Friday, February 5, 2010

Day LXVII - Carcolh

Man-eating mollusc,
Slimy tentacles and shell,
Monstrous escargot.

A French folklore entity that sounds bloody disgusting, Carcolh or Lou Carcolh is claimed to be a mammoth serpent-like mollusc. Legend has it that the creature has a long body, carries a huge shell on its back and has a great many hairy tentacles around its mouth which it uses to grab prey. A subterranean beast, the Carcolh sends its creepy tentacles out of its slimy underground lair to drag victims from the surface down to be swallowed whole. It's basically a giant man-eating snail and its renown is such in the local mythology of Aquitane that the village of Hastingues is nicknamed 'lou Carcolh' in the giganto-gastropod's honour (it sits atop a round hill that looks like a large snail shell). It's like the French culinary tradition of escargot reversed, given grotesque tentacles and made colossal. Beware the creepy Carcolh and watch for wriggling appendages rising from the earth next time you're in South France.

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