Scotland has the Loch Ness Monster, America has Bigfoot and England has the Friendly Bus Driver, but did you know that Cyprus also has a mythical creature of it’s own? The Ayia Napa Sea Monster is said to inhabit the crystal blue waters around Cape Greko and sightings of this subaquatic beastie date all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire. Fancy joining in the hunt whilst you’re on your next Ayia Napa holiday? Here’s everything you could possibly need to know about this bizarre Cypriot sea monster…
The creature is known to local fishermen as ‘To Filiko Teras’ or quite simply ‘The Friendly Monster’ as there are no claims that it has ever caused harm to anybody, beyond raiding the occasional fishing net. If the descriptions from those claiming to have seen it are to be believed, it must be a pretty terrifying sight. It is said to have over a dozen serpent like limbs, with six ferocious canine like heads protruding from it’s mid-riff and bizarrely the torso of a woman.
Whilst tales of this strange and mysterious beast are largely based in local folklore, rumour and legend, local authorities took the claims seriously enough to fund an official investigation into ‘To Filiko Teras’ existence as recently as 2008. Following reported sightings of what some sceptics believed to be a crocodile, which had been dumped into the area surrounding the Kouris Dam, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs leapt into action, but later informed local press that whilst these reports had been thoroughly looked into, their search for the sea monster had been unsuccessful.
Online experts and crypto-zoologists believe the origins of the Ayia Napa Sea Monster may belong to a different and more widely known mythical creature. Namely ‘The Scylla’, as featured in Homer’s Odyssey and subject of several murals in the House of Dionysus – a villa on the isle of Paphos.
The truth is, nobody really knows. Precious little photographic evidence of the Ayia Napa Sea Monster exists, there are some short films and a few photos, but these are all as of yet unverified. Many local hotels offer boat rides and excursions, giving tourists the opportunity to search for the creature.
Who knows, maybe you will be the one to finally solve this mystery, the next time you’re in Ayia Napa!