With such an abundance of nutrient-dense water, flowing through the marshes, it’s hard not to think of all the spooky creatures that could be living in the wetland. After all, you never know what’s really lurking behind those exotic cypress trees and Tupelo.
Indeed, such spooky stories and legends about swamp creatures have captured our imagination for centuries. But while most of them are probably as fake as a three-dollar bill, others are just as real as the Sun. For the most part, such mysterious creatures usually reside in densely-forested areas and water-clogged lands that aren't quite "popular" with humans.
And if you’ve ever wondered where exactly you can actually see these animals, you’ve come to the right place. For instance, the area of Atchafalaya boasts super diverse and rich wildlife. Also, such wet regions are merely teeming with exotic animal and plant life, awaiting a valid exploration. But although the American alligator has come to represent the swamps, there’s a ton of other equally spooky animals that reside there.
Well, it may be true that the sight of them can even make Bear Grylls run for the hills, but we believe that it's still worth the try.
25 The Nightmarish Saw-Scaled Viper
Although it is considerably smaller than most vipers, this saw-scaled snake is no less poisonous. Over the years it has caused a particularly high number of deaths all over India, and specifically across the Thar desert. This otherwise little Indian viper boasts a painful bite that causes swelling in the bloodstream. Again, there's some snake antivenom to cure the victim but it must be applied as soon as possible. Otherwise, it might be too late for the person to recover from the unfortunate encounter with this ruthless creature. The saw-scaled viper, which is scientifically known as Echis carinatus, inhabits great sections of the Thar desert, but it also resides in sandy areas and swamps. All in all, the saw-scaled viper is usually covered with keeled scales, white spots, and bows. So, if you ever happen to see it, you'll probably be able to identify it without any problem.
24 This Invertebrate Cannot Wait To Meet You
Well, this insect certainly looks like a demonic creature that might have actually come from Hell. Apparently, all those swamps are quite jam-packed with millions of invertebrates, from rare mosquitoes to such strange insects that practically dominate the marshland. But strangely enough, some of these buddies aren’t always relegated to life on land within the marsh environment. For instance, mollusks like shrimp, oysters, snails, and even hermits usually meander back and forth between marsh water and land; however, the last ones are particularly common in brackish water and marshes. But whatever it truly is, let's just hope that we'd never see it in real life.
23 The Saltwater Crocodile In Kerala
Whether they inhabit rivers, lakes, brackish waters or swamps, all types of crocodiles are quite vicious, especially in super close proximity. In fact, Kerala's saltwater crocodiles are widely known as "human lovers". Over the last few years, they've attacked and bitten hundreds of people who had the unfortunate luck to enter their marked territory. Also, the common saltwater crocodile may be considerably smaller in size, but this doesn't mean that it is less dangerous. As a matter of fact, the saltwater crocodile is considered the largest reptile and terrestrial predator on the Andaman Islands and around the world.
22 Brown Recluse Spiders
For a considerably small arachnid, this specific kind of spiders, known as Brown recluse, is quite a spooky creature; and guess what, the whole region of Louisiana is richly covered with tons of them. Generally, most spiders love hiding in tiny spaces, such as wardrobes, drawers, even amongst the clothes or between the bed sheets. But unlike these domestic spiders that are almost like pets in our homes, the Brown Recluse ones are quite dangerous. Moreover, these spiders can survive years without food and water while waiting for the perfect moment to lure an innocent victim into their invisible spider web and sink their teeth into its flesh.
21 The Vicious Indian Cobra
Believe it or not, the vicious Indian cobra is worshiped by Hindus in many local rituals and festivals, such as the Indian Nag Panchami in the summer. Actually, "Naga" translates as Cobra in Sanskrit; however, such ferocious beasts aren't thought of as killing machines in India. In fact, the Vicious Indian Cobra happens to be a sacred animal which is even protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Legislation. In India, cobras are divine serpents that are considered Guardians of the Water. But if they happen to bite you, the venom will most likely cause a cardiac attack, paralysis and other serious respiratory problems. But just because the cobra is worshipped in India doesn't mean that it's considered divine in other parts of the world.
