11 Points

11 Best Places In the U.S. To Spot 11 Famous Mythical Creatures
written by Sam Greenspan

Because of the list I once wrote on 11 Things the Bible Bans, But You Do Anyway, I get a 2,000- to 5,000-word email every few days from someone who wants to enlighten me about why it's ok to follow Leviticus's lead if you want to discriminate against gays but to ignore it if you want shrimp and tattoos. Usually the emails end with the person telling me I must be depressed because I'm Jewish and they offer to pray for me. At least I assume that's how the emails end. I stopped reading them in 2009.

For some reason, when August 28th's Biblical email came in, I decided to read it. And I'm so very glad I did. Because this one threw me an incredible curveball.

It started the usual way. These emails always just jump right into paraphrasing/mangling scripture, and this was no exception. "God created the heavens and the earth and all the animals." Skimming a bit I see a bit of talk about Lucifer (he was digitally inserted into Genesis by George Lucas, I assume), a lot on Adam and Eve, then the transition into Jesus, here we go, and now the inevitable transition into following the new convenant and not the old covenant (except the cherry picked line about no man-on-man sex)... WAAAAAAAIT.

Instead, this guy transitioned into: "Long before Jesus was born there were thousands of slaves that were building two cities... Some of them were giants as tall as 9 ft. or even taller... When scientists found the bones in Africa they thought we evolved naturally from a female chimpanzee. But it wasn't a natural evolution it was a man made evolution. That's where all the Bigfoot and Orangutan creatures come from... Bigfoot is here because men created him by having sex with female gorillas and orangutans a long time ago. "

This is the first time I've received a Biblical email that ended up focusing on the existence of Bigfoot.

So, in honor of this delightful surprise, this list is dedicated to you, guy who didn't sign his email. Here are 11 of the best places in America to spot our country's mythical beasts, both famous and less famous. May your monster hunts be as spiritually fulfilling as you crave.
  1. New Jersey - The Jersey Devil

    It's NOT just a hockey team or David Puddy belligerently face painted. There actually is a Jersey Devil. (Well, probably not. But conceptually, yes, independent of the hockey team.) The devil is described as having the body of a kangaroo, the head of a dog, the face of a horse, the wings of a bat, the horns of a ram, the arms of a tyrannosaurus rex, and the cloven hooves and tail of the devil. In other words, it's the Crunchwrap Supreme of mythical beasts.

  2. Pacific Northwest - Bigfoot

    Bigfoot is certainly the most famous mythical creature in the country and, as we learned above, a descendant of nine-foot Middle Eastern slaves. He's allegedly been spotted hundreds of times (although sometimes it's a man in a costume or Homer Simpson). And he's achieved the pinnacle of American glory -- he's got a monster truck named after him. We usually reserve that right only for pro wrestlers or generic cemetery workers.

  3. Lake Champlain, New York - Champ

    Champ is like America's Loch Ness Monster Lite. He was first spotted by Samuel de Champlain in 1609 and has been in Lake Champlain ever since. You can see the photo of him which was taken by a woman in the 1970s who apparently liked Instagram.

  4. Illinois, Texas, Alaska - Thunderbird

    The Thunderbird comes out of Native American tradition and has been spotted several times all over the country, but mainly in Illinois, Texas and, most recently, Alaska. The Thunderbird is a giant bird/pterodactyl creature with a wingspan of 12 to 18 feet which means, among other things, that Jay Bilas would love his upside at the draft.

  5. Point Pleasant, West Virginia - Mothman

    Mothman was famously sighted in West Virginia in the 1960s. He achieved more fame when John Keel wrote The Mothman Prophecies, a book about how a string of unexplainable events in the area were tied to the Mothman. Then he achieved even MORE fame in 2002 when The Mothman Prophecies movie was made, starring Richard Gere as a corporate shark who falls in the love with the Mothman and sends him on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.

  6. Florida - Skunk Ape

    I'd never heard of the Skunk Ape before, but he seems to be the Bigfoot of the Southern swamp land. Meaning he's like Bigfoot, but with an unintelligible accent.

  7. Western Michigan - Dogman

    I recently spent a little time in western Michigan. Lovely place. Didn't see any half-man, half-dog creatures, but did eat my body weight in cherries. Anyway, the Michigan Dogman (not to be confused with Danger Dog, who also lives in Michigan) was first spotted in 1887, then again in 1938, then again in 1967. He hasn't shown up since.

  8. Hawaii - Menehune

    The Menehune are a group of tiny creatures in Hawaii. They're sort of like Oompa Loompas. They hide from humans, love to play pranks and (probably) eat Spam. A census from the early 1800s in Kauai lists 65 Menehune living on the island, but that was the last record. As we know, Hawaii isn't so good about keeping documents.

  9. New Mexico - UFOs and aliens

    I know it's a bit Americo-Copernicussy to claim UFOs and aliens as OUR mythical creature, but the most famous alien sighting ever DID happen in Roswell, New Mexico. So we're claiming aliens, just like we claim the Moon, Steve Nash, pizza, Einstein, Jesus and the Beatles.

  10. Southwest - Chupacabra

    Of all these creatures, the Chupacabra is the one who stirs up the most trouble. Rather than just making a quick appearance here or there and then disappearing into the mist and imagination, the Chupacabra takes his time, kills some goats and cows and drinks their blood. Can't imagine Bigfoot doing that.

  11. Mobile, Alabama - The Leprechaun

    We don't exactly know what he looks like -- all we have to go on is an artist's beautiful sketch -- but we DO know that if we want to catch him and get his gold, we should not shine a light in his direction and have a flute handy to ward off spells. Also, he might be a shadow or a crackhead.

This post was originally published on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Travel.

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