Cryptid Corner Flashback: Tatzelwurm


Bringing it back and going old school this week, enjoy this oldie.

This weeks cryptid is the Tatzelwurm, the Tatzelwhat?

The Tatzelwurm also know as the Alps Dragon is a cryptid reported in several areas in Europe, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy. It has several regional names including Stollenwurm, Springwurm, Arassas, Praatzelwurm and Bergstutzen. All the names are hard to pronounce and impossible to say while drunk.

Some sightings claim that the Tatzelwurm is lizard like while others more strangely describe the creature as a cat like freak of nature. The common description of this beast is lizard/snake like with a stubby appearance, two front legs without hind legs, and completely covered with scales, in some cases it has a cat face and poisonous fumes, which is probably just the french perfume Pepe Le Pew wears.

tatzelwurm foto

The earliest documented encounter with a Tatzelwurm took place in 1779 when two of these creatures appeared in front of a man named Hans Fuchs. Frightened by his encounter Hans suffered a fatal heart attack, however before he died he was able to tell his family of his encounter, he described the creatures as 5 – 7 feet in length with a snake like body, clawed front legs and a large feline like head with sharp teeth.
In 1828, a peasant supposedly found the corpse of a Tatzelwurm which by the time he had managed to bring it home crows had apparently eaten half of the creature. The Tatzelwurm built up quite a following of believers and was even considered fact in the nineteenth century. Its now believed that even if this creature did actually exist that because sightings are so rare now it may be completely extinct.


In July 1883 or 1884, Kaspar Arnold saw a Tatzelwurm on the Spielberg, near Hochfilzen, Tirol, Austria. He watched it from a mountain restaurant for twenty minutes and was certain it only had two legs
A two-legged Tatzelwurm leaped 9 feet in the air toward two witnesses near Rauris, Salzburg, Austria, in the summer of 1921. It was gray, about 2–3 feet long, and had a head like a cat.
In 1934, a Swiss photographer named Balkin claimed to have photographed a Tatzelwurm near Meiringen, Switzerland, but his photo was probably a faked image of a ceramic fish.


In the summer of 1969, a local man reported a 30-inch-long animal with two hind legs near Lengstein, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. It seemed to be inflating its neck.
In 1990, two naturalists found the skeleton of a lizardlike animal in the Alps near Domodossola, Italy.
Giuseppe Costale saw a gray, crested reptile moving in a zigzag fashion on Pizzo Cronia in the same area on two occasions, in October 1991 and September 1992.
In 2000 a strange skeleton was forwarded to a local college. Some scientists said at the time is the first physical proof of the Alpine Tatzelwurm. Along with the skeleton came a sizable donation as well. The original owner of the skeleton remains a mystery. The law firm of Gunterhaus Ltd. in Germany handled the donation and refuses to divulge the name of the contributor or why the Geneva Institute was selected to be the recipient.

So what the heck is a Tatzelwurm? Is it a real creature, some kind of large salamander? I can see people mistaking a lizard face as cat like. If they are real then I want one as a pet, I will name it Lobo and show it off to all my friends! (Wouldn’t take long). Please email me any experiences you have with strange creatures at ([email protected]) and remember to keep an eye out for those crazy cryptids.

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