One of nature’s most social and playful creatures, river otters have big personalities and even bigger appetites. Often seen in groups, they can be observed hunting and frolicking year round at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri. In winter, you might even catch them sliding across the ice on their bellies. Photo courtesy of Kenny Bahr.
A Bureau of Land Management worker posted this video on their facebook page saying that they “captured this strange ‘thing’ swimming in the Chena River in Fairbanks”. The ‘creature’ in this video was soon named the Alaska Ice Monster and spread like wildfire. Theories started flying about what this was. An Alaskan Nessie? Some kind of arctic crocodile? A giant fish?
It boils down to something much simpler: frazil ice stuck to a rope that is attached to a nearby pier. Frazil ice is soft ice that cannot completely freeze due to turbulent water. While the ‘creature’ seems to be moving in the water, a rope is merely swaying in the current.
A water deity is a deity in mythology associated with water or various bodies of water. Water deities are common in mythology and were usually more important among civilizations in which the sea or ocean, or a great river was more important. Another important focus of worship of water deities were springs or holy wells.
As a form of animal worship, whales and snakes (hence dragons) have been regarded as godly deities throughout the world (other animals are such as turtles, fish, crabs, and sharks). In Asian lore, whales and dragons sometimes have connections. Serpents are also common as a symbol or as serpentine deities, sharing many similarities with dragons.
As stated above, this is a GROWING list of water deities that I will be adding to periodically as research and time permits. I advise that if you become interested in any deities, you check to make sure that their culture is not a closed one. **AKA: Don’t appropriate.
Away among the willow trees
Is where it lays its head
Down past the waving ears of wheat
Along the river bed.
You’ve probably heard the stories
The children like to tell.
Probably think that’s all they are,
That all is safe and well.
But I’ve been on the river bank
And I’ve seen where it hides.
I’ve seen the claws and eyes of black,
The tracks formed where it glides.
I can’t unsee the things I’ve seen,
I’ve nightmares night and day
But you have no such visions yet,
And you can stay away.
Away from those cursed willow trees,
The jaws that catch and chew,
Away from icy fingers and
The tomb he’s built for you.
The White River Monster is an aquatic cryptid known from the White River in Newport, Arkansas. The first recorded sightings of “Whitey” are from 1915, but the creature has allegedly been seen since the American Civil War. On July 1st, 1915, a plantation owner spotted Whitey, stating that it had gray skin and was “as wide as a car and three cars long.” Sightings didn’t happen again until 1971, when a variety of descriptions emerged. One witness said that the creature was gray and had a horn protruding from its forehead, while another description made note of a spiny back. Other features, such as three-toed footprints measuring fourteen inches long and unidentified sounds had been reported as well.
According to cryptozoologist Roy P. Mackal, the creature is nothing more than an elephant seal that entered the White River via the Mississippi River. Another possibility is that Whitey is simply a large unidentified fish.
We are all animals of this planet. We are all creatures. And nonhuman animals experience pain sensations just like we do. They too are strong, intelligent, industrious, mobile, and evolutional. They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, firsthand foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us they also seek their own comfort rather than discomfort. And like us they express degrees of emotion. In short like us, they are alive.
Potter Prompt: I’m gonna hc Almeric Sawbridge (who defeated the biggest river troll ever) as a demiromantic ace -H
Chocolate Frog Card description: Famous for conquering the river troll that was terrorising those trying to cross the Wye River. River troll in question believed to be one of the largest ever to exist in Britain with a weight of one tonne.
”No, thanks. Ask me again in abou’ six months,” Almeric replied, shortly, to the witch asking him out.
“Six months,” she laughed. “That seems kind of random.”
“You think it’s random. I call it experience. Six months is how long I like to take to get to know a person, but the fact that you don’t seem to care to get to know me doesn’t bode well for you,” he explains. He’s probably being rude, but he’s been down this road before, and it gets quite tiring.
