Welcome Brothers and Sisters to this week’s meeting of the Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel!
In this meeting, I investigate Phantom Panther sightings and Gravity Falls’ jorts wearing cheerleader, Tyler!
This week I break down I tackle one of the least requested topics I’ve ever had, Gravity Falls’ local cheerleader, Tyler.
Or more specifically the puma shirt and panther shirt Tyler fusses over in the Mystery Shack Gift Shop. It’s yet another instance of Alex Hirsch covertly referencing major paranormal phenomena!
The black Pumas and Panthers on those shirts are a nod to reports of Phantom Panther sightings across the USA. Since the 1700s there have been first-hand accounts of encounters with massive black cats. These black pumas and panthers have simply strolled within eyesight, destroyed livestock, and have even attacked humans!
America has two great cats – Jaguars (in the south) and Cougars (in the north) but both of these are too small to be the phantom panther from peoples reports. And of the two, only jaguars have the genetic capability to be all black. But this melanistic property is a genetic abnormality – and only 6% of all jaguars in existence are all black.
Loren Coleman, founder of Maine’s Cryptozoology Museum has a good theory for these sightings. He hypothesizes that phantom panthers are in actuality sightings of a long thought extinct species of giant cave lions, Panthera Atrox.
But phantom panthers may also be more supernatural in nature – perhaps appearing like apparitions to those who believe… or those marked for death! It’s no wonder that phantom panthers are considered the UFOs of cryptozoology!
So that may mean that the puma shirt and panther shirt that Tyler fuss over are symbolic. Tyler does seem to show up and root for the clear winner of a one sided fight – even if he doesn’t want to. Perhaps just like the phantom panther, he’s an omen of bad luck for those he cheers against!
But what do you think? Leave your theories and suggestions in the comments below!