10 Lake Monsters That Aren’t Just Nessie Rip-Offs

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Almost 2 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by freshwater. Much of that is contained in lakes with legendary monsters that are low-rent rip-offs of the Loch Ness monster. But the best of the local lake monsters terrorize their communities in unique ways and spark their own local legends.

10. Ahuitzotl

In the Aztec Nahuatl language, ahuitzotl means “spiny aquatic thing” or “thorny thing of the water.” It was described as a five-handed amphibious hyena that inhabited bodies of water around Tenochtitlan, now the Mexico City area.

The ahuitzotl could mimic the cries of a child or distraught woman to lure people into danger. These creatures drag their prey underwater using the hands on their legs or the hand at the end of their terrifying tail.

However, this may just be undertow branded as monsters that look like Mesoamerican native dogs. These dogs were culturally associated with lightning, sunsets, and death by the Aztec people. If ahuitzotls are somehow an aspect of the death god Xolotl, their moist murders could be attributed to a religious belief by Tenochtitlan locals.

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