Rabbit Cryptids, an Easter treat.
It seems that around the world, many different cultures have decided that rabbits just aren’t interesting enough. These fluffy little breeding machines can be improved by one significant addition; antlers. I’ve trawled the internet over the easter period looking at the many different types of bunnies running around like a Shakespearean cuckold. Here are the top 5 bunnies with horns!
Probably the most famous of the bunny with horns archetype of cryptids is the Jackalope. The Jackalope was largely the creation of Douglas Herrick, who grafted deers antlers onto a taxidermy rabbits head to sell them. The Jackalope, though, is believed by some to be a real creature, hopping around the forests of North America, rutting with other it’s fellow horned lagomorphic brethren
The Jackalope is largely the product of the 1930’s, but tales of horned rabbits have long existed in Europe. In medieval times, horned rabbits were described across continental Europe, culminating in being named Lepus Cornutus by Conrad Gessner, who proposed that the creature was real, and lived in Saxony. The creature was described as if a real creature for a long time thereafter.
The Wolpertinger is a German folklore creature which is - you guessed it - a rabbit with horns. This time though, the creature is also described as having the wings of a pheasant, and depending on the source, a variety of different animals that would make a zoo blush with their diversity. Whilst the Wolpertinger is said to stalk the forests of Bavaria, there are similar stories across Germanic countries, such as the Raurakl from Austria.
The Rasselbock is largely the same as the Wolpertinger, with the exception that they are seen across Germany, and have canine like teeth. Cool.
Leaving Europe, the Middle Eastern answer to the Jackalope is the Al-mi’raj. Rather than deer antlers, the Al-mi’-raj was depicted as having a single horn, like a unicorn. This bunnycorn was said to live on the island of Jezîrat al-Tennyn in the Indian ocean.
There is a sad truth to the horned rabbits of society. Many accounts of these mythical creatures could be down to the shope papilloma virus. The virus infects rabbits, causing hard growths to emerge from their face. It’s possible that these growths may look like the horns that are said to adorn these mythical beasts. And on that note - happy easter!