Xwixwiyá:ye

Zwiz-way-ah-yay

The Xwixwiyá:ye or “underwater flies” in Halq'eméylem and various salish dialects is an aquatic cryptid inhabiting the most remote inlets and beaches of the Northern and Southern Shelf in the Salish sea and the Haida Gwaii. They are about the length of a human finger, are black in colour, large claws and are described as insect or crab-like in appearance. They are only reported to live in tide pools and shallow water. The Xwixwiyá:ye is thought to be venomous enough to kill a human, and are often avoided by the local Salishan and Halkomelem people. In 1987, in an interview with Albert Louie, a Chilliwack man, said;

 “Oh, yeah, the fly. Xwixwiyá:ye. I’ve seen them in not deep water when I was shooting ducks. Oh, they’re as big as that, big hands on them, black, just like a crab. I asked my father why it’s black, and he says if it’s a different colour that’s no good. Them things has kind of a poison. Get that black in you, if it bites you, it’ll kill you, just like a rattlesnake. Don’t go in there.”

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