Bahia Horned Bipedal Beast Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 9th, 2007

Mystery Photo

Click on image for full size version.

Photographs are shared with me weekly. Some are compelling (as in “interesting,” but not necessarily “evidence” quality) enough to make it to Cryptomundo.

Here’s one, above, of an alleged horned biped creature on a South American riverbank just in that I find intriguing, if not curiously prosaic. Needless to say, in these days of photoshopping, frame captures from sci-fi films, and animation that nearly looks real, anything is possible as an origin of any new photo. But what is this? Does it look familiar to anyone?

Here’s what I know, to date, on this “Bahia Beast”:

Loren, hopefully you can shed some light on this thing. The thing has many human qualities I can see under a scope. [It] appears to have clothing, however the burnished bronze color throws me off. [It was] photo[graph]ed by a 15 year old American girl. She was on tour with a group from Michigan. Supposedly the temp. is 100+.

Loren, the photo was taken in July 2007. The story behind it is this little 15 year old girl was attacked by this [thing]. How it happened is unclear. I met personally with the girl and her parents; I felt imposing since I had just met these people for the first time. It was a large family gathering and I was an outside guest invited. Still not sure why I was invited other than they had motorcycles and needed answers to questions. I was their answer guy.

Her father plainly said she’d not be going on anymore trips out of his sight. Supposedly this thing grabbed her and attempted to hold her and put mud in her face and hair. She said she couldn’t get away from it by pulling so she got a firm hold and tackled it causing it to lose balance thus allowing her escape.

Supposedly there are other witnesses; I am still trying to get more info.

The area is: Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil.

Surely, someone there knows of this incident.Two-Cam McLaren, August 9, 2007.

“Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast…The state’s geographical regions comprise the Atlantic Forest or mata atlântica; the recôncavo region radiating from the Bay (the largest in Brazil), the site of sugar and tobacco cultivation; and the planalto, which includes the fabled sertão region of Bahia’s far interior…The São Francisco River, Brazil’s second longest river system, runs from the Atlantic Ocean along the state’s northern border with Sergipe and Pernambuco down through the planalto into the neighboring southern state of Minas Gerais. The state has the longest coastline in Brazil; the northern coastline running from Salvador forms the Linha Verde (Green Line). Bahia contains the longest known cave in the Southern hemisphere, Toca da Boa Vista, which has 84km of mapped passages.” – Wikipedia.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

93 Responses to “Bahia Horned Bipedal Beast Photo”

  1. Morgoth responds:

    Here is the mask:

    And notice the left shoulder of the creatue. Careful with that smudge tool!

  2. lorelady responds:

    My humble opinion: it is a staged photo of a human being imitating my original sketch of the Beast of Bray Road in which it was kneeling and holding a road-killed animal in exactly this same pose. That sketch has been reprinted in many, many media from print to TV to Internet, with and without my permission so it could easily be known in Brazil.The arms are completely recognizable as human, and the “horns” are identical to the ears on a rubber werewolf mask that I own. My guess is that they used the mud to both blend the mask in with the body and to make it unnecessary to produce a consistent covering of fur. Also, the girl’s story does not ring true; I agree with the writer who asked whether she took the photo and then the creature somehow came lunging across the muddy pond before she could turn around and run? That just doesn’t work.

    That area of the world does have its own wolf-or-dog-headed creature, the Lobizon, but I doubt this is it.

    – Linda Godfrey

  3. Alligator responds:

    Why it’s not real:

    The photo resolution between the creature and the surrounding area is different.

    The creature is in mud up to knees. Yet there is no evidence of tracks or sliding down the bank.

    If the creature had walked out of the water to the bank, it would be roiled and muddy.

    Amazon riverbank? Could be, but I could take you to any number of riverbanks in the Midwest and location similar in appearance.

    It is a Lord of the Rings orc.

    Finally, the story is second hand at best and important details sorely lacking. If the girl had been attacked by a human, a crocodile, a jaguar or fire ants in Bahia there would have been ways to confirm the story. What confirmation is there for this?

  4. jules responds:

    The face looks a bit like the monster/devil from the movie “Legend”.

  5. spock82 responds:

    I do have the DVD of Gargoyles and I too was pretty young when I first saw that flick and it was very scary at the time. At some point in the movie the main Gargoyle is cradling one of it’s dead young in it’s arms. This looks suspiciously like this shot to me.

  6. Grant responds:

    It reminds me of the TV movie “Gargoyles” (which had very good makeup).

