The Zaratan is a giant sea turtle (sometimes an octopus or a whale) that is described in folklore and literature that has a large shell that resembles a sloped rocky mound that is supposedly several hundred feet in diameter. Sailors who came across it always mistook it for a small island and they would anchor on it for the night, but as nighttime approached the turtle would swim down into the water which unfortunately drowned the sailors. The Zaratan has also been described as being a giant fish that tries to bring its tail to its mouth but can’t due to its massive size. When a Zaratan gets hungry it is said to open its mouth extremely wide and release a sweet smell and when the fish come near it snaps its jaws shut in a similar fashion to an alligator snapping turtle. The Zaratan has been depicted as a whale in “Sinbad the Sailor” and is also believed to be the same as the Aspidochelone or the Kraken. It’s also believed that the original city of Atlantis was on top of the turtle and that when the turtle dove it destroyed the city and that’s what happened to it. The most similar type of folklore creature would be the turtle that holds the world on its back from many origins of the world stories.
The Ebu Gogo are a group of humanoid creatures that first appeared in Flores mythology. In the Nage language of central Flores “ebu” means ‘grandmother’ and “gogo” means ‘he who eats anything’. The Nage people of Flores, Indonesia have described the Ebu Gogo as having the ability to walk and run quite quickly at around the height of 1.5 meters (about four to almost five feet tall) and they have flat and wide noses, broad faces with large mouths and extremely hairy bodies. They reportedly murmur in what seems to be their own language and also could repeat what others said to them in a parrot-like fashion. The legends of the Ebu Gogo were attributed to monkeys, but at the time they were believed to be a type of human. During the time of the Portuguese Trading Ship arriving in the 17th century people believed that they were alive during this time. They also think that they were alive up until the 20th century, but are no longer in existence. It would have seemed they were hunted to extinction. Stories say that they used to steal food from human camps and kidnap children, so the people in those camps offered them a gift of palm fiber to make into clothing. They accepted the gift and took it back to their cave to start making clothing. The people then threw a firebrand into the cave and set it on fire. It killed all of the Ebu Gogo except possibly one pair that managed to escape to a nearby forest where they may supposedly be living today.
The Akkorokamui (or also known as the Ashketanne Mat which means “Long-fingered Woman) is a half-human half-octopus monster from the Ainu and Shinto folklore in Japan. It supposedly lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaido. It’s also been sighted in several other locations such as Taiwan and Korea for centuries.
According to the Shinto mythology, the creature is human-like and has a bright red color. John Batchelor wrote in his book “The Ainu and Their Folklore” he states that the creature is 120 meters (about 394 feet) in length and its color was “liken to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon water”. It also has the ability to self-amputate like an octopus and regenerate limbs like one as well. This characteristic manifested itself in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. As a result of that belief among followers believe that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, mainly those that are disfigured or have broken limbs.
The legend of how this creature became starts a long time ago in that spirits cursed a person named Rebunge who was a villager of Abuta Toyoura to see the destruction of his own village. They sent a half-spider half-human monster called Yaoshikepu to fulfill this curse. Yaoshikepu set out to destroy the village and slaughtered so many people that the streets were filled with blood. After hearing the townsfolk trembling and screaming with fear the sea kami (“kami” means divine beast in the Shinto religion) Repunkamui transformed Yaoshikepu into an octopus and sent her into the sea. After she was sent into the sea she began to grow and was consuming larger prey such as whales and attacking ships. One day Akkorokamui ate a boat full of fishermen and once in her stomach, the fishermen called out for help. After hearing these cries, Repunkamui poised Akkorokamui and caused her great pain. As she yelled in pain the fishermen managed to escaped. Akkorokamui learned how to harness the poison, however, and used it to attack her prey, including more ships with fishermen in them.
The Ainu reverence of Akkorokamui has become a permanent part of Shintoism which incorporated it as a minor kami. The self purification practices for this kami are strictly followed. One’s hands must be cleaned with water, with the exception that one’s feet must also be cleaned. While it is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge it is also capable of doing harm. Also because of the nature of it being part octopus it means that it is persistent and it’s nearly impossible to escape its grasp without permission. Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and so the offerings that are the best would be fish, crab and mollusks. There are shrines dedicated with Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity which can be found throughout Japan. The most well known shrines are found in Kyoto and the island of Hokkaido.
This beautiful yet dangerous mythological creature is somewhat a cryptid in its sightings. Many would argue it is just visions of those who strongly believe in a higher power and that it is not a cryptid at all. I like to believe that there is always some truth in these types of stories. Who are we to say it isn’t so?
As mentioned in my article for air rods which mentioned they may be related to atmospheric beasts, this article will cover what atmospheric beasts are. They are probably one of the more weirder (if that’s even possible) flying creatures from cryptozoology. They seem to be living creatures, but they break all the rules that we humans apply to living things. They fly up high in the sky without wings and their bodies are only semi-solid and are often partially invisible. Many of these sightings were originally classified as really strange and unusual UFO sightings. One of the most well known atmospheric beasts is the Crawfordsville Monster which was first sighted in Indiana in 1891 and some have classified it as a dragon.
To those who do believe in atmospheric beasts they are very fragile and lightweight beings that are either native to Earth or are aliens that are from somewhere else. If you believe the latter theory, then these creatures are sometimes thought to have come from somewhere in the atmosphere of another planet, but they also can be thought of as originating from interstellar gas clouds so that would make it seem that they are aliens without a native planet and are basically “swimming” through space. Many consider them non-intelligent and so even though they may have originated from space they are really just animals.
