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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 25: Qupqugiaq

A rendition of the Qupqugiaq

I think I spent more time trying to figure out how to pronounce this thing's name than I did researching the actual cryptid. Apparently, Qupqugiaq is actually pronounced “Kokogiak”, but I’m still forever going to call it “Legs McGee.” I digress, let’s see if the story behind this thing is more or less confounding than its name.

Never Skip Leg Day: The Mystery of the Qupqugiaq

A second rendition of the creature.

Also known as the Qoqogaq and the aforementioned Kokogiak, the Qupqugiaq is said to be an oceanic (or so says the cryptidz wiki) cryptid from the Arctic Circle (or so says the Obscurban Legend wiki). The creature is said to resemble a polar bear, but with one major difference: it has 10 legs total with a massive skull that’s five feet-wide. Much like its four-legged counterpart though, the Qupqugiaq is said to be carnivorous and extremely vicious. It’s also said to be very quick thanks to its six extra legs. It’s also said that the Qupqugiaq is prone to attacking the local Inuit villages (not unlike a normal polar bear).

The only report I can find of the book comes from Michael Newton’s book The Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology. This book is also where I found the statement that the beast’s skull is five feet-wide. In the book, Newton states that the creature was seen in 1913. A group of Inuit tribesmen was going from east from Point Barrow when they heard something large swimming beneath them (despite there being beneath a thick layer of ice). When one of the hunters in the group made a sound, the Qupqugiaq burst up through the ice. However, thanks to a mixture of extraordinary luck and a quick dog sled, the group escaped the monstrous creature without harm.

Beyond this little bit of information, the story of the Qupqugiaq is as elusive as the beast itself. The only other sighting of the creature I can find is that it’s apparently an extremely popular name for inns and hotels. If you Google that name, you’ll be met with a two star inn that’s located in Alaska. If you want to know more though, you may have to do more digging than I did.

Also, don’t bother with YouTube. There are no videos on it. I checked and checked some more until I realized I’d have better luck finding Noah’s Ark in my shower.


1. It’s a real creature

Our first theory is that the Qupqugiaq is, in fact, a real creature. Whether it be a relative of the polar bear, an offshoot of it, or an entirely different species of bear is up for debate. No matter what though: Legs McGee is a real beast, and we can all have our own if we want our faces mauled off.

2. It’s a hallucination

Some believe that the Qupqugiaq is merely a hallucination that villagers have experienced for an array of reasons (I don’t know if cold temperatures can cause a hallucination). Nothing else really.

3. It’s a regular polar bear with its cubs

A popular explanation for the supposed sightings of the Qupqugiaq is that the native Inuits are merely seeing a female polar bear with her cubs. Thanks to them being so close to each other, it creates the illusion of a massive polar bear with ten legs.

4. It’s a mutant

This theory posits that it’s nothing more than a polar bear with an astonishingly bizarre mutation. Some counter this argument by saying that creatures with deformities like this seldom live past a young age, but it’s possible that one beat the odds and has lived long enough to become abnormally large.

4a. It’s been mutated thanks to pollution

An offshoot of the previous theory, this one states that the cause for the mutation is pollution from around the world. While pollution is an issue in many parts of the world and can have extremely bad effects on living creatures of all types, I don’t think that it can cause mutations like the one that is proposed in the form of the Qupqugiaq. I could be wrong and if I am: feel free to correct me. For now though, I don’t think this is what we’re seeing (though some disagree).

5. It’s a beast of legend

Much like the stories of Mother Leeds and the New Jersey Devil, The Goatman of the Lovers Lane, and a functioning Bethesda game at launch are merely legends, the Qupqugiaq is nothing more than a creature of legend. It’s been passed down from generation to generation and will continue to be passed down to new generations.

My Take

Mutation happens. Legends sometimes prove to be real. In the case of the Qupqugiaq though, I don’t think it’s real. It could be—or could have been—but in the way of it being a creature that’s a type of polar bear with an active breeding population? Not likely. If it is though, I’m never visiting any place where polar bears live. As for the one reported sighting I can find: I’d chalk that up to a legend or an oversized polar bear rather than an actual Qupqugiaq sighting.


This is without a doubt one of the strangest cryptids out there, both in name and in appearance. It isn’t something exceptionally fantastical. It’s a polar bear with six extra legs. That, somehow, manages to make it all the more bizarre. Given the reputation that polar bears have though—and it’s a reputation that they managed to somehow exceed—then I think it’s safe to say that it’s also a creature that I hope isn’t real. I know I just said this, but seriously: polar bears are monsters.

1 comment:

  1. It's legend, pure and simple. Any real world sightings, and I say that loosely. It's a mother with her cubs, I mean all that white out there...? You're bound to make a mistake.