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Lusca, the huge octopus that ate a horse

In the Caribbean Sea, near the Bahamas, there lives a huge octopus, to which the locals gave the nickname “Lusca”.

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It is believed that they are rarely seen because they take refuge in so-called blue holes – very deep, round-shaped underwater sinkholes, of which there are many around the Bahamas.

It is Lusca who is often blamed for the mysterious disappearances of swimmers and fishermen, whose corpses are sometimes found with unusual wounds, but most often their bodies disappear without a trace.

Similar huge octopuses have also been spotted in other areas of the Caribbean, as well as off the coast of Cuba, Belize and even off the coast of Mexico. In general, where there are deep sea holes convenient for shelter.

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One of the first known reports of Lusca was in 1863, but occurred as early as 1836. Benedict-Henri Revoil wrote in his book that an unnamed American captain told him about how a “giant kraken” attacked his ship in Lucayes Strait (Bahamas).

“The Kraken stretched out its gigantic arms, reached out and dragged two members of his crew into the sea. In vain did their comrades try to save these two unfortunates from death, all their efforts were in vain. The crew, however, gained a partial victory, as the senior helmsman cut off one of his arms with an axe. This monstrous appendage was 3.5 meters (11.48 ft) long and as thick as a man.”

The lusca is often described as a gigantic octopus, creatures reputed to sink ships in many exaggerated stories

In 1872, one J. S. George, a resident of Nassau, described that “the huge octopuses that are found here are considered a rarity.” But the main flow of information began in the mid-twentieth 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 near the coast of Nassau, after which there were reports from local residents that it was a fairly large individual and that smaller octopuses were much more often observed here – with a tentacle span of “only” 24 meters (78 ft).

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In the 1960s, Western marine biologist Bruce S. Wright visited Andros after being told about Lusk by a local resident. He himself had not seen the creature, but he swore that many fishermen had seen it. He also stated that he saw a “huge dead carcass” in the water, which was longer than his 5-meter boat.

In the 1970s, an article about Lusk was published in National Geographic magazine and the whole world learned about it. It also described that local fishermen are afraid to swim into blue holes because of the danger of being attacked by huge octopuses. When the then famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau read this article, he swam there to try to find these creatures.

He and his team heard many stories from fishermen about some large creature cutting off their lines, and they also managed to photograph a suspiciously large lump of brown flesh in the water, but it was difficult to say what it was.

The story of a certain Heitor Ishmel from the Bahamas, in front of whose eyes something huge dragged a dead horse into the depths, became very famous.

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When journalist Randy Wayne White travelled to Cat Island in 1997, locals attempted to persuade him not to dive in a nearby mangrove lake, which they feared as the home of a man-eating monster. One respected local, elderly farmer Gaitor Ishmel, told White that he had once caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a large, carnivorous animal in the lake, which had snatched the carcass of a horse that had died on his father’s farm.

“A big animal die on this island, we always burn them or put them in the water. Me, I was a young man at the time, and I remember how it was. It was on a Sunday, and we pushed this horse into that lake, and in not so very long we see a big ridge in the water coming toward us, like a big ripple, understand.

“And this thing come from under the water and take that horse away. It drag the whole horse beneath the water. It vanish down there in the depths! That when I know a dangerous creature live in that lake, because a horse, it not a small thing, man. My grandmother, she told me the creature was a mermaid.

“What I know is, this whole island used to lie beneath the sea, and when it pleased God to raise some of it up to be dry land, it could be that huge creatures were left in them holes beneath the water. Giant octopuses, maybe — I don’t know. But there something in that lake, man. That much I know, for I seen it my own self.”

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In 2009, a team from the television series about paranormal phenomena “Destination Truth,” led by Josh Gates, went to Andros Island to search for Lusca, and while exploring the blue hole, they filmed something large splashing on the surface of the water.

Jeremy Wade, host of the “River Monsters” program on the Animal Planet channel, also visited there in 2016, but without success.

Described as a giant scuttle, a word usually applied to the octopus, many cryptozoologists have theorized that the Lusca is in fact a gigantic octopus, an unknown cephalopod of similar size to the giant squid.

No known octopus is officially recorded as reaching such great size; the largest is the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) of the Pacific Rim, which has an average armspan of 14 ft (4.3 m), although some larger records include specimens with armspans of 30 ft (9 m) and 9.8 m (32 ft). The lusca would perhaps be up to twice this size.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.