Every once in a while, I'll run into a story that just gives me the shudders, despite my generally rationalistic approach. All this does, of course, is to highlight a truism about the human condition; when it comes to a fight between logic and emotion, emotion usually wins. We like to flatter ourselves, and think that our highly-developed prefrontal cortices make us smarter than our non-human cousins, but when it comes to a real throw-down match between the parts of the brain, I'm putting my money on the limbic system every time -- the part of the brain that, along with the hypothalamus, governs the "four F's" of behavior: feeding, fighting, flight, and... mating.
A story this week out of Brazil
highlights the third "F" -- which stands for the flight response. It could also stand for "fear," because that's what usually motivates an animal running away. The story, which comes out of the town of São Gonçalo de Campos, near Feira de Santana, in the state of Bahia, is about a rather terrifying cryptid that has been sighted more than once in local neighborhoods.
Even the government officials are taking it seriously. Apparently, for the last two weeks there's been a curfew in the town; no one is to be outside after 9 PM. It started when a man identified only as Pingo
described seeing a five-foot-tall black monster, which ran at him; Pingo
turned and fled, escaping (he said) only by the narrowest of margins. At first, the other villagers made fun of him -- until others had similar encounters. Locals are calling it a "werewolf."
All of this would have been nothing more than another tale of "I saw something real, really I did" if it hadn't been for the footage captured on a home security camera. Watch it for yourself: