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Friday, May 1, 2020

Mystery: Giant Scuttles

I scuttled away with this from a Cryptozoology wiki.

I recently finished picking stories out for my megalist of 5,000 mysteries and I’m feeling really energized by that. So, in celebration, the month of May will have a daily blog post for some of the mysteries that will be on said list. To kick things off, let’s take a look at one of the funnier stories I found while searching for worthwhile material: the cryptid known as the Giant Scuttle.
The Story

With a name that translates to “Giant Octopuses”, the Giant Scuttle is a very odd creature if we’re to go by the tags on the CryptoWiki. Should we do that, then it’s a type of Sharktopus. Good to know that the world’s greatest B-movie hybrid got work after his series ended.

A drawing of the Lusca.

Joking aside, this isn’t anything surprising: Giant Scuttles are said to live in and around the Bahamas, a location that has the legend of the Lusca (which is a literal hybrid of a shark and cephalopod). However, unlike the Lusca (which is said to reside in caves), the Giant Scuttle is said to roam the open seas. That’s besides the point though; there are two ways to view the Giant Scuttle. The first is as a Sharktopus while the other is simply as a giant octopus. For the sake of consistency and not making this story out to be a giant joke, we’ll be going with the latter. Don’t let that deter you from thinking that The Asylum got one thing right in their existence as a movie studio though.

Moving on though, the stories surrounding the Giant Scuttle is nothing that would constitute as groundbreaking or revolutionary. Given that it’s a giant octopus, some have speculated that this fiendish being may in fact be what’s truly responsible for the legend of the Kraken. With claims that the Giant Scuttle can have tentacles upwards of 100–200 feet (30–60 meters) in length, the Giant Scuttle would be over twice the length of the Blue Whale. Compounding the theory that the Giant Scuttle is the Kraken are the claims that it’s attacked boats. For centuries, there have been stories that have circulated in the Caribbean about these Giant Scuttles. As stated earlier, they’re said to roam the open seas. They’re also said to lurk in the deepest of the depths and are said to fear nothing and no one.

One story, which I found on the CryptoWiki (linked above), the Cryptidz Wiki, and the website of the Pine Barren Institute, tells of a pearl diver who alleges that one of these fearsome beasts swam up to the bottom of his boat. Luckily, it wasn’t able to get a strong hold of his boat. Defeated, potentially humiliated, and absolutely seething that it was beaten by an inanimate object, the creature left the boy alone. Said boy went on to state that the Giant Scuttle is only dangerous if it manages to form a vice grip (which it does by getting a tentacle in the boat and another one around the hull).

Yet another story, which I got from the aforementioned Pine Barren Institute (I have no idea why neither Cryptozoology wiki has it in their entries for this creature) comes from the commissioner of the Grand Bahama Island. It supposedly occurred in the early 1900s when he was around the age of 12. He said that his father had hooked something while they were fishing off of Andros Island. Initially, his dad thought that it might have been rocks or debris, but he soon realized that it was in fact a gargantuan octopus. It eventually detached itself from the hook and quickly swam up to their boat and attached itself to it. However, it eventually retreated after the two sailors beat it with their oars.

What a humiliating defeat for one of the supposed apex predators of the ocean.

Really lame jokes aside, this aggression seems rather unique in my experiences of researching reports of giant octopi. The Pine Barrens Institute article states that the Giant Scuttle doesn’t attack lone divers with their theory being that it’s likely they don’t see a lone diver as any sort of threat. A boat, on the other hand (or tentacle in the case of the octopus), would be seen as either a threat or potential prey due to its size. This is likely the case, but I’ve never encountered any story of a giant octopus being so ready to attack a boat. Sure, it’s possible and even plausible, but I’ve heard stories of an octopus with suckers the size of automobile tires that wasn’t inclined to attack a boat. As such, I’m a bit perplexed at why the Giant Scuttle in particular has such a hatred for boats.

Alas, that’s something one can only speculate on—and speculation is something we’ll do now as the story of the Giant Scuttle has come to an end. I can’t find a whole lot on this cryptid in particular and that’s likely because of it being tied to the concept of giant octopuses. We’ll get to them one day, but for now, let’s move onto theories about the Giant Scuttle itself.

Theories

1. It’s a real creature

Our first theory is that the Giant Scuttle is, in fact, a real creature. Reports of giant creatures are by no means anything new and there’s no better example for this than the Giant Squid. As such, a giant octopus is not necessarily out of the realm of possibility, though most would likely tell you that it wouldn’t be twice the length of the Blue Whale.

2. It’s a legend

The second theory is that it’s nothing more than a legend. Sailors are nothing if not great storytellers and there’s no reason to suspect that the Giant Scuttle is an exception to this rule. Especially when the numerous tales of sirens, merbeings, krakens, leviathans, the Flying Dutchman, ghost ships, skeleton crews, living islands, curses, and numerous other legends birthed from the minds of sailors exist.

However, in the case of the Kraken, the Giant Squid exists and the two are more or less around the same size; the largest Giant Squid ever found was 59 feet (17.9 meters) in length (the average is 39–43 feet—or 12–13 meters). The Kraken, meanwhile, is said to be 40–50 feet (12–15 meters) in length. Because of this, I leave it up to you to decide if this theory is the reality of the Giant Scuttle.

3. It’s Sharktopus!

More a joke theory because of the alleged similarities to the Lusca, this theory proposes that the Giant Scuttle is actually the Lusca of legend to the fullest degree. Or, in simpler terms, it’s a Sharktopus. I’m sure some mad scientist out there would love to make this theory a reality, but I don’t think crossbreeding a shark and an octopus would work.

My Take

I’ve said it plenty of times before and I’ll say it again in case someone new has never read anything on my blog: we’ve explored less than 90% of the ocean. I think there’s a lot of room for something massive and scary to lurk here. As such, I don’t think it’s that crazy to think that the Giant Scuttle is in fact a real creature. However, with that said, I don’t think it’s a Sharktopus and I’m extremely skeptical of the idea that the tentacles are upwards of 200 feet in length. While I say that people who put the “cap” of how big a creature can be at the Blue Whale, I don’t think the Giant Scuttle (let alone a giant octopus) is over twice as long as one of them. Though who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Science has been proven wrong before by, well, science, so I’m willing to keep an open mind. Let’s just hope that it isn’t as big as Julia!

Conclusion

Giant octopi are something I’d love to cover in my detail in the near future, but given the expansive nature of the ocean and world as a whole, I’d rather wait until I have much more time to do that. For now, let’s take a moment to admire how little we truly know about the ocean as a whole. While we may think that the Blue Whale is the largest creature on Earth, I find it a bit myopic to truly put the cap there. With the existence of both the Giant Squid and Colossal Squid, I think we could truly ask ourselves: could a creature such as the Giant Scuttle exist? And if it does, what else could lurk in the deepest, darkest reaches of the world’s oceans?

1 comment:

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