20 Copperhead - Agkistrodon Contortrix
Copperhead belongs to the family of the pit vipers and is endemic to the eastern parts of North America. Its name comes from the shape of its head, and it clearly shows that this creature is quite hostile. Most copperheads usually reside in low-lying terrains and rock outcroppings, but they're also found in swampy areas, and ledges.
Officially known as Agkistrodon contortrix, this particularly freakish beast enjoys playing hide-and-seek, especially in such swampy regions. If you accidentally step on it, you'll most likely feel a sudden, piercing pain when it sinks its teeth into your skin. But generally, the copperhead doesn't really bite unless it feels that its life is in grave danger. After all, these wild animals simply follow their instincts. So, if this viper feels threatened, it will surely let you know it.
19 Common Alligator
Crocodiles and alligators are probably the best examples of swamp-buried beasts that are better left undisturbed. These demonic creatures are not only quite ancient but are simply gigantic. Additionally, the family of the common alligators claims a pretty old lineage that dates back to the beginning of time. Interestingly, these beasts can grow up to 500 pounds. And if that's not scary enough, let us just mention that the common alligator is thought of as a merciless killing machine with an incredible population of over 2-3 million species. Indeed, the sight of such an underwater creature will most certainly scare the wits out of you unless you've got Bear Grylls' unwavering personality.
18 Alligator Snapping Turtles
So what exactly is a snapping turtle? Actually, it's not the typically cute turtle, but a bizarre amphibian, a gigantic alligator that almost looks as though it belongs to the world of Jurassic Park. But even though the snapping turtle is quite a monstrous creature, it's got quite a unique way of hunting. When it's hungry, it usually buries itself deep underneath the swamp, waiting for the right moment to stick its tongue out and snap at its innocent victim. But besides being a ferocious beast, which stays motionless and silent until it scans a potential lunch under the water, it's also ill-famed for being aggressive towards nature explorers and hunters as well. Apparently, it just doesn't enjoy being visited by such curious visitors.
17 The Indian Krait - Bungarus
The Indian Krait is thought of as an extremely poisonous snake, and its venom is so deadly that it can cause paralysis and suffocation in no time. If you happen to be bitten by Bungarus, as is its scientific name, you must apply pressure to the affected area and try to immobilize it as quickly as possible. Common kraits prefer secret and hidden nooks in their natural habitat, but they also love visiting Indians in their homes. In most of the cases, these kraits happen to be quite large as they can even grow up to 175 cm in height. Of course, the most typical place where they usually reside in is jungles and wetlands; however, do not freak out if you suddenly see a common krait having a rest on the couch in your Indian guest house.
16 Russell's Viper
Alright, who's Russel and why does he own a viper? Seriously, this hair-raising creature can hardly learn how to be a pet. This particular viper is scientifically known as Daboia Ruselii and is a respected family member of the snakes. As a matter of fact, Russell's viper is known as quite a dangerous species as it's also accountable for hundreds of death cases all over India. Most chain vipers are about 165 cm tall, which makes them considerably smaller than the common krait, but they also boast an incredible venomous and painful bite. Their venom is known to affect the victim's internal organs and bloodstream in no time. There is, of course, snake antivenom, but it doesn't always guarantee a happy ending.
15 King Cobra
Ophiophagus hannah aka King cobra is usually found in heavily forested areas and wetlands and is specifically dominant all over the Indian subcontinent. Simply known as King cobra, this otherwise fabulous creature with stunning colors can reach up to 5.7 m in length. Therefore, it's considered a unique snake that's surely equally dangerous and beautiful. In fact, the King Cobra doesn't seem to be too fond of attacking humans, although most of its encounters with people turned out to be quite scary. But all in all, this King Cobra usually feeds on other small animals and pythons.
