Who Is Cuca? After The Babadook, Alligator Becomes New Gay Icon

The Babadook rose to fame as a gay icon, but now it’s time for the Babdook to move over. Cuca the alligator has dethroned the gender-fluid monster.

For those who don’t know, Cuca is half-crocodile and half-witch. She’s based on the Brazilian folklore about a woman with the face of a reptile who lives in a dark cave, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton wrote. Inside, she brews magic potions. What makes her scary to children is her lack of sleep, for Cuca only sleeps one night every seven years. This is a tale parents tell their children if they do not go to bed.

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Even scarier for gullible children, the alligator-human hybrid is said to rob children who do not listen to their parents.

Essentially, Cuca is the bogeyman of Brazil.

Cuca originated in Portugal. There, the mythical character is called Coca and is a dragon. Cuca made her way to Brazil in colonial times. Even though the name is a variation of the Portuguese word, Cuca means “to swallow something with a single gulp” in Tupi, an indigenous language of Brazil, Transparent.com wrote.

Cuca’s legend grew when the book “O Saci” was written by Monteiro Lobato in 1921, the blog added. It was comprised of Brazilian legends, and of course, the story of Cuca was in there. She continued to garner fame in the 1950s when there was a movie and TV show made about Cuca.

On the show “Sítio do Picapau Amarelo,” which ran from 2001 to 2006, she had a blonde wig, made concoctions and lived in a cave. There was a lullaby from the series that when translated into English said, “Sleep, little one/ The Cuca’s going to get you/ Daddy went to the fields/ And Mommy went to work/ Come down, little cat/ From the roof/ To see if the child/ Is sleeping peacefully.”

Today, Cuca is the hottest meme on the scene. Yesterday, however, it was the Babadook, originally known as the underground horror-movie villain. Soon, however, the LGBT community adopting the Babadook, turning the gender-fluid creature into a gay icon.

It all started in 2016. “Babadook’s look was already pretty campy – a pale, androgynous humanoid with a flamboyant top hat, black cloak, maniacal smile and splayed jazz hands – so it didn’t take long before playful images of the Babadook holding rainbow flags or decked out in colorful clothes spread across the Internet,” Rolling Stone eloquently explained Thursday.

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Broadly interviewed a man who agreed with Rolling Stone. “It’s this tall monster,” said Rex, whose last name wasn’t revealed. “He’s like — or they, let’s not gender the Babadook — the Babadook is in this large overcoat and it has big teeth. They look very campy,” he added, respectfully. “The collective queer hive mind just latched onto the Babadook at the same time.”

So why is Cuca the new Babdook? You’ll have to ask Twitter for that answer. 

LGBTMove over, Babadook. Cuca is the new gay icon. Photo: Getty Images

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella

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