The ellengassen was described by Jorge Claraz as being like a man, with hands and feet, but possessing a very large and hard shell made of stone. They live in caves and throw stones at people. According to one report from 1898, it leaves tracks like a wooden shoe with two cleats across the sole.
The ellengassen was first reported by Jorge Claraz, a Swiss rancher who was exploring the interior of the Rio Negro region. He described a cave inhabited by the ellengassen:
- "An animal similar to a man - it has a human figure - but is very big. It has hands, big legs, it walks like a man and is covered like a peludo [armadillo] with an enormous hard shell - which is of stone - these beings existed before, but now they are extinct. They were harmless and never attacked. But when one came near them - especially at dusk - they threw stones. These strange beings lived in caves."
Claraz was taken to the cave, but he found it ruined and abandoned. The area was still uninhabited due to fear of the ellengassen. Claraz saw many other caves which he natives told him were homes for the ellengassen.
Ten years later, Francisco Moreno was also shown to the cave by a Tehuelche chief.
Some authors have associated the elengassen with late-surviving ground sloths, such as Mylodon. Another possibility is that the animal simply comes from muddled Indian legends of jaguars and feral oxen. Both Claraz and Moreno, as well as Austin Whittall, believed it to be a type of glyptodont, which, however, were not bipedal. Whittall also suggests a connection with possible Patagonian neanderthals.
Further cryptozoological readingEdit
- Whittall, Austin (2012) Patagonian Monsters