In several different eyewitness accounts, the beasts can change their density, become smaller, harder masses which are usually metallic in color, or they even can become larger and cloudlike even to the point of complete invisibility and some have even been able to glow. They may resembles whales at times which gives to their other name of ‘air whales’ or ‘cloud beasts’. It’s also a common belief that if the beasts touch the ground they will die. Those that resemble clouds may display strange behavior that regular clouds cannot do, such as squirting a stream of water at people or being too mobile for normal clouds. The physical features may look like actual animals, but because they are separate clouds that are being combined together it looks entirely too alien to be a real animal.
When they die it’s been noted that they fall to Earth as a large gelatinous mass that may be similar to green, purple, gray or even iridescent jelly that evaporates into absolutely nothing within minutes to as long as days. This is an explanation from the meteorites or star jelly that falls from the sky occasionally.
They are often given local names and are always in folklore, but playing a minor role. People have had actual physical contact with these beings, such as a police officer being touched by one whilst bicycling. People have said it feels like being licked by a large, soft tongue.
They are very strange creatures indeed and have been in folklore for centuries, and there have been many witness accounts of them. Could these be a new species of alien that exists just above us? We may never know honestly, but it’s strangely comforting to think that these large animal-like beings are in a way looking over us.
This urban legend (which actually isn’t an urban legend it actually does happen quite often) goes by several other titles, including “The Kidney Heist”, “The Organ Thieves”, and “The Stolen Kidneys”. The story goes that there was once a young man who was going to college. For spring break he went to Las Vegas with his buddies to have a good time. They were drinking and listening to music and just generally having a really good time for vacation. The young man had just finished another drink when a beautiful young woman came up to him and started talking to him. He was flattered and surprised that she was talking to him. They seemed to be hitting it off, and when she invited him to another party, he agreed.
He left the bar and went with the young woman to an apartment on the outskirts of the city. There was already a party going on and they started drinking some more and even dancing with each other a little. The young woman takes out two little pills and puts one in her mouth while offering the other to the man. He was never one to try drugs, but he decided he’d give it a try. That was the last thing he remembered.
When he awoke he was in a hotel bathroom, naked and in a tub full of ice. He was extremely groggy and disoriented and he tried to remember how he got there. He was also in a lot of pain. He saw he had a crumpled note in his hand that said, “If you don’t want to die, call 911”. He saw a cell phone sitting on a small table so he picked it up and proceeded to call emergency services. When the operator answered, he tried to explain he didn’t know what had happened to him and that he was in a tub full of ice. The operator instantly knew what was happening. She told him to check his body for injuries and he noticed two nine inch slits in his lower back. The operator told him to go back into the tub and that an ambulance was on the way. She also told him that he had been drugged and someone had removed his kidneys. There was a ring of organ thieves operating in the city and they would sell the organs on the black market. Afterwards, he was kept in the hospital on life support until he could get new kidneys.
Polybius is an urban legend about an arcade game that apparently can cause seizures or brain aneurysms and was used to control people’s minds to brainwash them and even cause them to commit suicide.
Around the 1980s, arcade games were extremely popular with teens, and supposedly the game Polybius was first released for those teens in 1981 in Portland, Orgeon. It was a puzzle/shooting game, kind of like the games where you had to control a little ship and shoot at things coming at you.
It was an extremely popular game at the time. It was super addictive and there were lines going out the door of people wanting to play it. There was something strange and sinister about the game, however. People were reporting sounds of a woman crying and seeing grotesque faces out of the corner of the eyes. Some people saw disturbing messages flash on the screen like, “Kill Yourself”. After playing the game people would experience things from nightmares to amnesia. Some even committed suicide.
One arcade owner said that mysterious men in black suits would come and collect data from the game. They didn’t take any money and sometimes they would change the settings on the game. This led to some people believing it was used to brainwash people by the government.
After about a month of it being released, all of the cabinets disappeared suddenly. One reappeared in 1998, but vanished quickly as well. No one has been able to find the original ROM. It was supposedly made by a German company Sinnesloschen which means “Sense Deletion”. No one really knows what happened to the arcade game, but maybe someday the truth about it will be told.
The Wendigo (or Windigo) is a cannibal monster or an evil spirit that is native to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes Region of both the U.S. and Canada. It originates in Algonquian folklore. The Wendigo might appear as a monster with some characteristics of a human, or a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. It’s historically associated with cannibalism, murder, insatiable greed, and the cultural taboos against those behaviors. A psychosis that steamed from the Wendigo that is highly debated is the Wendigo Psychosis, which is considered a form of culture-bound syndrome with symptoms such as intense craving for human flesh and a fear of becoming a cannibal.
In some indigenous communities, environmental destruction and insatiable greed are also seen as a manifestions of Wendigo Psychosis. Part of the traditional belief system of a number of Algonquin-speaking poeples most notably the Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naskapi, and the Innu people. The descriptions of the Wendigo vary but the common aspect that is associated with these cultures is that it is a malevolent, cannibalistic, supernatural being and is strongly associated with winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
In Ojibwe, Eastern Cree, Swampy Cree, Naskapi, and Innu lore often describes them as giants many times larger than human beings, a characteristic absent from the myth in other Algonquin cultures. When a Wendigo ate a person it would grow in proportion to the person they just had ate so that it was never full. They are simultaneously portrayed as gluttonous and emaciated from starvation. The creature is seen as the combination of gluttony, greed, and excess. They’re never satisfied with killing and eating one person so they are always hunting for more.
More human-like Wendigos are those who are overpowered by greed and turn into Wendigos themselves. This myth served as a way of encouraging people to cooperate and to practice moderation. The Wendigos are extremely deadly and feared creatures that are the results of greed and sin. They are what people could become if they are not careful with their greed.