River Monsters with Jeremy Wade

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River Monsters with Jeremy Wade

Have you ever watched that show? I’ve been watching it on DirectTV. It’s on Animal Planet and Jeremy Wade goes to various freshwater areas of the world where there are stories of giant monsters in the river and Jeremy tries to prove or disprove them via catch-and-release fishing.

It’s really interesting in the sense that he interviews the locals to find out more about the alleged monster, treating them (the people) with dignity and respect rather than dismissing the stories as ‘made up’. He also finds out if any of them have actually seen this creature.

He also uses their knowledge of the area to find the best spots to try and catch whatever it is, if anything, that has spawned the stories.

The stories

The stories so far have all turned out to be true. Read that sentence again and let it soak in for a minute.

The stories are very similar no matter where he goes. Eerily similar. Oh sure, it’s not creepy the first show you watch, but after the 4th or 5th episode you pick up the show’s fairly predictable formula…and then at some point you think to yourself, “Oh Crap! These things are actually happening!”

Oh yeah, you KNEW it was true all along, but at some point this knowledge drills itself through your iron-and-concrete walls of knowledge and burrows right into your deepest primal fears.

A lot of the victims are children, and sure a big fish could drag a small child under. Then you realize…a fish in a river, that they go into every day, targeted a child and drug the poor kid underwater where he or she drowned.

And then you realize…they are the lucky ones.

Because the unlucky ones have a worse fate.

What’s worse than drowning?

How about being swallowed alive? You know, like the Biblical story of Jonah only he doesn’t get spit up onto land.

Yes sir, some of those fish are large enough TO SWALLOW A CHILD WHOLE!!!

In case you don’t know, or it happens too quickly for you to see what’s going on, fish don’t snap their toothless jaws around it’s food and gum it to death like grandpa does to a steak.

First thing is, fish don’t chew. They swallow their prey whole. So the prey gets slowly digested alive for a thousand years…oh, sorry, that’s a sarlac in Star Wars VI.

But everything except for the ‘thousand years’ part is true for fish.

Now you might think that makes sense that a large fish would see a small kid swimming and come up from under and…. Except that’s not what happens. Most of the kids are near shore…standing.

This brings us to the second thing most fish do. They do snap their jaws around their prey, but that’s not how they get the prey in the first place. When a fish is hunting, it opens its mouth in such a way that a strong vacuum is created and pulls the prey into it’s mouth.

Like a Hoover on steroids…or grandpa at dessert.

The bigger the fish, the farther away it can be from it’s prey and the larger the prey can be…sorta. Fish are strong in the water and people are strong on land. In the water much much smaller fish can pull a man under because we are pretty weak in the water.

Don’t believe me? Go tread water and dangle 10 pound weights and see if you can stay afloat buddy.

Think of how ‘strong’ those 15 and 20 pound fish are when you’re trying to reel them in. Now imagine a 50 pound or 110 pound fish…. Yeah, not so ridiculous sounding now, is it?

But I digress.

So the kid is standing in the water, a big (enough) fish sees the kid, opens it’s mouth and creates essentially an overpowering undertow that pulls the child to the fish. If the fish is not big enough, the child drowns before he is able to get to the surface. If the fish is big enough, the child either gets caught by the fish (too small to swallow the child but big enough to get part of him in the fish’s mouth) or the fish IS large enough to swallow the hapless child alive and the poor kid has a gruesome end. Being digested alive, inside a river monster.

How big?

Well, in India they were big enough to take down a fully grown water buffalo.


Calm down, I didn’t say “swallow a buffalo”, I said “take down” a buffalo.

And yes, in order to do that, the fish had to be HUGE, as in, oh I forget but over 150 pounds I think it was.

To be continued in the next post….

– Jeffery


Purchase DVDs of Jeremy Wade’s show here: River Monsters