rhinelander wi

Monster of the Day: Hodag

“The hodag is a folkloric animal of the American state of Wisconsin. Its history is focused mainly around the city of Rhinelander in northern Wisconsin, where it was said to have been discovered. It is also mentioned in several Paul Bunyan stories…[It had] ‘the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur, and a long tail with spears at the end’. The reports were instigated by well-known Wisconsin land surveyor, timber cruiser and prankster Eugene Shepard.”

The Hodag was essentially a hoax cryptid designed to drum up publicity for the town of Rhinelander, WI. It remains popular in the town today, as many of the local businesses portray the beast on their signs, the local school uses it as their mascot, and there is a prominent statue of the Hodag in front of the Chamber of Commerce.