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The Antiguan Giant

Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

I used to go diving a lot. Not so much anymore, but a couple years ago I was really into it, had my license and everything. It’s really beautiful down there: the pale patterned sand, the water washing away the distance like a blue mist, and flashes of the brightest colors you’ve ever seen as some fish darts into view. I’ve done my share of exploring wrecks and grottoes, but my favorite thing to do is hover right where the shelf plunges into the deep. You get the greatest dynamics there as deep-sea creatures come up to feed.

Anyway, one time I was drifting along near Antigua about 40 feet down. I had two tanks with me so I could stay down for several hours. The shelf sloped off to my left and rocks and coral broke the monotony of the sand to my right. I hadn’t seen much that day and was getting a bit bored, but then I noticed a large octopus. It was a deep-sea type, probably washed up accidentally (they don’t usually come up to hunt). It seemed sluggish and didn’t react much when I drifted over to it.

Now, octopuses aren’t very friendly creatures; if you manage to get near one they usually flee within seconds. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of them changing colors to match their environment. Not all species can do that, but they’re all very good at hiding. So seeing a deep-sea octopus up close was quite an opportunity. It was about a foot from crown to beak and dark mottled green. Its tentacles curled around it, perhaps four feet long when extended and pale on the underside. Its eyes looked like golden rings around narrowed black pupils. It was having trouble moving and looked half dead.

I decided to try to get near it. There were some yellowtail jacks nearby and I speared one with my knife. Sorry if that offends you, I’m not one of those “touch nothing” divers. Cautiously I approached the octopus and offered it my fish, shoving it out ahead of me and letting it drift toward the creature. Success! It didn’t run, but lazily reached an arm out to capture the morsel. It brought it under its beak and began to devour it. I drifted closer, trying to acclimate it to my presence.

Over maybe half an hour or so it became more lively and used to my presence. Apparently I had bought its tolerance with my offering, and it even began to play a little bit, darting away from me and then back. I had a stick with me that I used to test holes and mud and such, and it occurred to me that maybe I could teach it to play fetch. I brought the stick out and waved it until it seemed like I had its attention, and then threw the stick out sideways. It didn’t go very far underwater, of course, but the octopus went after it and grabbed hold with its tentacles. It didn’t seem inclined to return to me, though, so I swam closer. It was waving the stick at me, and then it tossed it out to the side. It was copying me!

I retrieved the stick and then an interesting idea came into my head. Next to us was a large flat rock covered in half an inch of mud and detritus. Careful not to disturb the layers, I took the stick and slowly drew a crude figure of a man: two legs, two arms, and a round head coming off a central cylinder. The octopus seemed to be watching with interest. I tossed it the stick and it caught it easily. It sat there toying with it, and for a few moments I thought my expectations had been too high. But then it reached out with the stick and began tracing its own mark in the mud. It was even cruder than mine, to be sure, but clearly drawing. However, the proportions were all wrong. It had fused the head and the body into one ball, and there were too many legs. I was just happy it was copying me; I’d heard octopuses were smart, but this was really something. But then, it hit my like a freezing wave: the octopus wasn’t copying my drawing, it was drawing itself!

The implications for this were huge. If I’d had a video camera then, I would be a famous man today. The only other animal I’m aware of that’s capable of the imagination and self-awareness to do something like that is the ape, first cousin to humans. That the ancient octopus, without so much as a spinal column, had the mental capacity for such a feat would surely have turned biology on its head. However, I didn’t have a camera, and the scientists I’ve told my story to greet it with understandable skepticism. I would put all my time into trying to prove it myself, but I just can’t bring myself to go diving any more.


Anyway, once that realization struck, I got excited. The octopus passed the stick back and I began drawing other sea creatures and common sights. We kept on for maybe an hour, and the octopus contributed as much as I. It even drew something I took to be a crude figure of a submarine, with a con tower, propeller screw, and even torpedo holes. Finally, the octopus led me to the other side of the rock, a blank canvas. Far down in the corner, it again drew itself and then me. These figures were very small, maybe an inch or two tall. Then, painstakingly, it went to work on a much larger drawing. At first, I thought it was a whale, but whales are roughly of a size with submarines, so it didn’t seem to justify the scale. Furthermore, the proportions were all wrong: this seemed like something more humped and compact, almost as if it were upright rather than aqualine. And it had weird bits sticking out of out that didn’t seem like fins. I couldn’t place it. An oil platform, maybe? No, the lines were too natural, and an octopus wouldn’t know what the top of a platform looks like.

