Lefty Drawing: The Nack!

Tonight’s Lefty Drawing is a Nack, the Scandinavian counterpart of the Scottish Kelpie. Essentially these river horses come ashore as beautiful saddle horses and wait for a rider to climb onto their backs. Once a human climbs aboard, they race back to the water, and their hides become powerfully adhesive so that the rider cannot break loose. The water horse dives into the river and drowns and devours its victim.

nack

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Sea Monsters: The Altamaha-ha of Georgia!

Altie book.jpg

 

The Altamaha-ha, or Altie, is our very own sea serpent of Georgia! It inhabits the coastal
marshes and twisting channels and even abandoned rice fields near the mouth of the Altamaha River,which empties into the ocean near Brunswick, Georgia.
Consistent sightings of the creature describe it as 30 feet long, with a long neck and flippers, and that swims like a seal,rather than a fish or eel.

Appropriately, the Altie inhabits the waters around Darien, a town founded by
once-natives of Iverness, which  lies on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland. The
Scots even called their settlement New Inverness before changing the town’s name to
Darien.
The monster was first sighted in  1981 when a former newspaper publisher named Larry Gwin reported seeing the creature while fishing with a friend.
The natives of the area, the Creek Indians, spoke of giant snakes in the rivers of their territory to early explorers who recorded the legends.

Sightings of the Altamaha-ha continue to this day, with the town of Darien making the most of their shy tourist attraction.

Monsters of Oceania: The Bunyip of Australia!

Bunyip

The bunyip is a creature of  Aboriginal mythology. It loves in the swamps,creeks, riverbeds and waterholes of Australia. Its name translates to “devil” or “evil spirit”.
It has many descriptions that vary widely–most have it possessing dark fur and big teeth.

 

The bunyip was probably created in folklore and bedtime stories to scare young chindren into staying way from the water’s edge.

Dragons of Europe: The Lambton Worm.

Lambton Worm Feb13

Above is my quickie charcoal sketch of the Lambton Worm. It’s one of my favorite dragon stories, but there are so many variations to the tale that it’s difficult to tell just one complete version. I will tell it as I first read it, and if you would like to read all the versions, by all means explore them. Many of these legends are passed down in an oral tradition instead of being written, and variations occur according to the storyteller, cultures of the time, etc. In tales such as this,  a worm is not an invertebrate that lives in the dirt; it is a dragon, often a huge, coiling monster. Continue reading

Freaky Fish: The Pacu!

Pacu Feb 18 2015 _0002

In Papua New Guinea, there is a fish known as “the ball cutter”.

Pacu  are several common species of omnivorous South American freshwater fish that are related to the piranha.

Pacu and piranha have different teeth,however; while piranha have razor-sharp,pointed teeth and an underbite, pacu have flat, human-like or horse-like  teeth and an underbite.
A grown  pacu is much larger than a piranha, as well. When full grown, a pacu can be three feet long and weigh fifty-five pounds.

But about the name “ball cutter”.: In the rivers where these fish live, fishermen often go into the water to bathe.

The pacu eats nuts and seeds that fall from the trees and into the rivers. Many of these nuts are large and round. Pacu have very powerful jaws and teeth, because some of these nuts are quite hard to crack. And in muddy waters, where naked men are sloshing around,sometimes there are things that fish see in the murky depths that look quite a lot like their natural food. Usually by the time a pacu has swum up, taken a chomp and discovered, “oh, sorry, not what I thought it was”, it’s too late for the fishermen.

Another joking name for the pacu is the “Nutcracker Fish”.