A photo of the remains of a lusca that washed ashore at Eagle Ray Cove in 1972. (Blacktip Times file photo)
Multiple reports of a lusca—a large sea creature with tentacles and teeth blamed for attacks in the Bahamas—this week have Blacktip Island’s scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers wary of entering the water, island authorities said.
“Treated this as a hoax at first, but enough people say they’ve seen it, we got to take it seriously,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “It’s basically a shark with tentacles, or an octopus with teeth, depending on who’s describing it, about 20 feet long.
“We’re telling folks to use their best judgement about going in the sea,” Marquette said. “No lusca attacks on record, but anything that big and that toothy, you got to be mindful of it. Can’t guarantee folks’ safety.”
Long-time locals say the threat is real.
“Been a while since a lusca’s come into the shallows,” local cryptozoologist Antonio Fletcher said. “Live way down the wall, under the island. That’s what gets divers who go too deep. Coming close to shore like this, it’s looking for food. Or a host for its eggs. Divers’re right to be afraid. They’re the low-hanging fruit out there.
“Last month, couple of snorkelers had something grab ‘em. Came out of the water with suction-cup marks on their legs,” Fletcher said. “I warned folks then, but just got laughed off. This’s happened before, y’know. Got a photo from the ‘70s. And university studies confirmed it.”
Scientists disputed the claims.
“There’s no studies from this university confirming luscas, or any other sea monster,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine biology professor Ernesto Mojarra said. “There’s zero evidence of such a cryptid’s existence other than a blurry photo of some unidentified blob on the beach from 50 years ago. Cramps and sunburn are threats to swimmers. A shark-to-pus, not so much.”
Divers remain wary.
“Fishermen see them all the time,” Chrissy Graysby said. “These sightings keep happening. I’m not going near the water ‘til somebody whacks this thing. Just last week it attacked a diver—he shoved his camera at it for defense, and it snatched the camera and swam away. Otherwise we’d have photos and video.”
Other locals suspect the sightings are part of a hoax.
“Dude, Payne Hanover has that giant octopus costume from his ‘Under the Sea’ beach party last year,” Alison Diesel said. “It’s right up his alley to prank people like this. Until somebody proves me wrong, I’m not buying it.”
Fletcher, meanwhile, is taking no chances.
“This thing’s dangerous,” he said. “It coming into the shallows, alarm bells should be flashing. We got to do something. Me, I go out in the afternoons, throw frozen pizzas and chicken strips into the sea. Ol’ lusca eats those, its arteries’ll clog and that’ll be the end of it.”
Payne Hanover denied possession of any costumes, octopus or otherwise.