While reports of these beasts have dwindled in recent years, there have been sightings of gigantic, eel-like monstrosities inhabiting the waters of the Arre River in Switzerland for centuries.

The Arre River is a tributary of the Rhine that runs 183-miles and is the longest river that exists entirely within the borders of Switzerland. For centuries legends of large, serpentine creatures — much like Florida’s MUCK MONSTER or Newfoundland’s CRESCENT LAKE — have been associated with this body of water.

The most notorious spot for these sightings is the Aar Gorge. The gorge is a deep, narrow chasm that carves through a limestone ridge near the town of Meiringen. It is bordered by sheer cliffs, nearly 170-feet feet high on either side, and until a walking path was constructed in 1889, the only way to cross the gorge was by challenging the treacherous rapids.

This proved even more perilous than it initially seemed as folklore — hailing from as far back as the 1500s — had it that this narrow passage was populated with a plethora of ostensibly carnivorous, eel-like monsters. According to accounts handed down from generation to generation, these creatures would often strike down unwary travelers who tried to cross the passage.

The Arre River was considered to be an especially dangerous place during the time of the year when Lake Lucerne flooded, presumably releasing more of the beasts into the river.

On a literary note; the gorge is also the home of the Reichenbach Falls, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle selected as the setting for Sherlock Holmes’ untimely demise at the hands of the infamous Professor Moriarty. Maybe we now know what happened to the fictional detective’s corpse.

Unfortunately, there have been no recent reports of the animals in question.

© Copyright Rob Morphy 2011