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Monday, December 27, 2021

Decemystery (2021) 27: Octosquatch

Ever look outside and just wonder to yourself, “man, I wonder what lurks out there”? I know I have, but that’s because I have nothing else to really think about outside of whether or not Skull & Bones will ever release.

Seriously, I doubt that game will ever see the light of day.

Back on topic though: I’ve always thought about the forests and oceans of the world and what secrets they hide. Whether they be the Pale Crawlers of the land or the sea serpents of the waters, I’m adamant that there are creatures we don’t know about, that are far more fantastical than just some random hairless bear or log floating around.

Though what about the weirder ones? I mean, Pale Crawlers are already weird, but there are things like El Chupacabra. The bipedal version of it has spikes running down its back and can release a screech that is able to make you fall asleep; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard of. Then there are Fleshgaits, which can shapeshift. Indeed, the realm of cryptids can be really outlandish when you move beyond your standard hairy hominids and even hairless humanoids.

Point is: there are some really bizarre cryptids out there, and today’s story is no exception. Known as Octosquatch, this fiend has only been seen once, but the impression it’s left on me is massive. So come along, it’s time for more mysterious goodness!

The Story

Sometimes spelled as Octo-Squatch, this story takes us back to an unknown point during the summer of 1961. The location: Vizcaya, Spain; specifically, the Basque Mountains. Judging by pictures I saw when looking up the area, it’s the perfect place for the Spanish equivalent of Sasquatch to lurk. It’s forested, beautiful, and honestly a place which I wouldn’t mind visiting in the future. Well, as long as there are no hairy, tentacle-faced creatures wandering around. Yeah, I spoiled its appearance. Fight me.

A 29-year-old truck driver named Arquimedes Sanchez and his unnamed companion were driving along a mountain road, enroute to Puerto de Barazar. During this trip though, the truck’s high beams shined on something most peculiar.

It stood at 3–4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) in height, making it legally a dwarf in the United States. It was covered in shaggy, rust-colored hair, sported at least four tentacles, and had tentacle-like legs. Topping it off, it had “glowing eyes” (no source I could find explicitly stated what color they were), though it did attempt to shield its eyes from the light of the high beams. Cue Blinded By The Light, boyo.

Anyways, Sanchez stopped the truck and the duo looked at the creature. Likewise, it stared at them; it was a game of who would blink first. This game went on for some period of time before Sanchez told his compadre to attack the creature with a jackhammer. At least, that’s what the writer of the Cryptidz Wiki states; the sources I found for this story are all very inconsistent (which is to say: most gave very little information, while a few others gave a modest amount). If this is true, I have to ponder why exactly he’d suggest attacking the thing with such an impractical weapon, but who am I to judge? I would’ve likely attacked it with a flyswatter.

Anywhoozle: Sanchez’s companion refused to get out of the truck out of sheer terror. As such, he went with his second-best plan: taunt the creature by repeatedly driving towards it, but stopping just short of hitting it. This… resulted in something very weird. While the Cryptidz Wiki doesn’t mention it, an article on Mysterious Universe does (more on this article later). In said article, it’s stated that the creature side-stepped each time, and treated these repeated threats (for lack of a better way to put it) as something of “a game”.

This “game” went on for some time until another truck drove by; it didn’t stop, perhaps not seeing the creature or simply not caring that there was the Chia Pet equivalent of Doctor Octopus and Cthulhu’s love child. I should mention that this detail isn’t mentioned in every source, but I’m mentioning it for completion’s sake. Besides, I also like the idea of a truck driver seeing something like Octosquatch and thinking nothing of it.

It was at this point—presumably—that Sanchez and his companion realized they weren’t going to win this game of “how long can we threaten to run over something until it gives up and lets us run it over”. As such, the duo decided to just drive off into the night and finish their delivery, leaving the weird, hairy octopus-looking thing behind.

It would be a fair bit of time (how long exactly, I don’t know) before Sanchez would tell his story to someone (to whom exactly, I also don’t know). The exact reactions anyone had to the story, you guessed it: I don’t know. I also don’t know where the creature got its name from, perhaps someone just thought it sounded clever.

Anyways: with that, our story comes to an end—and it’s with the biggest, saddest whimper ever. The sheer fact that there’s nowhere to go beyond Sanchez and his companion simply speeding off into the night is like the biggest letdown ever. No resolution, no second sighting, Octosquatch simply came and went like a case of the common cold. 

In spite of that, I did try my absolute best to find something related to Sanchez, but it was to no avail. There’s never been an interview with him. In fact, there’s nothing that seems to point towards him having even spoken about this encounter. So yeah, that’s kinda weird.

I digress, though. Lucky for us, there are a handful of theories we can work off of, so let’s get to them—especially since I’m going to talk a lot about a few of them.


1. It was some sort of unknown humanoid

The first and most obvious theory is that the creature was some sort of weird, unknown hairy hominid.

