Scuba divers off Blacktip Island’s Diddley’s Landing public pier Wednesday night claim to have encountered a kraken, a giant, squid-like creature long thought a legend.
“There’s been stories of krakens in the deep water off that coast, but nobody really believed them,” Angela Fisher said. “But that night, during the dive, a couple of us felt something squishy grabbing at our legs. Then, right by the pier, this big squid-thing appeared out of nowhere, all tentacles flailing and beak snapping.
“Joey Pompano pulled out his knife, and me and Alison Diesel purged our alternate airs at it,” Fisher said. “It freaked at the bubbles and inked, and we dragged ourselves up the pier steps quick-like-the-bunny. Scariest thing that ever happened to me on a dive.”
Divers say the creature matched what they know of kraken.
“It was textbook kraken, just smaller and more skittish,” Alison Diesel said. “It must’ve just hatched out. That’s why it was so small. And why no one’s seen it before. And why it spooked so quick. It had to have been behind us during the dive, testing us with its tentacles. Then it went full-Cthulhu when it realized we were getting out.
“I it’ll learn as it grows. That’s the scary part,” Diesel said. “Before long before it won’t b safe to dive on Blacktip. And it’ll go after boats, too. This is way-spooky stuff.”
Some on the island, however, questioned the sighting.
“A kraken? Crack of their butts is more like it,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine biology professor Ernesto Mojarra said. “If there were a giant squid, and if one were on the reef, there’d be no fish left. And this was a night dive. They probably just saw some reef squid or an octopus.
“And knowing that bunch, they’d been smoking God-knows-what before they jumped in the water,” Mojarra added. “Tentacles brushing their legs? That was probably them kicking the hell out of sea plumes.”
The divers defended their claims.
“I know octopus, and that was no octopus,” Pompano said. “It charged us. Eyes flashing. I could see the beak snapping two, three feet in front of my face. It was like that scene from ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’
“We reckon it just got here, that’s why no one else’s seen it,” Pomano said. “We got lucky. What if purging a reg doesn’t scare it off next time?”
Several dive resorts plan to capitalize on the sighting once tourists return to the island.
“Sure, there’s no such thing as a kraken and divers are safe on our reefs,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “But Eagle Ray Cove’s gonna run special Kraken dive charters. For an upcharge, of course. And Finn down at Club Scuba Doo, he sent off a proposal for a Kraken Diver specialty course. He’s just waiting for approval.
“God bless Angela and those knuckleheads,” Cobia said. “When tourists come back, we’re gonna make up for lost time. And income.”