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    Do we have anyone that might be an expert on local legends for Brazil? This one is way out of my knowledge of things. I do find it “funny” that the ears and face is similar to what most t.v. shows and movies depict “demons” to look like. Although the upper lip looks feline in nature. As for the center of gravity, that very well could be a real person walking thru that mud and I can guarantee that center of gravity will be off because in 2 seconds that person will be disappearing into the mud. This is definitely one that pushes my ability to accept and believe.

  8. antagonist responds:

    Here’s a somewhat cleaned up and zoomed in shot of the original pic. You’ll notice a smudge going from where his hands meet to the trees suggesting photoshopping.

    Now here’s a posterized version. Notice that the smudge is even clearer.

    Now, here’s the same pic with it’s features outlined. Notice the rope, waist harness, backpack, even a knife. If you compare it to the original you’ll see that he even has short sleeves on. The person who chopped the rope out altered the face as well, then covered their tracks by low-resing the pic.

    Case closed

  9. devastation79 responds:

    Come on, that picture is one of the faker I’ve seen in years.

  10. wrath of the real responds:

    you can definetly see where the rope used to be going from his hands up and to the left. And that also explains his center of gravity leaning into the rope to get his legs out. Almost this is a decent one.

  11. searoom responds:

    I have to agree with the back pack. I too Photo Shopped this image and played with a lot of adjustments. While doing this the back pack becomes rather obvious as does the left shoulder strap albeit covered with mud. When I was young growing up along the Delaware River. We would play hide and seek at low tide in the water lilies. We would completely cover ourselves in alluvial mud that was as thick and black as that of this image. This is a set up shot.

  12. Mnynames responds:

    Regardless of its reality, the story seems tacked on, perhaps as a way to explain the object the creature is holding. To me, it looks human (or at least humanoid), as I see legs and an arm as well. If so, it is very limp, and certainly covered in mud. One would have to think that if it was human, it would be a child much younger than 15, given the size, but perhaps whoever created the tale felt the creature must be a giant of some sort, or would play better with that perception.

    In short- I don’t buy the story. As for the rest? Got me…

  13. mtgrogan responds:

    Kneeling at the water’s edge in the mud with a child?

    Some kind of shaman, if legit.

    I have a mask from the Philippines on my wall by the computer that looks just like this guy’s face.

  14. Sunny responds:

    I am absolutely NOT a Photoshop expert — I’m at the brochure/catalog design end, and NOT the photo manipulation side of things. I have to do some things to make a photo look the way I need it, but I don’t pretend to be an expert — and I know what it makes the photo look like when it’s been fiddled with.

    But if even I can mess around with this pic enough to find a suspicious-looking blur on the being’s left shoulder (right side of the image as you look at it) — and a suspiciously straight blur from the figure to the top of the picture…

    Then it’s pretty right-on to seriously question the photo.

  15. DARHOP responds:

    If you guys can blow this photo up, you will be surprised by what you see, I think. I still can’t make out what it’s holding though.

  16. DARHOP responds:

    You’re not gonna see tracks like you normally would in this deep of mud. If it’s wet enough and it looks like this is. It’s real soupy like fresh concrete mud. The tracks will fill in on themselves and leave what, to best describe it is a pattern to what you see to the back right of this photo. If you have ever poured concrete slabs you know what I’m talking about. You just cant leave a 12-16 inch deep track in mud like that. Doesn’t work.

  17. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    I brought the pic into photoshop and raised the resolution to enlarge the picture to view detailing better, it appears as though the creature has a ‘male organ’. It could be something else, but IMO it looks like there’s one there.

    Which, may not be important. But I figure that- if this image is staged, or if it’s some guy being rescued who fell in, why wouldn’t they be wearing pants or some kind of covering?

    Which makes it seem, IMO, more like a legit pic or possibly someone from a tribe of people, etc.

  18. FaceThePain responds:

    I enhanced the color saturation, as well as changed the picture into it’s negative state, and I’m sorry to say, this “creature” IS part of the picture.

    Now aside from that, if you look in the water, you see a mud trail, where mud is left mixed through the water, to show something has moved along through there.

    My take : This is someone in an elaborate costume, holding what appears to be a prop of a lifeform (rather baby, animal, etc), who traveled from the location of where the person taking the picture was, waded to the bank, and slightly turned, letting said person take the picture.

  19. ThermalRider responds:

    I’m familiar with this strange beast. Its very rare…
    Its called Persono In Masko

  20. BitterDrunkGuy responds:

    Kinda reminds of a large ape, although muddy and fur matted down, with a dead baby ape in her arms and little legs hanging down and one arm dangling. If u look right under its left wrist u can almost make out a pair of little legs and tummy. The rest of the torso still in its arms . Although the lower half appears to be a bit distended from the upper torso but possibly cause it got pulled out of the mud.

