it changed back to the monster and ate him.


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