In Point Pleasant West Virginia, 1966, a woman by the name of Marcella Bennett, rolled onto a relative’s property for evening dinner. Upon walking up toward the old house she heard a rustling in the shadows an arm’s length away. A startled giant of a man with bird-like characteristics and a massive wingspan of ten feet or more quickly rose from the ground — almost as if it had been resting. Except this beast wasn’t any ordinary snoozer, it was Mothman. Or so she says.
Most creatures on Earth need sleep or something like it for litany of reasons that are only loosely understood. We’re not entirely sure what it does, but we do know that it’s critical to development, growth and the routine bodily processes necessary for survival. So if most, if not all, living animals require sleep, then what about the ones that prowl the edges of our dreams, towns and realities? Surely these ethereal (or real?!) beasts like Sasquatch and Chupacabra, otherwise known as cryptids — creatures whose existence has yet to be, or cannot entirely be, proven by science — need to spend some time off their feet like everyone else. Hell, if roundworms sleep, then mothman must. Right?
Assuming that such cryptids as Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, the Mothman and others do sleep, we’ve taken cues from well known species of the animal kingdom and theorized how they might do it.
One of the most famous cryptids out there, Sasquatch is commonly described as a beastly ape-like hominid that saunters (or power walks, if you believe this candid shot) around on two legs throughout the misty forests of the Pacific Northwest. It sports a rather large set of pectoral muscles and broad shoulders, as well as a fine coat of black, brown, or reddish hair.
Judging by Bigfoot’s obvious simian qualities, it’s likely that it’s sleep behaviors take after those of humans or great apes. Great apes regularly construct beds of tree branches and foliage to sleep safely and deeply in trees, and humans continued this bed making habit even after coming down to the ground.
Dr. Melba Ketchum of the Sasquatch Genome Project, an organization dedicated to tracking and exposing the mythical beast, told Van Winkle’s that Sasquatch follows suit in this regard, assembling not only beds, but also A-frame-like shelters as well. “Nests and shelters have been photographed,” said Ketchum, noting that “other impressions [on the ground] have been found where they have slept without a nest or shelter.”
Keeping up with the not-quite-human-yet-not-quite-ape morphology, it seems like Sasquatch will utilize any manner of sleeping surface depending on its current disposition. Ketchum claims to have seen one dozing on the ground herself one early morning, but guessed that “they sleep in caves, trees and other protected areas also.” Sasquatches (Sasquatchi?) would need it if they get harassed with as often as we’re led to believe.
As far as how long or often they sleep, Ketchum thinks that the missing links probably keep to the same eight hour schedule as homo sapiens, as opposed to the longer schedules of 9 to 10 kept by other great apes.
The Yeti/Abominable Snowman
The Yeti, also sometimes referred to by the decidedly less flattering moniker “Abominable Snowman,” is, according to Dr. Ketchum, “a different variant of the same species — like a different race.” In other words, the Yeti is the Himalayan version of sasquatch, a cold weather Bigfoot adapted to life in the mountains.
Whether it’s the same “species” or a subspecies, the Yeti most likely sleeps on bedded ground like Sasquatch and humans. Rather than sleeping in the open where it would likely die of exposure, however, the Yeti presumably hunkers down in mountain caves — or perhaps in snowy dens while traversing K2 and Everest.
Possible and generally well-received explanations for the Yeti have been that climbers and locals have actually been spotting the elusive and rare Himalayan red bears or Tibetan blue bears. More mysterious yet, some believe it’s a hybrid of one of these bears and a polar bear. If our Yeti is indeed one of these ursids, then it’s possible it is a marathon sleeper, and hibernates in snowy dens.
Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster is arguably the most famous of all cryptids. The titular loch is a massive body of freshwater in Northern Scotland that is just one of the many thousands scattered across the highlands created by retreating ice sheets from the last ice age, which would lead to some theories about the origin of Nessie. However, according to Roland Watson, creator of the Loch Ness Mystery Blog, how the loch’s resident monster sleeps “Depends on what one thinks they are.”
