Lusca is a name given to a sea monster reported from the Caribbean. It has been suggested by cryptozoologists that the lusca is a gigantic octopus, far larger than the known giant octopuses of the genus Enteroctopus and giant squids, the legend also said that it was half-shark and half-octopus.
Many reports of the creature are from the blue holes, off Andros, an island in the Bahamas. The St. Augustine Monster (an example of a globster), which washed up in 1896 on the Florida coast, is considered one of the better candidates for a possible lusca specimen. Recent evidence suggests the St. Augustine Monster, like many globsters, was simply a large mass of decomposing adipose tissue from a Sperm Whale. Scientists dismiss the lusca as at most a large example of the giant squid.
On January 18, 2011, the body of what appeared to witnesses to be a giant octopus washed ashore on Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas. According to eyewitness reports, the remains seemed to represent only a portion of the head and mouth parts of the original creature. Based on their knowledge of octopus morphology, local fishermen estimated the total size of the creature when living to be some 20 to 30 feet.
The lusca is said to grow over 75 ft (23 m) long, or even 200 ft (60 m) long, however there are no proven cases of other octopus species growing up to even half these lengths. To attack properly on the surface, the octopus would have to have one tentacle on the sea floor to balance itself; this would mean that such accounts, if real, would have to take place in relatively shallow water. Other descriptions also mention that it can change color, a characteristic commonly found in smaller octopuses. The supposed habitat is rugged underwater terrain, large undersea caves, the edge of the continental shelf, or other areas where large crustaceans are found, which is supposedly what they feed on. Although the general identification of the lusca is with the colossal octopus, it has also been described as either a multi-headed monster, a dragon-like creature, or some kind of evil spirit.
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The Lusca is believed to also be the St. Augustine Monster.
1896 - Carcass was discovered and postulated to be a giant cephalopod
1897 - A.E. Verrill withdraws his initial identification
1909 - The "Washington Post" makes a brief mention of the carcass
1916 - A.H. Verrill describes this event in "The Ocean and its mysteries"
1928 - F.A. Lucas mentions the carcass in an article about errors in zoology
1937 - P. Bartsch erroneously states the carcass was the Giant Squid
1941 - The carcass is referenced to "Lo!" collection of C.H. Fort
1952 - A.H. Verrill mentions the carcass in "The strange story of our Earth"
1957 - F.G. Wood learns about the carcass from a newspaper clipping
1960 - "The challenge of the sea" by A.C. Clark mentions the monster.
1970 - "Strange creatures from time and space" mentions the story
1971 - J.F. Gennaro concluded that the carcass was a giant cephalopod
1974 - B. Heuvelmans mentioned the creature in the updated edition of his book
1986 - R.P. Mackall's analyses of the samples concur with Gennaro's findings
1990 - "The ghost from Grand Banks" makes mention of "O. Giganteus
1994 - "Monsters of the sea" by R. Ellis describes the incident by detail
1995 - Analysis by Pierce et al. confirms the carcass was a whale
2004 - Analysis of various glob monsters confirms they were whale flesh
In Popular Culture
The History Channel's MonsterQuest featured the Lusca in the Series 2 episode "Boneless Horror."
It was also featured in Animal Planet's show "River Monsters" where Jeremy Wade was investigating encounters in the blue holes on the island of Andros. Wade concluded that the monster was likely a Giant Pacific Octopus which, when swimming, had the appearance of having a shark head.
- Chickcharney another cryptid that lives in Andros