Similar to its brethren, Sasquatch, the idea here is that Octosquatch is just some sort of weird humanoid creature that lurks in the forests near the Basque Mountains. That, on its own, would be fine if it weren’t for how bizarre the creature looks. I’ve heard of some weird looking cryptids, but never have I heard of a tentacled humanoid.

At least, I hadn’t until I saw the article on “Mysterious Universe” that featured Octosquatch. I won’t go over all of the information within it, but it detailed things like flying jellyfish (which I’m very familiar with) and a case of a walking squid. It’s one of the website’s most fantastical articles and it at least sets some sort of precedent for a creature such as Octosquatch, but it still doesn’t explain one of the most important aspects to this cryptid that I’ve never seen anyone discuss the practicality of tentacles on land.

Look, I am not going to claim to be a biologist or any sort of expert when it comes to a field of any sort of science, but no website I’ve come across has ever discussed this aspect of why any land creature on Earth would evolve to have tentacles. I cannot imagine them being very useful when land-based creatures are generally more reliant on agility and strength; a tentacle isn’t likely to be very useful against an attacking predator (unless they have stingers on them that inject a powerful venom). However, if they don’t do that, I doubt the tentacles would be capable of asphyxiating a bear or any other animal if they attacked Octosquatch.

I digress though, I am—once again—not a scientist, so maybe there’s some sort of usefulness that I am missing. Also, this isn’t the section where I give my take, so let’s leave my personal opinion out of this. What evidence is there to back this up? Well, there really isn’t any. There were no prints found at the site where the creature was seen (heck, I don’t think anyone went to check), nor do I believe there to have been any sightings since Sanchez’s. As such, one can only speculate where Octosquatch went after Sanchez fled the scene.

2. It was an alien

You know, I figured this would be the most obvious conclusion to come to given the fact Octosquatch looks alien beyond belief (heck, some even think the actual octopus is an alien). However, it appears that, beyond a WordPress site known as knewcastle, nobody is keen on positing that Octosquatch could have been an extraterrestrial. This is in spite of how, as I just said—and feel the need to say once more—this abomination unto mankind is a walking octopus with hair, which defies any explanation beyond it being an alien.

Well, unless it’s ManBearOctopus.

Ehh, that’s beside the point though: the idea here is that, yes, Octosquatch was an ET. There have been reports in the past of tentacled aliens being sighted from around the globe, so it would stand to reason that this entity was one of those creatures. Of course, your mileage is going to vary heavily on whether or not you believe that ETs come in this form (let alone if they even exist at all). If you want to know more about this theory, I recommend reading the article I hyperlinked above; it’s really good and the writing is top notch in my eyes.

3. It was a mutant

Muuuuutant power. Someone call Professor Xavier.

The next theory in our cavalcade of weirdness is that the creature was some sort of mutant. Admittedly, this isn’t one I found during my time researching, but I’m including it because almost every enigmatic-lookin’ cryptid is theorized in some capacity to be a mutant. The question becomes, though, where it came from. Well, honestly, I have no idea where a mutant like Octosquatch could’ve originated from—barring it being a government experiment. I’ve got some thoughts of my own on that, but that’s it.

4. It was a hoax

This is the skeptics theory, and it’s really dang confounding. You see, with most cryptid-related hoaxes, there’s an underlying motive, like fame, fortune, and octopussy. With this story, it doesn’t appear there was anything to gain; Sanchez and his companion never got any big interviews, book deals, or even a tabloid report. Also, as far as I can tell, it didn’t even become anything of a local legend like the Flatwoods Monster.

I guess that could (and perhaps should) lead me to wonder if it even happened given that lack of media attention, but I doubt that since it feels, again, too well crafted. Also, in my time trying to back trace the origin of this story, I couldn’t find one. For all intents and purposes, the origin of Octosquatch is one which my sorry butt couldn’t find.

I guess that’s really fitting for it though. Everything about this story feels like a puzzle, but all the pieces have been scattered in the winds of a category five hurricane. If someone would like to fill in the gaps for me, I highly encourage you to do so. Until then though, let us continue.

5. It was a case of misidentification

Don’t ask me how, this is just obligatory because the concept of misidentifying something at night is almost always put forward. However, from what I can tell, nobody’s put forward an explanation as to what this creature could have rationally been. As far as I’m aware, there are no large birds around the area where Octosquatch was seen that look anything like it.

My Take

This is one of the most difficult stories to give my own take on because there’s extremely little to work off of. From what I’m given to work with, the immediate conclusion that I can come to is that it was a hoax. However, the question then becomes why they’d make this up. If it’s for fame, their attempt to become famous failed. This story drummed up little to no hype and it remains one of the most obscure cryptids that I’m aware of.

If this was a case of misidentified, I haven’t the faintest idea as to how they misidentified a, say, bird. I’ve never heard of anyone thinking that a bird at night appears to have tentacles. Wings are very prominent if even the slightest bit extended, and most birds aren’t 3–4 feet tall. At least, I don’t believe them to be. Also, their eyes don’t glow red (as far as I’m aware). If I’m wrong about this, please correct me.

