A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the world's largest leech and its spectacular rediscovery in Guyana. I also touched on the story of a giant leech said to be lurking in a man-made lake in the USA. Well, giant leeches sometimes rear their slimy heads in ancient legend as well.
The Burach-bhadi was said to lurk in the waters of the Western Highlands of Scotland and in Perthshire. It had nine eyes and fed by winding itself around horses' legs and pulling them into the water to drink their blood. The monster was also know as the ‘wizard’s shackle.’
The creature calls to mind F. W. Holliday’s ‘great wurm’ postulated in his book The Great Orm of Loch Ness in which he postulates a monsterous worm-like invertebrate as the identity of the monster. His favourate candidate is a giant descendent of Tullimonstrum gregarium - a spindle-shaped aquatic invertebrate that is still not properly classified. Its fossil remains have been found in Illinois and date back some 300 million years. Holliday chose this creature due to a superficial resemblance in outline to alledged lake monsters. It had a probosic with a mouth that looked vaugly like the head and neck of a pliesiosuar and had what Holiday thought were two flippers situated below the proboscis. It is now thought that these in fact supported eyes.
Holliday’s postulated modern-day giant must rank among the most unlikely theories ever commited to paper.