Although Japan is home to some freakishly large creatures like Godzilla and Gamera, neither of them are quite like the giant salamander, which was spotted recently walking by a river.
The giant salamander is rare and nocturnal, which is why they are not often seen and can sometimes incite alarm. When one ventured onto land on Friday, onlookers were not sure how to react.
“Help! It’s a river monster,” one bystander exclaimed.
Police were called to the scene and one man pulled out his cell phone to record the lazy creature.
The animal was spotted near the Kamo River in Kyoto.
The giant salamander, or Osanshuou meaning “giant pepper fish”, can grow up to five feet in length and weight up to 80 pounds. They live in cool, clear rivers but can sometimes be seen meandering on land near the water. Although their meat was once valued as food, and apparently tastes like chicken, they are now a protected species.
The animals have poor eyesight but have special sensory cells that cover its skin. These creatures eat insects, frogs and fish and can live for more than 50 years.
Every August, the Japanese celebrate the giant salamander during a festival in Okayama.