“You could just say no, you know,” the witch snapped back, turning and flouncing away, losing her patience as well.
Loud snoring came from beneath the bridge. So loud it shook the bridge. Men had stopped crossing this bridge ages ago, and Almeric couldn’t blame them. Almeric the Brave is what he was known as far and wide. He knew he couldn’t back down, but he wasn’t even sure he could conceive of how large this river troll must be. And Almeric was quite a large wizard himself.
“Nice meeting you,” the wix said, winking as they slyly slid a key to their room over to Almeric.
Almeric wrinkled his nose, taking a deep drink of ale from his mug. He didn’t touch the key. Let someone else pick it up and surprise the wix who had been handsey for their entire conversation. Alermic may have built his name off of athletic feats, but that didn’t mean he enjoyed the handsy-feely stuff.
The wix waved at him from across the room, as they left the bar to go upstairs to their room, clearly expecting Almeric would follow. Almeric frowned but still made no move to even touch the offered key.
Almeric confidently stepped forward, loudly slapping his foot down on the creaky wooden bridge. The snoring didn’t falter. Almeric fully stepped onto the bridge and jumped. A board splintered under Almeric’s weight, but he easily caught himself. The snoring stopped for a second, then continued. “C’mon, ya lazy beast,” he boomed. “Don’t ya want a tasty treat?” The snoring stopped. Shuffling noises came from under the bridge as the troll awakened and moved around. A booming roar announced the troll fully waking up. A large, gnarled hand reached up to the bank on the side of the bridge. Almeric’s hand unconsciously tightened its grip on his sword. With a disgusting snort, the troll scrambled up on even land with Almeric. It was far larger than any other river troll Almeric had ever seen, much less fought. For the first time, Almeric wondered if his sword was big enough. His hands steady enough. His muscle strong enough. Almeric wondered if he could really beat this beast.
“All great warriors need a beautiful face at their side,” the wizard teased. “Where’s yours?”
“What? My face ain’t beautiful enough for ya?” Alermic asked.
“Oh, no. Not at all. In fact, your face is the only one I want to look at in this tavern,” he said, voice getting lower and leaning in closer.
“It’s rude ta stare,” Almeric replied, flustered. The wizard laughed.
“Well, what if you gave me permission to stare?”
“I’d rather not,” Almeric said. “Oh, look, there’s a friend. I need ta go talk to them,” he said, hastily trying to make a get away from the flirty wizard.
The troll’s dark, pupil-less eyes narrowed in on Almeric. It gave a hungry roar. Bits of flesh and other bloody chunks came flying out of its mouth, and the air seemed suddenly putrid. Almeric pulled his sword. Too late to back out now. He cracked his neck. “Well, c’mon, then,” Almeric said lowly, speaking to himself, steeling himself for the first hit. The troll beat its fists on its chest, then, with another roar, rushed forward. Almeric returned with his own battle cry, thundering down the bridge to meet the troll - faster on its feet than he expected - more than halfway. Almeric swung his sword, low and hard, digging it into the troll’s hard flesh. The troll barrelled into Almeric, barely grunting at the sword’s cut, knocking Almeric backwards. Their weight crashed the bridge, and Almeric had the air knocked out of him in the several foot drop to the hard ground of the dry stream. Unaffected, the troll raised up and brought its fists crashing down towards Almeric’s face. Almeric barely managed to get an arm up to deflect the deadly blow, then thrust his hips upward. The move didn’t dislodge the troll as he’d wished, but it put the troll off balance enough for Almeric to ungracefully wiggle out from under it. He took several steps back to gain some room and gain back some of his advantage.
“I heard about the one tonne troll on the Wye, Sawbridge! Sounded amazing. Wish I coula been there,” a familiar voice raved, while a firm hand slapped Almeric on the back.
Almeric’s face split into a wide, genuine smile. “Hey! I’m sure ya heard the rumors. You coulda joined the party.” Almeric gestured to the empty seat in front of him.