When the drawing was done, we both sat and looked at it for a while. I took the stick back from the octopus and circled the drawing of us, and then drew a line to the thing. I’m not sure if the octopus picked up on my confusion, because it just sort of sat there for a while. It didn’t try to take the stick back. Then it started swimming away. I followed it at a distance. It seemed to be keeping a pace, leading me on. Then it turned and shot out into the deep area off the shelf. I was a good way through my second tank and wasn’t supposed to go any deeper, so I had to let it go. It stopped once to watch me, and then darted off, dissolving into the dark blue depths. I looked after it for a few minutes to see if it would return, but there was nothing, so I started watching the other fish and making my way slowly back to the boat.

Then, suddenly, there was a low thrumming sound all around me. It wasn’t very loud, but it was *big*, as if it came from the ocean floor itself. I’ve heard of underwater eruptions, but I’ve never been in one, and I wondered if I was about to be. But this didn’t sound like anything natural. It sounded like the call of some animal, slowed down into the virtually sub-sonic range and projected from huge speakers very far away. I’ve had a chance to look over the seismograph recordings for that day, and nothing shows up at that time for that frequency. I have no idea why. The fish were going crazy, darting back and forth and all heading inland. And not just the reef fish, larger ones from deeper in were streaming by me even faster. Suddenly, among them, the octopus appeared again. It or one quite like it. It swam up to me and eyed me strangely, then darted past with the rest. The thrumming sounded again.


Looking out to sea, I gradually became aware of a large dark patch. It was very hard to tell how big or far away it was, but there was plenty of both to go around. It was hard to tell more than just a shadow in the murky water, but it clearly wasn’t a whale or anything man-made. I couldn’t even tell if it was a single creature; there seemed to be long strands like kelp or jellyfish tentacles streaming off it, but immeasurally larger. It looked like nothing so much as an ancient, misshapen section of coral reef broke off and floating. At least the part I could see; it seemed to fade off into the distance as though that mass, immense as it may be, was only a limb to some far larger entity. I’ve never seen a naval carrier from underwater, but I imagine that’s the kind of shadow it would cast.

The thrumming rang out a third time. An unreasoning fear seized me. I didn’t appear to be in danger: though the thing was vaster than anything I’d ever seen, it was too far away to reach me quickly, and it seemed like it wouldn’t fit into the shallows, anyway. Nevertheless, I was gripped by the feeling that if I didn’t get away as fast as I could, I would be dragged down into the abyss and consumed. I could feel the very water itself drawing me down into that black maw. Heedless of the depth or my equipment, I surged upwards. As I rose, of course, I began cramping, but I clawed my way up anyway. I was still far from the boat. When I broke the surface I could barely move; I had to keep my mouthpiece in because I couldn’t keep my mouth above water. I certainly couldn’t call or signal the boat. Far from receding, my panic was worse than ever; from above the water I couldn’t see the thing or tell whether it was coming for me. I thrashed my slow, painful way toward the boat. Finally someone on board noticed my and they came to pick me up. I had the bends bad, and had to stay in a hospital for a few weeks until I was over it. The doctors tell me I was lucky not to get a stroke or some other permanent damage.

So, that’s my story. I’m sorry I can’t give a more satisfying conclusion; I still don’t know myself what I experienced. My friends think it was some form of rapture, but it just doesn’t match the symptoms; narcosis is supposed to reduce anxiety, not stimulate it. And my hallucinations, if that’s what they were, were too vivid and specific. Anyway, since then I’ve been afraid of the water. I tried going out once or twice, but all I can do is stay shaking in the boat. I think there really was something out there, and I don’t think it’s something I ever want to come across again.

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178 thoughts on “The Antiguan Giant”

  1. You know there are rumors that governments use submarines to send high frequency sounds to scare off big sea creatures to make it easier to find and drill for oil… That’s the first thing I thought of

  2. I’m sorry but you would not get the bends from 40ft of water and two tanks lasting several hours is a world record this person needs to go home and study there PADI Open Water Manual.

  3. I live at the beach and since I’m in the Coast Guard, sometimes have to go out and be a rescue swimmer/get in the ocean/etc. Always creeps me out thinking what’s down there. So thank you, OP, for making my fears just that much more pronounced. I salute you.

