The Fiendish Jackalope Cryptid

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The History Of The Jackalope Cryptid

Look, I’m south African, there are no two ways about it. However, one of the most frightening damn creatures for me that I ever encountered growing up was the Jackalope cryptid. However, I did not come across a feral wild horned bunny that attacked me in the wilds. Rather, I came across this bizarre cryptid on my television set, as I watched a rerun of America’s Funniest People. Yes, that show had a reoccurring character that would be the stuff of my nightmares. None other than Jack Ching Badda Bing the Jackalope. I have no idea why, but this thing scared the bejesus out of me. It literally made my skin crawl. Even now as I sat doing my research on this weird bunny thing my skin literally crawled when I saw pictures of the Jackalope.

I think my fear stemmed from the hybrid creature being so unnatural, and the fact that Jack Ching Badda Bing was, to put it bluntly, a sociopath. But none the less, while most kids struggled to watch Chucky, I was, from that day on, sworn off of America’s Funniest People.

So, What Is A Jackalope?

For those of you out there who didn’t have the pleasure of being tormented by this fiend as a child, a jackalope is an amalgamation of a hare and deer. Well, not so much an amalgamation. More so, it’s just a rabbit with deer horns. This cryptid is a huge part of the American culture. You will be able to find copious amounts of stuffed mounted Jackalope heads throughout bars in the US.

I WAS TODAY YEARS OLD!

So, it’s that time of the poddy again. Time to see what I learned today… Apparently, though being tormented by this fiendish creature through my childhood mind, there were a few things I didn’t know about the Jackalope’s appearance.

Firstly, as the stories of the creature spread throughout America, so too did the Jackalope’s size. The creature was rumoured to be far bigger than a mere Jackalope.

Furthermore, the creature’s antlers were said to be razor sharp. This made the Jackalope that much more fearsome to those hunting it.

But Where Did It All Begin?

The tale of the Jackalope spans back much further than its American air quote origins. There are accounts of this beast popping up all over the world in fact.

The earliest account of a Jackalope like creature stems from a Persian geographic dictionary, published in the 1200s. This creature is described as a rabbit with one long horn on its forehead, much like a unicorn.

Further historical accounts of Jackalope type cryptids were included in numerous works of  natural history between the 17th and 18th century in Europe. A similar cryptid can be found in the forests of Southern Germany. However, the Wolpertinger not only has antlers, but wings as well.

Accounts of horned rabbits can even be found in my hometown, Africa. So maybe I was terrorized by one as a child, who knows!

So, as you can see, this cryptid has been circulating folklore for centuries now.

Traits Of A Jackalope

Naturally, being a cryptid, the Jackalope is incredibly ferocious. So much so that American hunters were warned to wear stove pipes around their legs when hunting, so as to protect themselves from the fearsome bite or charge of a Jackalope.

Apart from this one trait, not much else can be said for the Jackalope. It acts pretty much the same as any other rabbit. Bar the ferocious attacker side of course.

The American Version Of The Jackalope Cryptid

In the 1800s, cowboys of Wyoming would often sing to their cattle in the vale of night. However, if they sang on the eve of a thunderstorm, they would not sing alone.

You see, the Jackalope would sing back to the cowboys, but only ever on an evening before a thunderstorm. This was the only time a Jackalope was known to call out.

However, the creature only really took gained mass infamy in American folklore in the 1930s. This can be attributed to one Douglas Herrick, a local of Douglas, Wyoming.

One day, young Douglas and his brother, were out hunting for jack rabbits. However, they had no idea what they would come across. The pair bagged a few rabbits and took them home. Earlier in their lives, the brothers had studied taxidermy via correspondence. As such, they happened to have a pair of deer antlers lying in their basement. When Douglas placed the jackrabbit corpse next to these, a legend was born.

Quickly, the brothers sewed together the antlers and rabbit head, creating a sort of franken-bunny taxidermy creation. The pair then went on to sell their unique creation to the La Bonte Hotel in Douglas. This one little wall mount created such a stir that to this day, Jackalope hunting licenses are issued to tourists.

From there, the tale of the Jackalope grew and grew, now coming in at what I would surmise as the second most recognised cryptid of America (second only to the legendry Big Foot).

But while the brothers were selling off foul play creations, other hunters in America were seeing frightening things in the woods.

In Iowa, hunters were making their way through the woods on a usual excursion. Their game of choice, like the two brothers, was the jack rabbit. However, the hunters saw something that truly rattled them. They hunters described the rabbit as possessing “horns” protruding from its head region.

Quickly they shot the animal. But this is where things get interesting.

What Is The Jackalope?

People, the Jackalope cryptids are real. One hundred and fifty billion percent real. And I’m going to tell you why. You know the horns they are reported to don? Well, these aren’t horns per se. They are actually keratinized carcinoma tumours created by the Shope Papilloma virus. This virus is also known as the cotton tail rabbit papilloma virus, and this is due to the fact that it is carried specifically by Leporids – fancy scientific name for the family of hares and rabbits.

This disease was discovered by its namesake, Richard Edwin Shope in the 1933. You see, after hearing the tales of the hunters and the freak rabbit they encountered, Shope was determined to get his hands on one. And he did just that.

Shope then conducted a series of tests of the horns of the dead animal. He eventually managed to separate the virus from the keratinized wart of the rabbit, making one of the first mammalian tumour virus discoveries. He then took the separated vile of liquid virus, and applied it to the head of an otherwise healthy rabbit.

Sure as shit, the healthy rabbit began to sprout growths where the liquid had been applied. As such, Shope was able to confirm that the horns of the Jackalope were tumours caused by a viral infection.

So, in my estimation, a Jackalope cryptid is nothing more than a sick bunny. However, these growths don’t necessarily grow directly on top of a rabbit’s head. They can be found anywhere in the general head region of a rabbit or hare.

As such, I believe people were spotting these sickly rabbits around, and romanticizing their appearance into a brand new hybrid creature. People have an amazing ability to stretch the truth. But what would you do if you saw a horned rabbit?

Furthermore, I think that all of the tales of this horned rabbit/ hare are nothing more than a recant of an animal carrying the Shope Papilloma virus.

And I can back this up even further. You see, the papilloma virus isn’t a new kid on the block. It is estimated that this virus has been circulating the gene pools of various creatures (rabbits, reptiles, birds, even humans) for some 300 million years.

As we evolved, so too, did the virus. In humans, the HPV – or human papilloma virus – is known to cause cancer within a woman’s cervix. In rabbits, it causes horns. So basically, we all got the short end of this stick if you ask me.

As such, horned rabbits have been a thing for as long as rabbits have been around.

As for the Wolpertinger and its wings, we’ll get to that one later.

And as for the jackalope’s aggression? The growths caused by this virud can be so bad on a rabbit’s head, it may prevent them from eating. A lot of bunny sufferers have died from starvation because of it. So if that were me I’d also be aggravated as fuck…

Look that’s just my assessment. There is no evidence to support aggression caused by the Shope papilloma virus.

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