  21. Slyfox responds:

    I believe it is yet another ‘hoax” sorry to say…..

    The reason being though it may be just me but…..It looks as if on th right side there is a “lady in the woods” aswell a ghost and a monster !!! Lol I highly dout it……..It looks as if it is a spoof from a movie……

  22. Slyfox responds:

    Although I havnt blown it up yet though…..

  23. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    Hope this works… I enlarged the pic in photoshop and outlined in red the shape.

  24. Slyfox responds:

    Also one more note: I noticed I really didnt give a good explanation as to what I am seeing..So here it is she is in the tree on the right side by the water she looks as if she is made of clay (maybe just coloring) and she appears to be kneeling aswell….it is kinda hard to see…..

    “O” she appears to be hlding somthing aswelll…As I said before maybe just my eyes……

  25. ThermalRider responds:

    Ok – I flipped the image to see if the reflection matches up.
    It does… hmmm…. but still….

    I still think its the very rarely seen “Persono In Masko” species.

  26. 0mikron responds:

    I have been analyzing this in photoshop…. it is a thing in the water holding some other thing. There is no rope, there is no back pack. It is a critter with skeletal features. If it isn’t a person in a mask making a staged hoax….. then it is either a zombie, a demon or some other spawn of hell. These are the end-times you know…. demons are supposed to walking among us now in temporal form.

  27. springheeledjack responds:

    I don’t like the angle that the “thing” is standing…looks like a statue because even in the mud, a living creature would not stand at that angle…leaning too far back with its legs too close together for balance…I am going for the statue in the mud theory…

  28. PhotoExpert responds:

    As I have always stated, there needs to be two things that need to happen simultaneously for a photograph being considered as proof of existence.

    They are:
    1. A clear photograph or video, unlike the numerous blobsquatch photos that are encountered everyday.

    2. A credible witness with story.

    In this case, the photograph is somewhat adequate but the witness and her story are open to scrutiny. How could some creature that is able to hold something that carries some weight, negotiate itself through thick, knee deep mud, climb a hill and then a young girl is able to defeat it’s grasp? You have got to be kidding me! Strong enough to do all that but not strong enough to prevent a young girl from overpowering it. LOL

    I’m not buying under the litmus test. It is full of holes. Interesting to look at but that is about it. Since the story and girl are not credible, I did not waste my time analyzing the photograph itself.

  29. jspiers responds:

    Has anyone other than me considered that the “baby in its arms”, the “knife”, and the “wings” might simply be a guy holding on to a rope attached to one of these?

    I think that I would look for some pics perhaps from Katrina or some of the “mud rescue” squads that are out there. It doesn’t take too much to imagine the “horns” and supposed ridge around the head to be a rescue worker’s hat and mussed hair. A rope does make complete sense, since increasing contrast shows that there is a straight line extending up and to the top left of the picture. The ridge around the head may be an optical illusion from the branch behind it’s head, as well.

    On the other hand, maybe it is the infamous and rarely seen two horned humpbacked mud monster of Brazil.

  30. Joshua Inayat responds:

    Greetings to everyone here! My name is Josh, I’m new to the site. 🙂 Looks great! Being a photographer I’m more familiar with photoshop than I ever wanted to be! lol This picture intrigued me so I thought I’d take a look at it…

    Picture 1: Just over exposed and color corrected the image I got from up top. To a trained eye, you can see dozens of spots of obvious editing.

    Picture 2: Blown up, exposed up 1 exposure stop, color corrected.

    Area 1: Completely unnatural lines, no clear definition between water and foliage. Obvious signs of “Blur” tool or similar. I don’t care how swampy a picture is, at that distance there SHOULD be a clearly defined bank – be it water, dirt, mud, etc. If the water were so clear you could see the shapes below it as foliage, then you’d be able to see the creatures legs and not a supposed reflection/shadow.

    What I see is foliage colored to be blue with no water source! It’s dry land with a blue tint, in my opinion.

    Area 2: Completely unnatural line in water in terms of lighting and exposure. The rocks are underexposed while the water infront of it is so over exposed it’s blown out. Again looks like signs of editing.

    Area 3: Again, dry land to be made like water. Foliage colored over, areas around it blurred and over-sharpened.

    Area 4: One of dozens of distortions caused by over sharpening or over blurring. Poor image quality if due to low camera or scan resolution creates a pattern of pixelation rather than areas of over-sharp or over-blur.