I had some theories of my own that I didn’t include above because I didn’t want to pad out the theories section too much. I thought about the two maybe being sleep deprived and having a shared delusion about seeing the creature, but I was hesitant to include it not only because of padding the section, but because there’s no information on how long the duo were driving for. I do know that truckers can be on the road for a very long time, but given the roads were on a mountain, I imagine the driver wouldn’t want to risk careening off the side of the mountain and dying a fiery death. As such, I imagine this isn’t likely.

Another idea I had was maybe they were on some sort of hallucinogenic. After all, it was the 60s and they were popular back then. The issue I had with bringing this up is simple: I have no idea if these were popular in Spain at the time, and I didn’t want to risk being an idiot by posting it, so I quickly disregarded it. If anyone from Spain wants to educate me on the times back then though, I’d be more than happy to be told about it.

I also sincerely doubt this thing was a mutant. There’s no way that any sort of primate would mate with an octopus. Sure, one could speculate it was a government experiment gone wrong, but I have no bloody idea why on Earth the Spanish government would be experimenting with such a bizarre hybrid like a humanoid octopus.

So where does that leave us? Well, I sure as heck don’t think this was some sort of humanoid. As I said earlier, I cannot imagine tentacles being useful on land whatsoever, especially ones that appear to be as small as the ones that Octosquatch sports/sported (heck if I know if the thing is still alive). Now, granted, I don’t really know jack squat about evolution, but I simply cannot imagine them having practical use, so I find it incredibly unlikely this was some sort of humanoid/cryptid.

That really leaves us with only one theory: it was an alien. Now, I firmly believe that we aren’t alone in the Universe. Heck, I think that aliens have visited us. There are, as I said during the theories section, reports of octopus-like aliens. So really, that’s what I think lines up best. Though usually, there are frequent UFO/alien sightings when one is seen, and that doesn’t appear to be the case. Still, I can imagine an alien lurking around to explore a bit before leaving. I realize that makes me sound crazy, but that’s my take—mostly because I cannot think of anything else that really sticks.

I’d also like to harken back to the part in the first theory where I discussed the aspect of what purpose the tentacles would serve. It would make considerably more sense if Octosquatch was an alien since, in the creature’s home planet, they would be more practical. Perhaps Octosquatch is an amphibious creature—or maybe the animals on that planet are smaller and it could capture and squeeze them. Whatever the case may be, I can only fathom that they’re more useful there than on Earth.

Also, the fact the creature never reacted in any meaningful way to the threat of being run over by a truck is insane; simply sidestepping is just flat out bizarre. No forest animal would ever stare down a vehicle of that size like that—besides a deer because they’re… deer. I digress though; this thing just doesn’t seem like anything terrestrial to me; its actions, mannerisms, and appearance are genuinely otherworldly.

Now yes, I know that I said that it was reported that Sanchez waited some time to tell his story, but I still have to ponder why. I can’t imagine someone just making up a story this bizarre for the sake of making it up, especially if it gained any level of notoriety. Yes, there are pranksters, but this seems a bit too meticulously crafted to be any sort of normal prank. At least, in my eyes.

To me, Octosquatch is one of the most confounding stories to really come to a conclusion on. It simply doesn’t have anything that really feels satisfying when it comes to trying to explain it. Every rational explanation doesn’t make sense to me; a hoax just doesn’t make sense when you consider that nothing came of it. I admittedly glossed over this aspect when I wrote about the Long Prairie Cans, but I may as well go on a little tangent now to express why I think it is most certainly not a hoax. I guess the duo could have kept it a secret, but again: why? If they didn’t get anything out of it, I imagine it’d make more sense to just say it was a hoax. Why the secrecy? Would it really be that embarrassing to admit? It’s been 60 years at this point, just say so. I doubt anyone—or at least 99% of people—would give a damn.

I guess all of that could point towards the story being a hoax, but as I’ve said multiple times already: I think it’s too meticulously crafted to be fake. Though I do encourage people to at least keep this in mind—in spite of my own beliefs that it was an alien. Why do I hold those beliefs? Well, I must admit: I’m gullible and I can’t find anything that explicitly makes this out to be a hoax. If nobody’s debunked it by now, I’m hesitant to be the one to deem it one—especially since I’m really awful at research.

Oh well, enough rambling. That’s my take on this story.


Now to ramble some more. I’ve admitted this in the past, but I will admit it again. I will never claim to be the greatest when it comes to writing (let alone researching; boy, I’ve said that a lot during this blog’s lifetime), but I must admit that researching this story was one of the most surreal and mind-boggling things out there. The mere name of Octosquatch was enough to make me do a double take, though that’s part of why I chose it. So, until tomorrow, stay happy, healthy, and don’t let the octobed bugs bite!

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