14 What Is A Water Strider?
Apparently, the world is fully packed with mythical creatures that can easily send shivers down your spine. When it comes to such odd insects, we just cannot help but wonder what these water striders are all about. Is it like a simple insect that only looks freakish but is actually harmless? Well, we don't know that yet. However, it really seems that this creature, known as a water strider, still makes lots of people lose their sleep at night. This bizarre-looking thing is believed to reside in the African wetlands and swamps and is thought of as quite a rare insect. But if you ask us, we'd rather be as far away from it as possible. Indeed, it doesn't really look that friendly at all.
13 The Ancient Caiman
This prehistoric creature is probably Bolivia's most scary swamp animal that usually lives in newly flooded marshes. In fact, these areas happen to provide the ideal habitat for the Black Caiman to hatch and expand its "family tree".
Also known as Melanosuchus, the Black Caiman is quite a gigantic crocodile that hatches in a wet environment. Similarly to any other crocodile, this dangerous example could also be noticed in slow-moving streams and savannahs although it certainly prefers to be buried deep underneath a swamp. Last but not least, the Black Caiman isn't at all known as a human-friendly creature, so you'd better learn more about its habitat and nature while watching Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild.
12 The Black-Tailed Python
Similarly to the King Cobra, this black-tailed python is actually quite stunning although it certainly looks like it can bite you just for fun. The so-called Python Molurus is about 3 meters long and happens to be the biggest python species in India after the Asiatic reticulated one. In a nutshell, this black-tailed python is also widely known as the silent crusher due to its signature hunting skills. In most of the cases, this black-tailed python is to be found in wetlands and sandy regions where it hides beneath rocks waiting for its victim to come closer.
11 The Indian Red Scorpion
Scientifically known as Heterometrus swammerdami, this spooky Indian scorpion is known to attack over 50 people every year. Sadly, most of them don't get to recover from their unfortunate encounter with the red scorpion.
This otherwise colorful and exotic country boasts over 86 different species of scorpions, and at least half of them are quite deadly. For instance, the venom has been said to cause pulmonary edema making it at least twice as poisonous when compared to other snakes. The largest red scorpion, which usually inhabits swamps and forested regions, reaches about 9 inches in length, but do not think that its humble size will hardly make you sweat like crazy.
10 Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus Niloticus)
It was about time we introduced you to this fantastic, yet deadly Nile Crocodile with a unique geographic home range, spanning from Sahara to Madagascar. Indeed, the Nile crocodile feels at home in various habitats; however, it seems that it's most fond of freshwater lakes, brackish waters, swamps, and even streams. Most of these crocodiles aren't really that gigantic in size as many other species; however, they do reach at least 5 meters in length. Additionally, let's not ignore the fact that this beast has got no problem claiming the title of the world's most dangerous crocodiles although its cousins are bigger in size. Last but not least, the Nile Crocodile is regularly linked to the disappearance of over 300 people on an annual basis.
9 Anopheles Mosquito
Another typical creature that resides in such climates is the blood-sucking Anopheles mosquito, which could be extremely harmful and dangerous as well. This exact mosquito has got almost nothing in common with the harmless species we chase and try to eliminate through the summer. This parasite can carry viral diseases that are easily and quickly spread from one person to another. Most of these viruses are tightly linked to the outbreak of dengue and malaria, which often result in fatal endings. Also, it takes a single bite from a female Anopheles mosquito to get infected with malaria while the other type - the Aedes Aegypti - is responsible for yellow fever and dengue.
The freshwater zooplankton can often be spotted in most wetland areas, such as lakes, streams, and, of course, swamps. However, they seem to be most abundant nearer the surface. Interestingly enough, this zooplankton feeds on phytoplankton (microscopic plants) but it needs light to complete the process of photosynthesizing. For the most part, those curious species move into shallower waters at dusk. There's a theory that the zooplankton tries to avoid UV lights and other predators, which also explains why it has to change its locations at night. Another curious feature about this bizarre-looking creature is that it's only five millimeters long. Well, now you know why it's rarely spotted underwater.
