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Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Hawkesbury River Monster

Mysterious water monsters are not unusual. The Loch Ness Monster and Lake Champlain’s Champ are just two creatures belonging to this fascinating class of cryptid. However, New South Wales, Australia has its own resident water creature, known as the Hawkesbury River Monster.

The Monster

Most of the reports of the Hawkesbury River Monster have a lot in common with descriptions of the Loch Ness Monster. Those who have spotted the river monster describe it as having a snake-like head, a long neck and large body, two sets of flippers, and an eel-like tail. Its body is bulky and covered in patchy black and gray skin. Most accounts put it between 7 and 24 meters in length.

The monster evidently comes to land on occasion. In addition to sightings of the creature itself, many have reported spotting marks along the side of the river leading into the water. These markings suggest a large creature sliding along its banks.

According to Indigenous legends told to settlers, women and children have been known to be attacked by the river monster when they get too close to the river’s edge. Many lived to tell the tale, but others met their ends thanks to the monster’s large jaws and sharp teeth.


The Indigenous Dharuk tribe were the first to bear witness to the Hawkesbury River Monster. “Mirreeulla,” or giant water serpent, is regularly depicted in their art, some of which is over 4,000 years old. However, there have been more recent sightings suggesting that the creature is more than a myth. Many of the stories are decidedly mysterious: boats have been found overturned with all of their occupants missing or completely smashed near the water’s edge. These strange cases are often blamed on the river monster.

In 1975, a woman named Rosemary Turner was at a lookout at the Muogamarra Nature Reserve when she spotted something large moving through the water. She claimed that the beast she saw was too large to be any type of normal creature. She believed it was the river monster.

Sometime in the 1980s, a man in a fishing boat claims to have spotted the elusive creature. He states that he was in an aluminum fishing boat with some companions when the water around the boat grew dark and rippled. The creature breached the water just below their boat. According to his story, the creature sent them and their boat flying three meters into the air.

Another recent sighting occurred in 2000 near St. Albans. A group of people out fishing spotted a creature that they described as 25-30 feet in length moving past the jetty. They also reported seeing it lift its snake-like head about one meter out of the water.

According to Rex Gilroy, a cryptozoologist who has been studying the Hawkesbury River Monster for years, one of the most recent sightings occurred in 2010. A group of fishermen near Wisemen’s Ferry reported seeing a head resembling that of a snake atop at least two meters of neck rise up out of the water briefly. It was quickly submerged back under the water, but the men were certain of what they saw.

The river monster made its internet debut in the year 2017 when a family on a fishing trip from Sydney shot a fascinating video of a large creature in the Hawkesbury River. The video seems to clearly depict a large, snake-like creature swimming in the water near their boat.
Many hunters and scientists have devoted significant time and resources to finding and capturing the Hawkesbury River Monster. However, no one has even managed to produce a clear photo of the elusive beast.

Possible Explanations

There are many mundane theories about the river monster. Because there haven’t been many clear photos of the monster, many brush off the stories as typical animal sightings. These nonbelievers claim that those who have witnessed the monster actually caught glimpses of a crocodile, oversized catfish, large eel, or swimming goanna. However, those who have seen the monster insist that what they saw was far too large to be an ordinary creature.

There are other theories that suggest a more enigmatic origin for the creature. The physical descriptions of the Hawkesbury River Monster, much like the descriptions of Nessie, are said to have a lot on common with the plesiosaur: a Mesozoic marine reptile that has been extinct for 70 million years. Some believe that these mysterious underwater monsters are descendants of the ancient creature.

Some even believe that the Hawkesbury River Monster isn’t its own creature. According to many, it is actually a Bunyip: another example of a terrifying water creature that haunts Australian folklore.

Is the Hawkesbury River Monster a large, but otherwise normal, animal? Is it a leftover from an ancient time? Or is it something else entirely? As long as the monster remains in the hidden depths of the river, these questions remain unanswered.


This is a contributed post by Slapped Ham (link to https://www.slappedham.com). Slapped Ham is a website that's been covering all things strange, mysterious and creepy for over 5 years. They have a Youtube channel with over one million subscribers and have been noted for their eerie, binge-worthy content.' 

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