Wolpertinger

Variations: Oibadrischl (Germany), Rasselbock (Thuringia), Dilldapp

The Wolpertinger is a taxidermist’s chimera native to Bavaria, known since the 16th century. It has fangs, wings, and deer’s antlers on the body of a hare. Variants across Germany include the oibadrischl, the Thuringian rasselbock, and the dilldapp, all of which may have different combinations of antlers and/or fangs.

The wolpertinger and its many variations may have some biological truth to them. Rabbits and hares infected with papillomavirus develop strange tumors on their bodies. When they grow on the head and face, interpreting those tumors as horns or fangs is not difficult.

References

Panafieu, J. and Renversade, C. (2014) Créatures fantastiques Deyrolle. Plume De Carotte, Toulouse.

Zimmer, C. (2011) A Planet of Viruses. University of Chicago Press.

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