  4. I don’t say this very often, but this was fucking amazing. To anyone who said they didn’t like the ending or felt it was rushed, I think you missed the point entirely. This story is a slow build. It’s dreamy and ethereal… That’s what I loved about it. I actually felt like I was a part of the story as I read because it was so well structured and immersive. That’s how a good story is supposed to feel. And I personally really like that it ended in a mystery. Some things don’t necessarily need resolutions. The way I see it, if something like this really happened, there’s no way in hell you or I would stick around to find out what the shape in the distant water was. This story is perfectly structured and it has a great atmosphere to it. I really enjoyed and found myself fascinated by all the interactions with the octopus, too. This, at least in my mind, is a shining example of what a pasta should be. I cannot sing its praises enough. Bravo. 10/10

  5. The wonder and anticipation to figure out what the creautre was is totally ruined by the giveaway title. It was such a spoiler. It made the story a waste of time although I enjoyed reading about the diver n octopus drawin n communicating. The ending was abrupt but I don’t mind it so much it makes the story sEem believable. The title however is bad.

  6. I wonder what that being was… Cthulhu? Dagon? Perhaps some other Lovecratian creature? Or something else all together?

  7. I enjoyed this pasta very much I am curious to know what the creature was Cthulu? Kraken? Godzilla? I dunno but its very intriguing. Perhaps consider making another one or perhaps a series of encounters with this monstrosity gradually revealing more about it. That’d be pretty friggin sweet

  8. While I acknowledge that this might be nitpicking I feel its also important in writing, especially ones that try to be true, to base it as close to reality as possible.

    First is the technical aspect:
    I am a diver and have been to Antigua. Divers don’t have licenses we have certifications. Even with two 12 litre tanks and a slow breathing rate at most you could do 2 and a half hours of diving at 40 feet. Furthermore the No Decompression stop for 40 feet is 130 minutes if you had planned a dive you would not have planned on exceeding this number as it would have ended all diving for the rest of your trip and prevented you from flying for a few days.

    2nd is the safety aspect:
    No one dives alone from a commercial boat you would have had a buddy aboard. As soon as you broke the water they would have seen you and as you weren’t giving the ok signal they would have immediately assumed something was wrong.

    3rd is the Geographic aspect:
    Antigua diving does not have a shelf like you are talking about that divers go to. The barrier reefs that make up its protection extend out dozens of miles from the shore and it is a long gradual deepening. The last time I was there I did a deep dive to 100 feet and I was only 2-3 miles offshore.

    Also no one dives the outer reef as it is incredibly unsafe with the surge from the Atlantic ocean coming in.

    My suggestion would be to use Hawaii, Florida, or another location where there is a much closer shelf.

    Finally the ending is very rushed. This story has a lot of potential but needs polishing. If you ever plan on writing about something with technical aspects, bungie jumping, handgliding, flying, scuba diving. I would recommend talking to a friend who does the hobby and having them look it over first.

    1. Aspects of diving and foreign underwater geography is pretty esoteric knowledge. Give the guy a break. You say ask a friend to look it over. What if the author is like most people and doesn’t know anybody that does any diving? Anyway I loved this story. Anyone who didn’t think it was creepy has never understood being deep underwater with a litany of creatures that can easily kill you. To be in a foreign substance that limits your physical movements, and hear loud unknown noises, and experience powerful currents that come out of nowhere can be scarier than any graveyard at midnight. The ending was indeed a dud but the story itself was interesting enough to make me forgive the weak ending. If I were a betting man I would definitely bet this was inspired by cthulhu. 8/10. Woulda been 9 with better ending. Great idea! Keep reading and writing

  9. Holder of Resistance

    It was a Colossus that strayed to far from a temple… They have absolutely no sense of direction, or what water is…

  10. I wonder why the octopus was leading the diver to the giant when the other fish were obviously afraid of it. Hmm…

  11. Oorrrr, perhaps it was the octopus going to get proof of their under water city, since we’ve only explored about 5% of the ocean, it makes sense.

  12. Its a pretty good pasta except for the einstein octopus drawing. I think if the octopus was a little dumber it would sound more realistic.

    Other than that great pasta.

  13. The Eleventh Doctor

    It was interesting, but I like to have some idea what the monster of the week looks like.

    Good creepysushi 9/10

  14. I actually think the ending wrapped the whole thing together quite nicely. It leaves you hanging, to wonder just what the creature was.. I find that air of mystery and uncertainty quite chilling. Not to say it also made the whole story seem more realistic and believable – if something like this actually happened, I’m sure the guy probably wouldn’t get a good glimpse of the creature. He’d have had to surface due to lack of oxygen and extreme fright.. I mean who in their right mind would stick around to see what it was? Excellent pasta 10/10.

  15. It would be really creepy for any divers out there.

    One thing that really irked me though is that the narrator, who appears to be an accomplished diver, called them \"octopusses\". Anyone with even a bit of knowledge in the field of marine biology or diving, or really basic biology knows that it\’s octopi. Although, if English is not your first language, it\’ acceptable. English is a bitch of a language to learn.

