Aasivarluut

uh-see-vuh-loot

The Aasivarluut is an obscure creature in Inuit mythology. It’s described as a very large, spider-like creature that allegedly inhabits shallow, calm bays in the Arctic of Canada, and the west coast of Greenland. Akin to huntsman or water spider in appearance, the aasivarluut is an ambush predator that waits at the bottom of shallow shoals and inlets, for an animal, usually seals, to swim above it, which it then violently drags it under and eats it. Although aquatic spiders do exist, and even behave the same way the aasivarluut does, none inhabit the ocean, and obviously don’t reach the proportions to be able to consume an entire seal. Due to spiders having book lungs, which wouldn’t properly function if the animal is too large, the aasivarluut is probably not a spider, and perhaps a crab, sea spider, or other spider-like arthropod that could, hypothetically, evolve to such sizes.


One of the few recorded sightings of an aasivarluut outside of folklore and mythology was, according to an elder, in the early 20th century by a kayaker on an unnamed island west of Baffin Island. The kayaker was crossing a small gap and noticed how shallow the water was. He then remembered hearing about aasivarluut by his elders, so he became weary. As he was looking for an aasivarluut, he noticed a large eye, and about a metre to the left, another. He quickly paddled away and luckily the aasivarluut did not attack him.

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