7 Canebrake Rattlesnakes
As a subspecies of the so-called Timber Rattlesnake, this ill-tempered creature mostly inhabits temperate forests; however, it could also be found in rocky terrains, canebrakes, riverine thickets and, of course, swamps. Canebrake Rattlesnakes - the cousin of the Timber Rattlesnake - is not only a disturbing sight to see, but it can absolutely fill your body with venom. But besides having a full name that almost rhymes, this kind of snake loves basking in the sunshine at the peak of summer. For the most part, the Canebrake Rattlesnake often sits in a coiled, twisted position so it can lunge at its victim all at once. Sadly, this is what usually happens to the family of the rodents.
6 The Australian Green Tree Frog
Now that you've learned about the existence of the rare leopard frog, it was high time we told you more about this odd tree frog as well. Apparently, this frog happens to be quite common in the Australian swamps. Well, the Green Tree Frog used to be native to New Zealand and New Guinea as well but it's believed to have died out. Unlike the common Australian frogs, this one is rather small as it only reaches about 10 cm in length; however, do not judge it by its size since this weird creature is actually quite unpredictable. This unique frog feeds on various types of insects drawn by the light and boasts an average lifespan of over 15 years. When in danger, this green tree frog usually screams to scare the enemies off and we can assure you that the shriek is quite ear-damaging.
5 Would You Come Near This Leopard Frog?
Most amphibians are in critical need of water for the first stages of their lives. But thankfully, the Great Swamp provides an excellent environment for amphibians to thrive. While the most common examples are the Green and Pickerel frogs, there’s one particularly interesting kind that has been recently identified – the Atlantic Leopard Frog. Although the water-clogged areas are quite perfect egg-laying sites, the Leopard Frog is still a bit sensitive to air pollutants.
Besides being a pretty small frog to spot in the wetland anyway, this species looks somehow threatening to us. Perhaps that’s exactly what makes these amphibians so unique, yet slightly freakish.
4 The Mugger Crocodile
Commonly known as The Mugger, Crocodylus palustris is typically found in lakes, wetlands, freshwater pools and marshes; however, it also enjoys the slow-moving waters and streams from Iran all the way to South Asia. Although most crocodiles share some basic features regarding their appearance, the Mugger Crocodile is actually known as the largest member of this family. Generally, Muggers can grow up to 16.5 feet ( 4-5 meters) when they become adults; however, it's not really impossible to run into a member that's much bigger than that. Muggers usually feed on reptiles and fish but some of them have got a really strong appetite for much larger prey, such as deer. Well, now you know why you should cancel your exploration mission in the western fringes of Southeast Asia.
The Great Swamp is surely infested with tons of spooky insects and this “cute” buddy is certainly one of them. For the most part, these insects spend about two-thirds of their life cycle in swampy areas – meaning that the environment and climate should provide a little more humidity. But if there are other insects residing in the same areas, it surely means that the environment could support the existence of these bizarre-looking insects. But if we ask us, these caddisflies shouldn’t be in such a hurry to spread and claim all of these mysterious swamps. After all, this insect isn't exactly what we'd love to see during an exploration mission anyway. So, it had better slow down its phases of reproduction.
2 The American Crocodile - Crocodylus Acutus
Crocodylus Acutus is also commonly known as the Central American alligator and it's certainly no stranger to the aquatic habitats in South America. The American crocodile is also easily adaptive to brackish environments. Actually, it has already been observed in such estuaries filled with saline water. Similarly to the previous species, Crocodylus Acutus - especially the males - can reach over 5 meters in length; however, they don't particularly enjoy feeding on large animals. But even though hunting humans isn't typical for this species, CrocBite shared that there are, in fact, many reports of people being attacked by the American Crocodile.
1 Gharial (Gavialis Gangeticus)
While most people simply know it as Gavial, this particularly dangerous species inhabits the swamps and rivers of Nepal and the northern parts of India. This spooky creature is quite easily distinguished by its spectacular length that goes between 12 to 15 feet (over 4.6 meters). When compared to its cousins - the other beasts from the family - its jaw is usually a bit longer and is often described as super slender. Well, that's certainly a bit ridiculous. But apart from its threatening appearance, Gharial isn't at all known for attacking people since it's more attracted to bodies set afloat on the Ganges River.
References: animalwised.com, britannica.com, doc.govt.nz.