Tag Archives: cryptid

The Terrifying History of the Rice Cryptid

The origins of the Rice University Cryptid, the Evan’s Hare, revealed. And it all began in 1916…

But a few weeks ago, I spotted an unidentifiable creature the claims the Rice University campus as its hidden home. Apparently similar to the Jackalope, this beast that I have deemed “Evan’s Hare” still remains loose, and largely a mystery.

What is this fantastic beast that I have found?!

Some have mocked my account of this hooved, unexplainable wunderbeast. However, the revealing spotlight of history should leave no question about the fantastical status of the Evan’s Hare, and its mysterious origins at Rice University.

It all began in 1916.

Rice University admitted its first class in 1912. In those early years, The Rice Institute, as it was originally known, spent considerable effort recruiting and retaining top minds in maths, sciences, and other fields. Some of those early names may still be recognizable to students today. Notably, Julian Huxley was one of Rice’s first professors.

Note Huxley, the first Director of UNESCO, and a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund, in this picture from Rice’s first yearbook.

What a brave, new world Rice was back then.

While Huxley may be the most famous face in that practically centennial photographs, the man important for the story is Hermann Joseph Muller. Muller was recruited by Huxley to teach at Rice, where he continued some of the first genetic research. Notably this research focused on the Drosophila, aka, the fruit fly. But that wasn’t all of his work…

Hermann Joseph Muller: Father of the Rice Cryptid?

Muller may be better known for his 1946 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was granted the award for “the discovery that mutations can be induced by x-rays.”

How convenient that the home of this rabbitesque mutant was where the father of radiation-induced mutations first cut his teeth as a full professor. But of course, that would be preposterous. It is not like there is a picture of Muller, and the rest of his scientific team, with a rabbit.

Oh wait there totally is.

Notice the little creature in front of Muller in the Campanile photo. Doesn’t it look a little familiar?

How convenient that the father of radiation-induced mutations is photographed with a rabbit-like creature.

The connections are becoming apparent and the truth is being revealed. So is the Evan’s Hare a cryptid, or some mutant created by man? Or could it be both?

The Rice Historian comments that there is no information about the rabbit in the 1916 photograph. And indeed, there is little information about Muller’s time at Rice. Of course, why would they want to advertise this man. Sure, he won the Nobel Prize. But he also had explicit Communist sympathies and worked closely with scientists from the USSR. Muller also was involved in the illegal leftist student newspaper, The Spark. So perhaps Rice, as fitting Texas’ mid-century anti-communism, decided to cover up any ties with this pinko. And with those ties, evidence of his genetic experiments on rabbits.

So today, the offspring of his mutant creatures still roam the grassy quads and oak filled campus of Rice University.

Hermann Muller. A Frankenstein to rabbits. A creator to the Evan’s Hare. A father to the Rice Cryptid.

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In which Evan discovers a Cryptid at Rice University

Bigfoot. Ogopogo. Chupacabra. Legends to some, beasts yet to be discovered for others. Societies around the world tell myths about the creatures that live just outside humanity’s knowledge. They are called Cryptids: creatures or plants whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely.

And I discovered one.

It was a bright, sunny day in June, and the bells had just struck four. I was walking back to the library from a late lunch, enjoying the flora and fauna of the semi-urban Rice University campus before returning to my Barbri video. Despite being located in the middle of a city, the university and the nearby Hermann Park, are home to some more unusual animals. There are the nutria in the Hermann Park pond. The occasional coyote sightings. And of course, the terrifying hives of graduate students.

Not to mention the adorable bunnies!

Just a bunny!

But yesterday I spied an animal beyond categorization.

I heard some rustling in the bushes, and went over to see if it was just another squirrel, or maybe a slightly more rare bunny. Among returning feelings of playing Pokemon and looking for a rare Jigglypuff among hoards of Pidgeys, I spied a tuft of brown fur rustling through the underbrush. I crept up slowly as to not scare away the creature, but unlike the rabbits, or even the most friendly squirrels that constantly approach people in search of snacks, this little beast did not run away. No. It hopped closer. Raised back in its haunches, it hopped out of the brush and towards the sidewalk where I was standing. This was no ordinary creature. With smooth swiftness, desperate to not scare away the beast, I grabbed my iPhone and fumbled with the touchpad until I was able to snap a picture. As I looked over the edge of the camera, the animal looked back, and at that point it struck me that this was not an ordinary animal.

It had ears somewhat like a rabbit, but shorter than most other ones on campus. It had a large snout, and giant rear haunches. And instead of front paws, what looked like hooves. This was no rabbit.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

What is this fantastic beast that I have found?!

What is this thing?! Heading back into the library, I scoured the only reliable source for information on odd and mythical animals: wikipedia’s list of cryptids. Perhaps one of these would fit.

Considering the location, maybe it was an Elmendorf Beast, which is indigenous to Texas. Weighing around 20 pounds, the beasts are responsible for attacking and killing livestock around Elmendorf, but a few hour drive away.

Is this what I saw?

However, unlike the Elmendorf Beast, the animal I saw had fur. And there have not been any recent reports about attacks on Rice’s livestock.

Given the creature’s fur and large haunches, maybe it was a Phantom Kangaroo. While technically not a cryptid, because kangaroos are real, there is a special category for kangaroos and wallabies showing up in areas where one would not expect them. This very well may have been a Phantom Wallaby.

This wallaby looks an awful lot like the creature I found

What was a wallaby doing in Houston, Texas? Who knows! These are the mysteries of the world. Cyptids live among us.

However, the hooves in the picture certainly do not seem to match the normal little paws of a wallaby. Maybe it was a Jackalope, but with hooves instead of horns. If so, then I would like to declare this a new sort of cyptid: Evan’s Hare.

Evan’s Hare is like a Jackalope, but instead of expressing its antelope characteristics via horns, it does so via hooves.

So, given the conclusive evidence that this animal was some sort of cyptid, possibly a Elmendorf Beast, possibly a Phantom Wallaby, possibly an Evan’s Hare subsection of the Jackalope species, I submit this discovery to the io9 Cryptid Summer contest.

If I win, then I will donate the money to the cause of hunting and capturing this Evan’s Hare. Or pay down student loans, whatever.