Artists Impression of the Coosa River Monster

Coosa River Monster – Alabama/Georgia

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The Coosa River Monster is a legendary cryptid that is said to live in the Coosa River which flows through parts of Alabama and Georgia and has been a part of American folklore and culture since the 1800s. It is sometimes also called the “Coosa River Sewer Monster” or the “Coosa Monster”.

Cryptid Name:Coosa River Monster
Location:Coosa River, Alabama and Georgia, United States
Coosa River Monster Location On Map
Category:Aquatic Cryptid
Description:Large, aquatic serpent-like creature with a long neck and tail.
Size:Varies but is often described as being 20 feet (6 meters) long.
Behavior/Characteristics:Mysterious, elusive, and aquatic.
Habitat/Environment:Coosa River and nearby waterways, rumored to inhabit deep waters and hidden areas.
Evidence:Anecdotal reports, folklore, and urban legend.
Sightings and Encounters:Occasional reports of sightings, but no concrete evidence.
Skepticism/Explanations:Misidentification of existing fish species; folklore and myth; no scientific confirmation.

What Does The Coosa River Monster Look Like?

Artists Impression of the Coosa River Monster
Artists Impression Of The Coosa River Monster

The Coosa River Monster is described as a big serpent-like cryptid that is very similar to descriptions of other aquatic cryptids such as The Flathead Lake Monster in Montana and the Hawkesbury River Monster in Australia.

It is said that the Coosa River Monster has the head and neck of a horse with black skin that is covered in scales which could confirm that it is a reptian cryptid.

Some reports specifically mention that it has a white underbelly which isn’t unusual for aquatic animals. It is said to move through the water like a serpent. Although reports do vary, it is thought that it can get up to 20 feet (6 meters) long.

Coosa River Monster Sightings

The earliest reported sightings of the Coosa River Monster were in the early 1800s with the cryptid being seen in St. Clair County, Gadsden, and in the Gaton area. In the mid-1900s there was a spike in sightings coinciding with the construction of several dams along the Coosa River. Stories also began to emerge of mysterious livestock disappearances and deaths.

Although there have been numerous sightings of the Coosa River Monster since the 1800s, there has never been any concrete evidence found for its existence.

Possible Explanations and Theories

Over the years, many people have tried to explain the Cooser River Monster sightings and while some people believe that the cryptid is a real creature that hasn’t been identified as yet, there are others who suggest that the sightings could be linked to misidentifications of existing species.

Giant Catfish

One of the most popular theories is that the Cooser River Monster could be an enormous catfish. Catfish are known to grow to impressive lengths and it is possible that people could confuse these fish with a river monster if they have never seen one before. There are two catfish species that are native to North America and are commonly found in the Coosa River:

  • Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
  • Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus).

Channel catfish are known for their whisker-like barbles around their mouths as well as their forked tails. Blue catfish on the other hand are known for their bluish-gray color and are known to be one of the largest freshwater fish in North America.

Channel Catfish - Possible Explanation for the Coosa River Monster
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
Source: Engbretson, Eric / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Just like catfish, the Sturgeon fish also lives in the waters of Alabama and Georgia and under the right conditions could be confused for the Cooser River Monster. Sturgeons are also known to grow to great sizes with long bodies and snouts. They have rows of bony plates that run along their bodies and some species have been known to grow over 10 feet in length.

Photo of Sturgeon Fish that was caught
Photo of Sturgeon Caught in 1928
Source: Joseph Knippenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0

Other Possible Explanations

Besides sturgeon and catfish, there have been a few other potential explanations for the Coosa River Monster sightings, these include:

  • Natural Phenomena – People have suggested that things such as floating vegetation and debris could lead to sightings of unusual shapes in the river.
  • Environmental Changes – Over time there have been dams that have been constructed along the river which could have caused changes to the river’s ecosystem affecting the types of aquatic life found in the river.
  • Hoaxes – Skeptics also suggest that reported sightings could simply be hoaxes or pranks

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