His companion laughed, loud and deep. “I was gearin’ up for the fight meself. A notice woulda been nice before ya beat me there,” he joked.
“Here’s ta fast feet,” Almeric toasted, lifting his mug. His companion clinked mugs with him, and they both drank deep.
The conversation was friendly. It flowed easy - and not just due to the amount of alcohol consumed.
And by the end of the night, if Almeric and his friend were sitting so close their thighs were touching and they were holding hands under the table and Almeric didn’t feel at all uncomfortable by it, nothing seemed strange to either wizard warrior. It just seemed homey. Comfortable. Right.
The troll rushed forward fast, trying to knock Almeric back down. Instead of taking the hit, Almeric took advantage of the wider battle ground and dodged. The troll’s momentum carried it too far forward. It stumbled. Almeric tried to use the stumble to land a big hit on the creatures back with his sword… only to realize he’d dropped his sword in the fall. He slammed a meaty fist down on the creatures back instead. Again, the blow didn’t seem to register with the creature, who merely straightened up, casually knocking its arm back into Almeric, sending him flying downstream of the channel. A glint of metal caught Almeric’s eye. Winded as he was, he scrambled forward to reclaim his sword. The troll was roaring towards him again. Almeric had a better grasp of the beast’s speed now. He turned and ran. The troll let out ugly bursts of laughter, but Almeric wasn’t done. He angled towards the riverbank. The troll thundered behind him. When he was close enough, Almeric stuck his sword down in the ground and swung his legs up, running along the channel wall until he was facing the troll. Almeric breezed by the surprised troll, ducking under the arm it swung at him. This time, Almeric didn’t run far away. He turned sharply, facing the turning troll. Almeric lifted the sword, pointing the tip towards the beast’s mouth, and steadying his grip with both hands. The troll faced Almeric, raising itself up to its full height. Confident in its win, the troll roared down at Almeric, spittle soaking the warrior’s face and beard. Almeric calmly drove his sword forward, aiming for the large hole that was the troll’s mouth, driving it upwards towards the creature’s tiny brain. The power of the troll’s roar and the strength it took Almeric to drive his sword forward left his arm vibrating and almost numb far after the river troll’s roar abruptly cut off.
Almeric loved adventure. He loved battling. He loved travelling. He didn’t mind doing it alone. Having a friend and romantic companion who loved those same things with Almeric? Well, that was just fine, too.
Nyami Nyami (
Zambezi River God or Zambezi Snake spirit ) -
Kariba Gorge, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Africa. One of the most important Gods and protectors to the Tonga people. Love his design, this is definitely one of my favorites so far! -KP
10 Days of EOS 10 Day 4: Dream Crossover (The Penumbra Podcast + EOS 10)
Akmazian drummed his fingers against the bar top impatiently, glancing around him uncertainly. The bar he sat in was seedy, an sordid spot on one of the smaller Solar Outer Rim planets. Smoke swirled around him like mist above water, moving like a river with unseen creatures shifting beneath the surface. The people around him were dark shapes, mostly human in this sector which was an advantage for Akmazian.
He fidgeted with tattered red cloth wrapped around his wrist, a sign identifying him to his new supplier. The bartender raised an eyebrow at the cloth before hurriedly turning back to his drinks and the other customers slumped on the bar. Akmazian shifted on the uncomfortable stool, his eyes towards the old analogue clock which was almost ten minutes out.
It had been inconvenient to travel all the way to the Terrain system but after blowing up Oslo it had been necessary to find a smuggler who was completely unconnected to that particular ring. Therefore Akmazian sat in a sleazy bar waiting, feeling a thousand miles away from EOS 10 in more than just distance.
An elegant man lowered himself into the seat beside him, his movement spidery. His dark suit was elegantly tailored and tagged silver earrings dangling from his ears made him stand out among the tattered patrons. The bartender slipped a small glass in front of the man before his expensive-looking trousers even hit the stool. The man gave Akmazian a wide smile, flashing, uncomfortably familiar in more ways than one. Akmazian gave a tight smile in response.
