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The Tatzelwurm is a cryptid that is said to live in the Alpine regions of German, Switzerland, and Austria. The name “Tatzelwurm” comes from the German words “Tatzel,” which means claw and “Wurm,” which means worm or serpent (a serpent with claws).

Cryptid Name:Tatzelwurm / Stollenwurm
Location:Alpine regions of Europe, particularly Germany, Switzerland, and Austria
Map of where the tatzelwurm is found
Category:Supernatural / Folklore Cryptid
Description:A short, thick-bodied creature with a cat-like head, reptilian or dragon-like body, clawed paws, and scaly skin.
Size:Small, about the size of a cat, but there are reports of it being larger.
Behavior/Characteristics:Reclusive, primarily nocturnal, said to hide in caves or crevices.
Diet:Believed to be carnivorous, feeding on small animals like birds, rodents, and insects.
Habitat/Environment:Found in forests, rocky mountain terrain, and other natural landscapes.
Evidence:No conclusive scientific evidence exists; sightings are largely anecdotal.
Sightings and Encounters:Reported sightings are rare and come mainly from local legends and folklore. No verifiable, documented sightings have been recorded.
Skepticism/Explanations:Many skeptics attribute sightings to misidentifications of known animals, natural phenomena, or the product of local myths and storytelling.

What Does The Tatzelwurm Look Like?

Artists Impression Of The Tatzelwurm
Artist’s Impression Of The Tatzelwurm

The Tatzelwurm is described as having a snake, dragon, or lizard-like body that usually ranges from about 2 to 5 feet / 0.5 to 1.5 meters long. It is said to have a cat-like head with sharp teeth.

It has clawed paws which look like the claws of a cat or lizard. It has a scaly or reptilian skin which witnesses say is either brown or green which helps it to blend into its environment.

The Tatzelwurm Legend

The first known sighting of the Tatzelwurm was in 1779 when a man by the name of Hans Fuchs, saw two of these elusive cryptids as he traveled through the rugged landscape of the Alps. He was so frightened that he had a heart attack and survived only long enough to tell his family what he had seen. Since then there have been numerous tatzelwurm sightings with most witnesses confirming seeing its lizard-like body and cat-like head as described by Hans Fuchs.

Historical image of the tatzelwurm
An Encounter with A Stollenwurm, 1723, by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer
Source: Houghton Library

Evidence Of The Tatzelwurm

There isn’t a lot of physical evidence that has been found to prove that the Tatzelwurm is real. In 1934 a photograph was taken but most cryptozoologists believe that this photo is a fake. Later, in 1924, two men allegedly found a five-foot-long skeleton that they said resembled that of a lizard however I couldn’t find any evidence that this skeleton is still around today.


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