Mahamba

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Mahamba

Region of origin: Likouala swamplands, central Africa

The Bobangi and other nearby Central African tribes have mentioned a massive reptilian creature described as being some fifty feet in length inhabiting the larger bodies of water of the swamps around Likouala, comparing it to a massive crocodile or to other local lake monsters of cryptozoological fame such as the nguma-monene or mokèlé-mbèmbé, the latter said to inhabit Lake Tele also in the Likouala region. Some cryptozoologists assume it may be a giant crocodile, or an extant member of one of their prehistoric ancestors such as the deinosuchus, however descriptions which say it is similar to but distinct from a crocodile have led some to propose it may actually be a unidentified species related to the mosasaur that has adapted to living in fresh water.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X ]

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Jenny Greenteeth

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Jenny Greenteeth

Region of origin: Lancashire, England

A river-hag related to other aquatic fae creatures like the grindylow, Jenny (or Jinny or Ginny or…) Greenteeth lived in stagnant, murky waters in western England near Lancashire and Liverpool and would pull down anyone who ventured too close to the water’s edge, drowning them. Parents would use warnings of Greenteeth to keep small children away from the water and keep them from accidentally falling in. Claiming it may her hair as she sat in the water lurking, she also became associated with pondscum and duckweed or other floating water-plants, that may in reality tangle the child up and prevent them from being able to get back out to dry land. She was similar to Peg Prowler, another hag said to inhabit the River Tees further up north.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X | X ]

Nyami Nyami

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Nyami Nyami

Region of origin: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

A fish-headed, snake-bodied river god of the Tonga people believed to live in the Kariba Gorge in the Zambezi valley, protected by whirlpools and functioning as a protector and a god of the underworld. In more modern times, Nyami Nyami’s presence was made known when outside contractors began construction of the Kariba dam in the late 1940s and 50s which required the relocation of the local Tonga. They acquiesced, believing Nyami Nyami would come to their aid and sure enough misfortune beset the project, construction stymied by years of previously-unseen levels of storms and flooding assailing the region. The dam was eventually completed in 1960, but greatly delayed and costing as many as eighty laborers their lives before it was done. It was believed the dam separated Nyami Nyami from his wife, and to this day, the relocated Tonga believe tremors in earth felt in the region are the great serpent trying to finally break the wall and reunite himself with his loved one.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X ]

Ambize

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Ambize

Region of origin: The Congo

An unidentified creature sighted in the waters near the Congo by European explorers in the 16th century, the ambize or angulo was described as a large fish with an ox’s head, human-like hands and a flat paddle-shaped tail. Believed to live in the sea and some rivers and lakes further inland, the ambize was said to never leave the water but would surface to graze on the grass along the shoreline and with some effort could be caught and cooked with meat that tasted comparable to pork. It is largely thought today these stories were early manatee sightings, but according to my cursory research manatees should taste more like beef so that leaves a fairly large hole in that theory.

[Sources referenced: X | X | X | X ]

Ohio River Mud Mermaids

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Ohio River Mud Mermaids

Region of origin: Vevay, Indiana

Reported about by an anonymous correspondent of the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1894, the “mud mermaids,” as they were dubbed, were a pair of reptilian humanoid creatures several witnesses claim to have seen in the Ohio river near Vevay, Indiana. They were thought to live in discarded logs and stumps that wound up on the river’s edge and fed off fish, mussels and any other small aquatic life that happened by their layer. The most detailed description and purportedly a sketch of the creatures had come from a Kentuckian Confederate captain, J.M. Ozier, who had heard about the creatures while visiting Vevay on business and, seeking them out, found what he assumed was the male of the pair swimming in the river close to the shoreline where he stood.

[Sources referenced: X | X ]

Abaia

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Abaia

Region of origin: Melanesia

While the exact location varies within different stories and tribes, there is said to be a lake within the Melanesian region abundant with aquatic life and at the bottom of that lake lives Abaia, a giant eel who functions as the sea creatures’ guardian. Anyone who fishes from that lake or otherwise harms the animals in it will be met with Abaia’s wrath, as she thrashes about causing great waves to overwhelm and drown the person. In some versions, Abaia has some magical control over the weather itself. When a man discovers the bountiful lake and brings the people of his village to help catch as many fish as possible, Abaia summons a massive rainstorm that floods the village and drowns all the villagers who had taken a fish from the lake.

Originally posted on Tumblr on November 10, 2016

Dobhar-chú

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Dobhar-chú

Region of origin: Ireland

Literally “water-hound” or “deep-hound” and also known as the “master otter,” the dobhar-chú is a vicious amphibious predator that will hunt in pairs and attack humans that venture too close to the water’s edge. They can move as swiftly on land as in the water and will continue to pursue any victim who attempts to retreat from the shore. Descriptions vary from a creature that is half-canine and either half-fish or half-reptile, to a massive 7-foot-long otter-like creature. Recorded sightings have persisted since the 17th century until as recently as 2003. It is said if you can kill a dobhar-chú and take its pelt, it will function as a protective charm for the home or boat in which its kept, but anyone who kills one will next have to contend with its now-enraged and determined mate.

Originally posted on Tumblr on November 8, 2016