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The sprawling plains, harsh deserts and towering mountains of the American West have long inspired tall tales about mythical creatures. Imagine coming across a previously unseen being hiding in those vast, empty expanses. According to legends, these "fearsome critters," hide from humans and possess a wide range of often magical abilities. Usually, the description of their appearance is almost comical - sometimes as a hybrid of two very real animals. One of the most popular of these fearsome critters is the jackalope, which might lurk among the plains of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nebraska.

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1. The Basic Story

Essentially, jackalopes are said to be rabbits or hares with horns or antlers. The name is a mix of jackrabbit and antelope, although descriptions of them vary. In some cases, jackalopes are more akin to cottontail rabbits than to jackrabbits, and they're often depicted with deer antlers rather than the smaller antlers of pronghorns and African antelopes.

Jackalope in field with eggs JonGorr / Getty Images
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