River monsters are just fishes which live in freshwater but they are dangerous to humans and other living beings. If you feel that’s not horrific, then consider this: some of these fishes will eat a whole man alive! Yeah you have read it right. These river monsters are killers and they are extremely predatory in nature.
Also Read: Top 6 Most Dangerous Animals In The World.
The size of these river monsters vary but most of them will be bigger than humans. Although there are plenty of river monsters living in freshwater’s, I am going to share about the 6 deadliest river monsters here in this list.
6 Dangerous River Monsters
1. Goliath Tigerfish
The Demon fish, also known as the Goliath Tigerfish is a creature right out of a horror flick with an aggressive look and vicious fangs. This fish can reach a length of over 6 feet and weigh up to 80 pounds. These predatory fishes right at the top of the food chain roam the water ways of central Africa in groups tearing to pieces even larger prey within seconds. The mouth of this fish is packed with razor-sharp knife-like teeth, more than 2 inches long each.
A number of people disappeared in and around the Congo River and these mysterious disappearances were attributed to an unexplained phenomenon connected with dark powers until 1 of the hellish creature was fished out from the dark depths of the Congo river by an expert angler made famous by the TV series, “River Monsters” on Animal Planet.
2. Piraiba Catfish
Imagine you are on a boat on the Amazon river and are merrily paddling along on your first ever fishing vacation, when you suddenly feel a pull on your fishing line. The force of the pull gets harder by the minute and with excitement building up you hope to pull out a 2 feet catfish.
Nearing total exhaustion from the effort and the fishing line at its snapping point, a 8 feet long blackish blue shape breaks through the surface of the water. A combination of victory and fear turns to one of unbelievable horror as you see a human foot protruding out from the fish’s jaws, which then snarls loudly like some kind of an Amazonian predatory cat.
You have just had a close encounter with the Piraiba, the largest cat-fish in South America, a suspected man-eating predatory fish. The ragged teeth of this extremely aggressive fish is curved inwards across a wide gaping mouth which helps prevent potential prey, unsuspecting humans sometimes from escaping its vice-like grip.
3. The Goonch
The River Kali flowing between the Indian sub-continent and Nepal has been the location for a number of inexplicable disappearances and mysterious deaths from drowning. Cause of these deaths was a controversial subject involving wild speculation until a terrifying creature more than 8 feet long with jagged teeth was pulled out of the river. The Goonch is a weird-looking, 350 pound catfish which seems to have developed a strong craving for human meat.
Hapless victims of the fish were supposedly seized and pulled down to their deaths by the predator before being eaten alive. In 1 incident, a 20-year-old was seized in front of his friend and taken down and the body was not found. It is widely speculated that the predator had developed a taste for human meat on account of the local practice of burning dead bodies and dumping half burnt bodies into the Kali river.
4. The Great Barracuda
The Great Barracuda is a fast swimming fish with its mouth lined with hideous 2 inch teeth. This predator at the apex of the food chain reaches up to 7 feet in length weighing more than 150 pounds.
Great Barracudas like other river monsters are drawn by shiny objects in the water and will impulsively attack any living creature big or small or any identified source of food. Barracudas are solitary as well as pack hunters. To avoid an unprovoked attack, it is prudent to keep away from areas with poor visibility, murky waters especially estuarine or swampy regions. One must also avoid spear fishing in such areas.
An attacking barracuda can easily rip off muscles and tendons, tear away large chunks of flesh from the bone with death resulting from rapid blood loss in a matter of minutes. Several fatalities from barracuda attacks have been reported from the Eastern region of the United States.
5. The Wels Catfish
European rivers may supposedly seem safe comparatively, but an evil-looking monster fish of humongous proportions might make you think twice before swimming in Spanish reservoirs, Volga River in Russia or the Berlin Lake. The Wels Catfish is pretty huge reaching more than 12 feet in length with a weight of more than 350 pounds. These huge predators are extremely aggressive in nature and take down prey with their massive jaws studded with row after row of needle like teeth.
The maximum potential size of the Wels catfish is still unconfirmed with reports of them attaining lengths of up to 18 feet and weighing more than 2000 pounds. In a recently reported incident, a swimmer was badly mauled, while another fish captured in Russia had human body parts identified in its stomach. Although humans are not a regular part of the creature’s prey, such attacks have been attributed to a case of mistaken identity where the fish had attacked humans mistaking them to be prey.
6. Giant Fresh Water Stingray
A monster fish with a highly venomous sting lurks beneath the murky waters of Southeast Asian rivers. Australian Steve Irwin of “Crocodile Hunter” fame was killed after being stung in his chest by an oceanic stingray, which is dwarfed by its freshwater cousin, the giant fresh water stingray. The oval-shaped Giant Freshwater Stingray may enter the record books for being the world’s largest fresh water fish at more than 15 feet in length and weighing more than 2000 pounds.
The tail of the stingray has a 9 inch serrated highly toxic barb which it rapidly swings targeting anything perceived as a potential threat or natural food source. The sting is extremely painful and the toxins released into the wound can keep it from healing for a long time. A number of attacks on tourists treading through shallow waters who had unwittingly stepped on the fish have been reported.
The sheer bulk of the stingray also has potential to keep a person under water long enough to suffocate the victim. The best thing to do if you feel the ground under your legs move in Southeast Asian rivers is to keep absolutely still to avoid a vicious unprovoked attack from the gigantic fresh water stingray.
I hope that I haven’t scared you from swimming in freshwater’s with this list of river monsters!