Tsuchinoko 4

Located deep in the mountainous regions of Western Japan, the Tsuchinoko is a creature straight out of Japanese folklore. Resembling a thick-bodied snake that grows several feet in length (about a meter), Tsuchinokos are believed to inhabit the watery caves of Shikoku and Honshu. They’re usually sighted in the rivers and streams that criss-cross the mountains, but most sightings are only a glimpse before the creature darts back into the depths.

Descriptions vary, but most witnesses report many of the same features: large, plate-like scales, a black tongue, small horns growing on the sides of its head, the ability to leap more than a meter at a time, and perhaps the most unusual feature of all—a variety of vocal noises that range from squeaking like a mouse to mimicking a human voice. To top it all off, Tsuchinokos are supposed to have fangs capable of shooting venom at their attackers.

The town of Mitaka claims to have captured one, but they also haven’t taken any steps to verify its authenticity, so it remains a cryptid for the time being.

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