EL CUERO: (ARGENTINA – CHILI)

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aquatic-enigmasThis exceedingly dangerous aquatic predator is said to have a bovine shaped head complete with two stalk eyes, razor sharp claws and a mosquito-like proboscis, through which it sucks its victims blood.

Embedded deep in the Andes mountain range, in the Southern Province of Neuquen, is a small glacial lake, which is situated approximately 25-miles away from the Chilean border. This pristine stretch of icy water known as Lago (Lake) Lacar, shares many traits in common with other high altitude, freshwater bodies (such as LAKE BAIKAL and LAKE VAN) not the least of which are the reoccurring reports of a large – and extremely dangerous – unidentified animal dwelling beneath its surface.

Dubbed El Cuero, which roughly translates to “The cow-hide,” by the local population, this leathery creature is also known by the names “el Threquelhuecuvu,” “El Bien Peinado” (“the smooth-headed one”) and has even been referred to as an AQUATIC-TIGER.

Along with Lago Nahuel Huapi’s resident beast NAHUELITO, the AHUIZOTL and the vicious aquatic mammal known as the HUALLEPEN, El Cuero is one of the many examples of amphibious cryptid to appear on the South American continent.

Described as having a hairless head and spine, this animal’s body structure has been compared to that of a cow-hide which has been splayed out to dry, hence its appellation. This analogy has led some investigators to speculate that the animal may be distantly related to the family of South American freshwater stingrays known as the Stenohaline.

The creature’s face is said to be repugnant, and bearing two, reddish stalks, upon which rest its snail-like eyes. Even more disturbing are the reports of this animal’s proboscis-like mouth – located in the center of the creature’s torso – through which it reputedly sucks the blood of its human and animal victims.

This is a trait which the El Cuero would seem to share with thew notorious “African Brain Sucker” also known as MAMLAMBO, although this animal’s description bears more likeness to the ancient invertebrate, known as the TULLIMONSTRUM. Eyewitnesses have also reported seeing a series of razor-sharp claws along the fringes of this animal, which it uses to secure its prey.

Although this animal is most assuredly a LAKE-MONSTER, as Lago Lacar is undoubtedly El Cuero’s favorite haunt,we here at American Monsters felt that the unique features of this beast (not to mention the fact that there have been numerous eyewitness accounts of similar creatures hailing from rivers and lagoons in both Argentina and Chili) made it a perfect candidate for Aquatic-Enigmas.

While legends of these vicious predators have circulated for decades throughout the indigenous populations of these two nations, there are some investigators who believe that the similarities between this beast and the equally ferocious HUEKE-HUEKE’ are so startling as to indicate that they may be one in the same.

One tale which has become synonymous with this animal involves an unwary mother who, while washing her clothes in the Hua-Hum River, watched in terror as the animal lunged out of the water and snatched her infant child as it lay next to her on the shore.

Additional evidence of this creature’s amphibious tendencies are said to be found in the bird and animal remains, which litter the Lacar shoreline after one of its voracious, nocturnal feasts.