    I could have pointed out another ten or so areas of suspected editing, such as the banks being blurred into the water, etc.

    The interesting thing is that I didn’t see any evidence of editing ON the creature itself to make me think it itself has been changed. The lighting is plausible, but can be done with photoshop also. Samguzman’s picture shows the first half of the reflection shadow on the water, but it continues to the full length of the critter. Looks like to me they just turned the critter 180 and put the opacity to 15% so that the highlights in the water shine through it still.

    At a small enough size, the picture looks okay which is what it was designed to do. Blow it up even just a little bit however, and all the editing comes out!

    Lastly, I agree with everyone about the pose! Either it’s running backwards or falling backwards. There’s NO way it would be going forward knee deep in mud leaning backwards!

    Thanks for the great exercise! 🙂

  31. CryptoGoji responds:

    If that thing aint photoshoped in, then I will eat a hat.

  32. tsunamicarlos responds:

    I do not think this photo is of a cryptid creature, nor is it paranormal.

    I do not think it is a hoax, nor is the photo staged.

    In a region of the world where witchcraft and voodoo is so common, I believe it is a witch doctor performing some kind of ritual. Whatever it is holding in its arms is part of that ritual — a sacrifice or offering. By the looks of it, the person wearing the mask and covered in mud is participating in black magic of some sort.

    You can walk into certain “Botanicas” and find such masks, along with other trinkets and beads. Incense, herbs that give hallucinations, skulls, live animals (for sacrificing), etc. In Miami, there are many of these Botanicas so Bahia must have them on every shopping strip!

  33. Alligator responds:

    It’s really interesting to see the diverse interpretations here. Many see a photo hoax, a few believe it is some kind of a shaman and only a very few think it is a paranormal (demonic) being. I think most everyone is in agreement that it is not some kind of unknown animal.

    One comment was made that there would be no tracks in a bank like this because it is very liquid mud. AS an old river rat who has swam, waded and bank fished along multiple Midwestern streams. I am very familiar with mud banks like that. You don’t leave tracks, you leave a wallow line. You can’t just walk through knee deep like you’re strolling at a mall. Even when that liquid mud fills back in where youve been it stakes hours to obliterate the sign of your passing. If the “creature” had walked in from the water, there would be roiling and discoloration there. When a raccoon or otter plays in the water at a the river’s edge, you can see the sign for several hours. So if this is something actually standing on the bank, it stood there for several hours before the photo was snapped. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to keep your balance in knee deep mud. This figure is leaning so far back, it would fall over. There is a clean straight line where the legs meet the mud, a physical impossibility.

    Although it might be tempting to say it could be medicine man in a mask etc.. the photo anomalies are pretty obvious. I can’t add more than the photo experienced folks have said about it. If anything, this “beast” shows that the standard for proving the existence of something has to be rigorous – it is far too easy to fake photographs and there are too many people willing to do it just to kick from watching reaction to their story.

    Are there cryptids out there? I think there are especially in the depths of the sea, but possibly still in the few very remote wilderness areas which are rapidly shrinking around the globe. But I sure don’t think this Bahia Beast is one of them. This particular photo and story has way too many holes and gaps to be taken seriously as a cryptid sighting, although it sure was fun to pick it apart and analyze it.

  34. devastation79 responds:

    I don’t know, it looks real, but real as in someone in some type of suit, rather than an actual hominoid. I can tell you this it definitely wasn’t worth the time that George and Loren spent talking about it last night on coast.

  35. tsunamicarlos responds:

    Alligator, as well as many others, seem to agree with what I think: the story has way too many holes. I do not quite see how the photo coincides with the story.

    Irregardless, I am more willing to believe the photo is a fake than to believe this is an actual cryptid of some sort.

    A long time lurker on this site, but the discussion on this photo was so good I had to jump in!

  36. aliasrae responds:

    I don’t think it’s mud, it looks like slough floating on the top and collecting on the bank. You can see a break behind him.

  37. sausage1 responds:

    I don’t have a clue what this is, but is is a distressing picture. It appears to be screaming and holding a child, unless I am being too fanciful.

    If it grabbed hold of this girl, and she pushed it into the water to escape, how did the photo come about? And why did she not mention he ‘thing’ it is holding?

    I must admit to being intrigued by the mudsmearing that the purported creature tried. This suggests some ritual or rite of passage, which in turn suggests human. By the way, doesn’t mud and clay play a part in many creation myths, and in folklore worldwide. Thinking of the Semitic “golem,”for example.

