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A colossal octopus that devoured a horse

In the Caribbean Sea, near the Bahamas, there dwells a colossal octopus known by the locals as “Lusca.”

They are believed to be seldom seen because they take refuge in what are called blue holes – very deep underwater sinkholes of circular form, of which there are many around the Bahamas.

Lusca is often blamed for mysterious disappearances of swimmers and fishermen, whose bodies are sometimes found with unusual wounds, but more often their bodies vanish without a trace.

Similar gigantic octopuses have also been spotted in other areas of the Caribbean Sea, as well as off the coasts of Cuba, Belize, and even along the coast of Mexico. Essentially, wherever there are convenient deep sea chasms for hiding.

One of the earliest known reports of Lusca came in 1863, but an incident occurred as early as 1836. Benedict-Henri Révoil wrote in his book about an unnamed American captain who told him of how a “gigantic kraken” attacked his ship in the Lucayan Strait (Bahamas).

“The kraken stretched out its giant arms, reached out, and dragged two members of his crew into the sea. In vain did their comrades try to save these two unfortunate souls from death; all their efforts were futile. However, the crew achieved a partial victory, as the chief helmsman severed one of its arms with an axe. This monstrous appendage was 3.5 meters long and as thick as a man.”

In 1872, a certain J. S. George, a resident of Nassau, described “huge octopuses, which are found here, [as] rare.” But the main stream of information began from the mid-20th century, when a note appeared in the press about the observation of a giant octopus with a tentacle span of 60 meters (!).

This creature was spotted near a blue hole not far from the coast of Nassau, after which there were reports from local residents that this was quite a large individual and that smaller octopuses were much more often observed there – with tentacle spans of “only” 18-24 meters.

In those times, the locals called these creatures mainly by the term “skuttle,” and Lusca referred to a specific gigantic octopus that inhabited Andros Island. It was believed that it hid in a blue hole from which “banana holes” originated – a network of underwater caves that connected several bodies of water, including lakes on land.

In the 1960s, the Western marine biologist Bruce S. Wright visited Andros, who was told about Lusca by a local resident. He did not see the creature himself, but he swore that many fishermen had seen it. He also claimed to have seen in the water “a huge dead carcass” longer than his 5-meter boat.

In the 1970s, an article about Lusca was published in National Geographic magazine, and the whole world learned about it. It described how local fishermen were afraid to swim into the blue holes because of the danger of attacks by giant octopuses.

When the famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau read this article, he sailed there to try to find these creatures. He and his team heard many stories from fishermen about some large creature breaking their lines, and they also managed to photograph a suspiciously large mass of brown flesh in the water, but it was difficult to say what it was exactly.

The story of a certain Gator Ishmael from the Bahamas became widely known, who witnessed something huge dragging a dead horse into the depths.

“When large animals die on our island, we always burn them or throw them into the depths. I was young then and remember this case well. It was on a Sunday; we dragged the horse into the lake, and soon we saw a big crest on the water, approaching us, like a big ripple, you know.

And then this creature emerged from under the water and took this horse away. It dragged the whole horse underwater and disappeared with it into the depths! That’s when I realized that there was a dangerous creature in this lake, because a horse is not a small thing.

My grandmother told me that this creature was a mermaid. And I also know that this whole island used to be underwater, and when God saw fit to raise part of it, turning it into land, it could happen that huge creatures remained in the underwater pits. Maybe these are giant octopuses – I don’t know. But there is definitely something in that lake. I know because I saw it myself.”

In 2009, a team from the paranormal phenomena TV series “Destination Truth” led by Josh Gates set out to search for Lusca on Andros Island, and during the exploration of the blue hole, they filmed something large splashing on the water surface.

Also, in 2016, the famous Jeremy Wade, the host of the show “River Monsters” on Animal Planet, went there, but he failed to capture Lusca, unfortunately.

Fishermen say that the huge squids from the Bahamas are so aggressive towards humans that they can attack a fishing boat and even climb inside it. To escape the monster, fishermen jump into the water and quickly swim to the shore.

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