“Mr Sherwood, I presume,” the man commented in a low tone, his voice smooth and silky. Akmazian frowned, struggling to identify the accent.
“Robin’s fine. You must be Caesar Chrome.”
“Pleasure to meet you Robin,” Caesar Chrome leant forward conspiratorially, “Now tell me. What’s your poison?”
“Thanks for the offer but I try not to drink while doing business” Akmazian said, eyeing the other man suspiciously. Accepting a drink from a potential-business partner was a sure fire way to wind up drugged and blackmailed in a dark alley. Not only that, there was something familiar about the face of his shape, something that didn’t sit right with Akmazian.
The man pouted and sighed. “I always find doing it professionally so boring but if you insist. If we aren’t going to drink, why don’t we walk? There’s a nice café just down the road. It’s more classy than here and the muffins are simply divine.”
Akmazian paused for a moment, chewing his lip. He wouldn’t trust a smuggler to begin with and the man’s haunting familiarity did not help. But still it wasn’t too late and the bar wasn’t really any safer than the bar if Chrome wanted to go after him.
“Fine,” he allowed, “Let’s go.”
He slipped off the bar stool and began shoving his way through the drunken crowd, keeping an eye on Caesar Chrome, walking beside him, moving effortlessly through the throngs of people who parted like the Red Sea.
“So, after a shipment of some rather rare Martian plants, I hear,” Chrome commented as they exited the swirling smoke of the bar and walked out into the cool night air.
“You already know that’s why I’m here,” Akmazian replied sharply, annoyed by the small talk. He’d never been one for manners and affectations in his illegal deals but this man seemed determine to make small talk. Chrome chuckled and shook his head.
The street lamps were malfunctioning, only a few of them flickered with a dull yellow light. Chrome glanced towards him, raising an eyebrow and Akmazian was once again struck with the sense of familiarity. He knew that face: the dark eyes and quirkier eyebrow. He had seen a picture or video or something; something long before his life had fallen apart. The cheekbones were sharper, the face lost the softness of youth, the dark hair shorter and slicked back rather than falling in a tangled curtain but the semi-mischievous gleam in the eyes and the slight smile was undeniably familiar but still nameless.
“So, tell me, Mr Sherwood,” said Chrome, his voice like satin, “What does the Destroyer of Worlds want with a Hyperion Lily?”
Akmazian stopped dead in his tracks, his hand flying to the gun he had hidden under his cloak. He gripped it tight, forcing his voice to stay pleasant as he replied.
“I see you did your research, Mr Chrome.”
“Well, your face is being broadcast across most of the Galaxy - as soon as I saw you I put two and two together,” said Chrome cheerfully. He grinned, looking almost cat-like, flashing unusually sharp canines as he did. “You’re a wanted criminal, Mr Sherwood.” The name dripped with sarcasm. “So tell me, why would you want a Hyperion Lily?”
That was when it hit Akmazian. The grin, the sharp canines, the barely-identifiable accent. He remembered Stephen, his old bunk-mate at the academy, muttering something about savages sharpening their teeth as they had flicked through photos on their holopads. The videos had been in a file on the freedom fighters of Brahma. That had been years ago, back when the Alliance was still thinking about intervening against the multiple human rights violations caused by the war. Before that project had been deemed impossible with out violent intervention and had been shut down, and Akmazian had been shipped off to the Adrarian Sector for unspecified reasons. A name matching the face came to him, one that was only really known through leaked information from Brahmese refugees’ hopeful murmurs and a some security footage smuggled out on a physical 21st century CD: Peter Nureyev.
“The real question is,” Akmazian drawled, returning the self-satisfied smile with one of his own, “What is the Angel of Brahma doing supplying them?”
(P.S. I kinda wanna write a follow-up, would anyone be interested?)