    I used to want to be a marine biologist for like, 10 years, but I always had a nagging fear of being in the dark underwater. This is basically my fear in words. Excellent, even with the typos~

  16. I must agree with all those that said that this story was rushed at the end. I felt that it could be drawn out a considerable amount more. An excellent story all the same, I don’t see why everyone is complaining about plural nouns; every pasta makes mistakes.

    Fear the Darkness


  17. great story, sending a link to a diver friend of mine.

    only dissapointment i have is in the comments afterwards, Usually in the dozens of replies to the stories there are some really funny ones, I particularly like the ones mocking the story characters, but i only saw one Octopus…you dissapoint me commenters…severely…

  18. even though it was a bti unrealistic with the alone diving and the unnatural attention of the octopus, it was a good read.
    the thought of being able to communicate with deep sea animals and have them tell you their stories are thrilling.

  19. Excellent intro with a solid good build-up. Wish the “thing” at the end HAD gotten him though. That way we would have gotten a taste of the entity’s scariness.

  20. Why the hell was he diving alone? As someone who has my diving license I will say the first thing they tell you is that you should NEVER dive without a partner. Especially not in the ocean.

  21. I don’t so much like the giant monster stories. It’s not really the big ones that you have to worry about, as you are very likely to die if you encounter them. It’s the small, every day horrors that lurk under our streets and in our closets that bother me.
    Insidious fuckers.

  22. Man, that deep sea octopus is on my list of “Cool, non-threatening entities from creepy pasta”. Along with Harold the Gravedigger (from “Sarah O’Bannon”), the Love Ghoul (From “He Waits for You”) and the Willow Men (from “The Willow Men”)

  23. Wow, im suprised no one has caught on to this.
    Top left of the screen. Next to artifacts. To me, thats what i imagine the giant to be. Just sayin…

  24. Well, it wasn’t bad.

    The idea of a self-aware octopus is a very far-fetched vessel, but it still works.

  25. Cool! Very Dagon-sounding.

    The plural of “octopus” is not “octopuses”, true. But neither is it “octopi”. It would be if it were Latin, but it’s Greek, so the plural is “octopodes”.

  26. Aww, I want that octopus to be my friend

    Happy pasta! Nothing really creepy happened, it was just enjoyable lol

  27. Felt Lovecraftian

    but as a nerd who randomly is obsessed with cephelopods, the notion of a self-aware octopus who can draw makes me nerd rage like it’s going out of style

  28. It’s a really good story but the ending seemed rushed. You need to explain what it was because it’s just this thing. Big deal

  29. To the ME up there asking about what “bends” was. Remember that pressure in your head and/or ears when you went to the deep end of a swimming pool? How you may or may not have become lightheaded if you came back up too quickly? Kind of the same prinicple but not nearly as extreme as when a person is diving in the ocean. Obviously. It’s pretty goddamn scary how many people die every year from it.

  30. We are just now skimming the depth of non-human intelligence. There is an elephant that does paintings of elephants. I’ve seen the intelligence of an octopus, I don’t think it’s beyond reason that it might draw itself. I don’t think it’s even beyond reason that it might draw something that’s dangerous. Just because we haven’t seen something doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Humans are not the only intelligent life on earth.

    The ocean is less well known than our solar system. We have no idea what is down there…good and bad. I’d be interested in knowing the author of this, but sometimes people are afraid to take credit for fear of being made fun of. Heaven knows the human race has a history of doing exactly that. Dr. Joseph Lister was laughed at for suggesting doctors disinfect their hands!

    I hope this old wise octopus enjoyed many more years and maybe sometimes thought about the human he communicated with…

  31. I agree with ‘That Girl’. Really unrealistic, but still well-done if you’re able to see past that. I had to re-read it, though, because the first time I just went ”yeah, right…”

  32. Really well written story. I really enjoyed reading this and also I found the mere idea of some odd machine thing in the sea quite creepy but cool!

  33. Would have been good had the writer known jack shit about diving. It’s hard to get into the story when you just look at it and think, “Yeah, that guy’d be dead by now or would never have become a diver in the first place.” Theres more reasons than “don’t disturb the pretty nature!!11!” that say why you should’nt touch underwater life. One guy tried to touch a puffer fish, got bit by it, pulled his glove off and saw the tops of two of his fingers go floating off.

    And lol @her surviving an uncontrolled ascent from 40 metres.

