One of the most common mystery animals stories in the United States involves giant catfish.
As the story typically goes, divers descend below a dam to inspect the walls and see a catfish “large as a Volkswagen and big enough to swallow a man”. Usually the story is related by someone who said their friends cousin’s uncle was the diver.
I actually went and dove at a couple of reservoirs to test the feasibility of the legend and traveled to Spain to encounter true giant catfish called the Wels. If you have stories of giant catfish encounters, especially a firsthand encounter click here to contact us.
It is my opinion that seeing a record class catfish in murky water at close range probably inspired the legend and it grew from there. I had the amazing opportunity to dive with the world record blue catfish (at the time) named “Splash” at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. It gave me a unique perspective on encountering what at the time was the largest known blue and how a diver might respond in dark waters.