The most hopeful folks believe “Nessie,” as it’s known, to be a plesiosaur, a long-necked ancient marine reptile that swam the world’s oceans, and somehow avoided extinction by maintaining a small population in Loch Ness. If Nessie were to be one of these heavyweights it would have to breath oxygen. That means it could either haul itself out onto rocks and sleep there, or if it is too large to be able to support its own weight on land, it might bob near the surface with one side of its brain asleep at a time — much like whales.
The problem with that theory is that Nessie would be much very visible to anyone living around the lake and no longer a cryptid but a described, known species. Other more modern theories posit Nessie is a Greenland shark, or a Wels catfish, both large species of fish capable of growing up to 20 and 15 feet long, respectively (They’re also deep dwellers easy to miss in a murky 800 foot deep lake). If this is the case, our Nessie might sleep in spells on the bottom using facultative swimming — meaning it can force water through its gills with its own muscles, giving it the option of staying put. It could also achieve sleep by powering down its brain while still swimming, a tactic many species of sharks use in order to keep moving and continue breathing.
From 1966 to 1969 and beyond, strange sightings of a red-eyed, winged creature of beastly proportions started popping up all around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Some say it ominously flying overhead, while others swore it freakishly ran alongside cars. Either way, the all witnesses who saw it recall very clearly the baseball-sized glowing red orbs that stared back at them from the face of what became Mothman. It even came to be viewed by some a a harbinger of disaster, after it was linked to a bridge collapse over the Ohio River in 1967 that killed 46 people.
There are many theories about the Mothman’s background. But most people, per Jeff Wamsley, owner and creator of the world’s only Mothman Museum in Pt. Pleasant West Virginia, do feel like it’s a living creature and that it was spawned in the “TNT Area” of Pt. Pleasant, a collection of industrial buildings and tunnels where chemical explosives were manufactured during WWII.
“An official theory in 1966 was that it was a sandhill crane, very tall birds known for being curious and unafraid of people,” said Wamsley. “Possibly it may have gotten into some sort of contaminants or chemicals.”
Cranes sleep on the ground or in shallow water, standing up, with their unihemispheric (half brain) sleep engaged in order to keep an eye out for predators. Based on how the Mothman sprung up from the ground in the sighting describe earlier in this article, it too, could’ve been sleeping with one half of its brain awake...wherever that lay in its deformed body. But, like a moth, or a secretive owl, it could have hidden itself away while sleeping.
“Many people thought since it was birdlike in nature that it was staying or roosting in some of the large abandoned buildings in the TNT area,” said Wamsley.
Originating in 1995 in Puerto Rico after a spate of goat and livestock were found dead with strange bite marks, the “Chupacabra” (“goat-sucker” in Spanish) has grown in popularity ever since. Its tale is told all over Central America and the American Southwest, becoming the defacto reason for killed livestock, cats or dogs. What it looks like, however, seems pretty much up to whoever reports a sighting. Initial reports had it looking just like the quill-backed alien seductress from the 1995 science fiction gem “Species”, while later and more recent descriptions had it morphed into a dog-like abomination.
For a creature like this to sleep, it’s diet must be taken into consideration. Vampire bats, the only mammal to feed solely on blood, must drink half their weight in blood in order to meet energy needs. A bat also stretches its energy consumption by sleeping more than 15 hours a day.
So, using a 30 pound adult coyote as a guess of a Chupacabra’s weight (numerous dead chupacabras have all turned out to be canines or raccoons that have lost their fur to runaway mange), it means that these blood-sucking cryptids would need to drink 15 pounds of the red liquid for every meal. That would certainly fit their ravenous reputation for completely draining their goat victims of blood, but it would also mean that they sleep long hours digesting meals. What’s more, they’re probably marathon sleepers by necessity like most bats, needing more hours on top of that to conserve energy in order to make up for the nutrient deficiency that goes with an extreme diet. Might we suggest a change in diet?