  34. My best buddy octopus :D I really liked this one. I’ve always been creeped out by the idea of some unimaginably large and monolithic creature in the ocean…

  35. true colours (black)

    i love this. this is one of my faves. it really stretches ur imagination and i am NEVER going diving agen now lol

  36. Neat, but you can not stay down for a few hours with two tanks unless you’re verrry close to the surface, which would not have been possible at all. Granted the rest of this isn’t particularly real, but it helps when details are more realistic.


    Great story. The little octopus actually sounds really cute, and the you really get the idea of how vast the unknown thing is.

  38. Jesus Christ, this story scared the shit out of me.

    I’m already terrified of that exact part of the ocean and I can’t even fathom what that specific part of the ocean looks like… and to add a big-ass thing to it? That’s torture, I’m sorry.

  39. What an asshole octopus, we were all bonding and shit, and then he summons the lord of the sea and traumatizes me for life.

  40. im deathly afraid of the ocean and strangley this made me less scared hmmmm weird..
    it was a great pasta :) very yummy

    but just one question what is the “bends” ? im not familair with diving lingo


    But anyway I think that it was the octopus’ ship, and they were an advanced species. haha, or maybe it was just a huge sea monster.

    Someone draw a picture of a tiny diver and a huge shadow, just for scale’s sake.

  42. Very nice build up. A very nice and spooky story, but the end seemed too vague and too forced. The only reason I have to be worried about this thing is that the author and other sealife were overcome by fear.

    I imagine it would work much better if it were visualised in some way.

    Another very nice short story that I’d love to see expanded upon :)

  43. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold They tread.

  44. love it, nd i did like the ending despite its noncreepyness.
    it shows what a real human beng would do in that situation. Stare a bit then run like hell.

  45. Um guys it’s pretty obvious it’s one of Klaatu’s spheres collecting sea life forms right before they kill all us humans.

  46. Would you guys forget Kthulu already? He is but one of my creations, and not even the most formidable.

    Oh, and who was detritus?

  47. In the same boat (pardon the pun) as Vince. This story just compounds my irrational fear of deep water, especially the ocean. Liked this one very much.

  48. Dayum…I really really liked this one…and I mean REALLY liked this one. The beginning was an excellent intro. The middle was very descriptive. And the ending, though very…VERY rushed, made sence. ALL of the ending made sence. I have a distict love for biological science meaning I know about the tendencies of OCTOPI (which is plural for the word Octopus. Not this “Octopuses” nonsences) as well as the possibilty that something that ginormungoes exists in the ocean. And as we all know, the more possibility there is that that the creepypasta is indeed true, the creepier it gets. This was a really nice pasta, and you have my phobia of overly large creatures and wide open spaces (which is multiplied if you’re talking about the ocean) to thank for that.

  49. Agree with Cleric. This would have been better if, I dunno, the thing had grabbed the octopus and dragged it down or something.

  50. I definitely liked this story, at least up until the end. I’ve always been a fan of tales of giant, submarine creatures. But the ending almost ruined it for me. What we see here is another pasta’s effect lessened by over ambiguity.

  51. All I wanted to do was borrow his Gameboy so I could hook up with the diver on his wi-fi, but I woke the guy up during his fucking afternoon nap. He always get so cranky.

    Nah, good story, i liked it alot. It just seemed…Odd to me how it was described. Like “Oh cool an octopus is drawing me! Maybe i should stick around and draw some more, this doesnt seem strange at all.” I thought that was just…Bad.

    1. TheIntimateAvenger

      Umm… Playing with an octopus really isn’t that weird. It’s a well known fact that they are some of the smartest creatures on the planet. It’s not a stretch to assume that they could draw.

  53. Jesus Tapdancing Christ

    The beginning with the friendly octopus was cute. The ending, with a lack of detail as to what the monster was after all that build up, was not.

  54. octopi have artistic ability? Like elephants! Yay!

    so… was octi half dead in the beginning because of the Thing?

    And Why would the guy not run? The fish are certainly afraid, and I would rather trust Fishes Instincts then find out what it was. But then it wouldn’t be creepy, Would it?

    oh well, amazingpasta anyway.

  55. I wouldn’t say this was *creepy*, but it certainly was entertaining.

    I agree that the ending seemed rather flimsy, though. Still, good job!

  56. This one was fairly good, though yes, the ending was a bit rushed. I liked the description of the undersea panic — that was cool.

  57. This was very intriguing, now I wanna go play with octopi and draw on reefs, for a glimpse of the Giant…

    I can see it now, “Antigua Destroyed by Leviathan, World Leaders All Like ‘WTF?'”

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