10 Legendary Aquatic Monsters You Don't Want to Meet
People around the world have told stories about aquatic monsters. These terrifying legends will make you question what we really know about life underwater.
For the most part, Earth's land has been explored and discovered to its entirety. We think we know most of the world, but in fact, we don't. Around 70 percent of Earth's waters have not been fully explored—and that means we really don't know what lurks in the watery depths.
Our oceans remain mysterious, and relatively little is known about ocean habitats. Scientists even openly acknowledge that they have no idea what lives in certain parts of the seas.
As long as humanity has been around, people have talked about sea monsters, beasts that live in lakes, and other aquatic monsters that supposedly lurk underneath the gentle waves of the seas. Some of them, like the kraken, were later discovered to be giant squids.
Others, though, still have yet to be explained away. Throughout the years, there have been some pretty scary tales of monsters that live in the waters of our world. Here are some of the scariest.
Perhaps the only example of aquatic monsters to be seen in the bible, the leviathan is supposedly one of the most dangerous sea creatures to have ever lived. It's very vaguely described in Isaiah 27:1 as follows:
"In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish the leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
Not much else is known about what the leviathan looks like, but it's apparently a sea serpent that breathes fire so hot, it boils the sea around it. It's a classic sea serpent... and one that you really wouldn't want to be anywhere near. These urban legends have even inspired horror movies.
Kelpies are a classic Scottish monster that still manage to be remarkably eerie today. These monsters are said to be shapeshifting creatures that prey on humans that make the mistake of going near their watery homes.
These strange creatures are water monsters that lure people to them by appearing as beautiful horses complete with bridles. When people see the horses, they appear tame and friendly.
The kelpie makes a point of being friendly and approachable, which is what makes it so dangerous. People try to ride them or pet them, thinking they're someone's horse.
The moment a person touches the horse or tries to ride it, they discover that their hands are stuck to the horse. Then, the kelpie charges into the water, drowning the person stuck to them within moments.
After the person dies, the kelpie tears their body limb from limb, leaving only their liver to float to the surface of the lake. Bone chilling, isn't it?
You might have heard of mermaids, but have you heard of finfolk? These are fish-like creatures that are similar to mermaids, but also have fishy faces and bodies. They are described as sorcerers that occasionally shapeshift into men and women.
When they appear human, they go on ground and run amok. Once in a while, they're also known to kidnap people who they deem attractive and force them to be their spouses. That really puts the finfolk as one of the scariest urban legends out there.
Believe it or not, there have been dozens of reports in the modern day world of people who have seen mermaids. They've been seen in Southeast Asia, certain rivers in Africa, as well as off the coast of the Mediterranean sea.
Unlike what Disney may suggest, mermaids aren't really friendly—nor are they very pretty. Most mermaid sightings claim that the creatures look more like the creature from the Black Lagoon than Ariel of The Little Mermaid.
The reports claim that their eyes are large, their mouths are fish-like with jagged teeth, and that they have scales that cover almost all their faces. When they go above water, people claim to hear hideous gurgling noises and smell a scent similar to decaying fish.
Almasties are strange river creatures that are allegedly found in the Caucasus mountains, near Central Asia. These creatures are known for being covered in dark hair and for communicating through growls. It's also known as the "Russian bigfoot."
When seen by humans, an almasty doesn't show any fear. In fact, it might get aggressive and try to attack people who go near it. The only thing the almasty fears is a dog.
Almasties will run when they see a dog, though no one knows why. These creatures are massive!
To date, the largest crocodiles and alligators known to man measure around 20 feet in length. People already see those real-life aquatic monsters and panic in fear when they see one running around in a national park.
But, what if you saw a crocodile that was the size of a school bus?
During World War II, soldiers who were stationed in Southeast Asia and the islands of Japan claimed to see a crocodile-like creature with a large head that attacked their boats. The creature measured in at 65 feet in length, but then disappeared after being shot.
Another giant sea creature that's been reported are the Wuhnan toads from China. These lake monsters are, as you guessed, massively large toads that have a voracious appetite. Using their long, sticky tongues, the toads grab people, animals, and even boat paddles to eat.
The toads are said to be around six feet wide and exceed 12 feet in height. If that isn't creepy enough, they are said to have bleach-white skin and predatory eyes. Scientists have actually sighted them, so this might be something to watch out for if you decide to travel in China. Snap a photo and you could be the holder of one of the weirdest creatures caught on camera.
While giant animals will always strike fear into our hearts, there's something even more alarming about aquatic monsters that have a demonic side to them. Such is the case with the Inuit creature known as qallupilluk.
The qallupilluk are known for having human-like features, green skin, long claws, and black eyes. Unlike other sea monsters, they also wear clothing. They live near the icy waters of Alaska, often near villages of tribesmen.
What qallupilluk are known for is their love of human children—and not in a good way. They are known to kidnap children, but for what purpose is unknown.
Perhaps one of the creepiest aquatic monsters to be made into legend are umibōzu, also known as "sea bonzes." These creatures are describes as bald, shadowy people with long, serpentine arms.
It is often said that sea bonzes are the ghosts of dead monks who have been wronged and seek vengeance. If they spot a boat, they will typically try to drown the sailors by filling a barrel with water until the boat sinks.
At times, sailors have claimed to catch umibōzu in their nets. However, since their bodies are so pungent, no one dares try to eat them.
Necks, also called nix or nixie, are water spirits that appear in Western European mythology. These spirits, much like kelpies, are known for shapeshifting and luring people to their watery deaths.
Unlike kelpies, their form isn't always a horse. Though their forms vary, they often choose to take the shape of beautiful men and women. When they see a potential victims, they will sing beautiful songs and play instruments until the victims step into the water and drown.
That being said, some nix have been known to fall in love with humans. Unfortunately, their love stories are always punctuated with tragedy.