    Just tossing it into the pot, people.

  38. tlalucky responds:

    — The photograph seems to be taken from a height, looking downwards, as if the photographer was on a ladder, or platform, or the superstructure of a ship. The image is carefully composed and balanced in an almost artistic arrangement. This does not seem consistent with “photographed by a 15 year old … girl”.

    — The image has an “aspect ratio” (longest side divided by shortest side) of 1.53 , which is very close to the film size produced in an SLR camera, 36mm x 24mm or 1.5:1 or 3:2. Single Lens Reflex cameras shooting film were standard for keen photographers in the final decades of the twentieth century. The modern digital cameras that have almost replaced them are normally set to shoot at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, or 4:3, e.g. 640 x 480 pixels or 1600 x 1200 pixels or 2272 x 1704 pixels. Also, The image is only 54.2 KB, a small file size for a digital camera. This also does not seem consistent with the equipment which might be used ” in … 2007 … by a 15 year-old … girl”.

    — The image is said to come from “Porto Seguro, Bahia, Brazil”. The image certainly appears to show a typical coastal swamp or “manguezal”. These are common along the coast of North East Brazil, and can be found in Porto Seguro (search manguezal porto seguro in Google). The person or statue is reminiscent of Umbanda / Candomble, also common in Brazil, but there seems to be no specific reason to link the figure with Porto Seguro. Porto Seguro is best known as the location of the “Discovery of Brazil” or the first formal landing of the Portuguese, in 1500. It is now a very popular tourist destination, known for excellent beaches and cheap accommodation.

    — It is difficult to determine whether the image shows a person or a statue, or why it was taken. One possibility that comes to mind is that it could be a still photograph from a Brazilian horror or mystery film, made perhaps in the 1980s.

    — The Internet Movie Database records a couple of movies produced in Porto Seguro, but none are likely sources for this shot.

    — “Supposedly the temp. is 100+.” There is normally a pleasant breeze on the coast of NE Brazil, and the photo was supposed taken in July; that is equivalent of winter in the Southern hemisphere. Google gives several sources for the temperature in Porto Seguro, which is normally quoted as: lowest 20.9ºC or 69.6ºF; average 24.4ºC or 75.9ºF ; highest 30.6ºC or 87.7ºF. In fact the highest temperature recorded at Porto Seguro airport in July 2007 was 27 ºC or 82ºF.

    — The airport recorded some wind most days, up to a maximum of 23 mph or 37 kph. The city has become a major tourist center because it has an excellent climate.

  39. lidphi responds:

    To all you out there that say that it is too close to land to be so deep, and such, I’m from Charleston, SC, and the pluff mud in the marsh as well as that in the swamps acts the same way as the mud in this picture.

    I’m no expert, but from my experience with photoshop, this would be incredibly difficult to pull off correctly, with the reflections, etc.

  40. Late Night Visitor responds:

    So many ideas and interpretations, love it. I truly am a photoshop expert, been using the tool daily for over 10 years. I did an examination as well. As if you all need another opinion, but my take is that it is legit. Looking for edits and manipulation is a witch hunt. On a photo as low-resolution as this one, you will get pixel blur-spots randomly when you blow up the photo or add resolution that isnt in the original, all on its own. Noise occurs in random areas. Seeing these spots and deducing them as manipulation is false. When manipulating photos, you dont go in and blur little parts here and little parts there, its a more detailed approach than that. If anything, its all clone tool, but still more to it than that.
    Overall, I think its a real photo of a real person covered in mud, wearing a wooden mask, a mask that is symmetrical on either side of it. The unbalanced look is the result of being just that, trying to walk unbalanced in the waters’ current and unsteady footing.

  41. Honest John responds:

    If it was faked, wouldn’t there be a more detailed story to go with it right away?

    We then would know if the photo was taken before, or after the attack.

    I think a liar would work this way, and have more to the story immediately.

    There have been some flying witches going around farther north in Mexico lately.

  42. pentagramma responds:

    I’m inclined to agreed with the hoax/masked man point-of-view.

    I just would like to add some info on Porto Seguro – it’s a beautiful tourist location, but it’s also a traditional place to go when college students want to have a great time and /or get very drunk.

    I mean, it’s a nice place, but it should be clear that Porto Seguro isn’t some kind of far away jungle outpost or something… 🙂

  43. Loren Coleman responds:

    Update: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    The cultural reality behind this photograph (which caused almost 100 comments) has been revealed for what it must certainly be, rightfully, by a Brazilian.

    For more, please see:

    Bahia Photo Solved

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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