The Amikuk is a monster from Inuit legend that is as deadly on land as it is in the water. They possess a deep hatred for al humans and actively hunt for kayakers in the open waters off the Alaskan coast.
The Amikuk are often described as extremely long but almost human-like in shape. They are covered in thick, slimy dark skin that has the appearance of old leather and long, wide-set, spindly arms with fingers that taper off into sharp points. They’re often seen with two legs but have – on occasion – been seen to have four.
While in the water, the Amikuk is constantly hunting for passing kayaks. It presses itself up against floating sea ice and waits – perfectly still – until the ideal time to attack. Once a victim paddles close enough to the waiting Amikuk, it pushes off the sea ice and positions itself beneath the kayak. Without warning the monster pushes its long arms and legs out from the water to wrap tightly about the vessel before pulling it under the water. Once beneath the water, the Amikuk tries to drown the human kayaker.
Even though the Amikuk is extremely deadly it doesn’t always kill its victim after pulling them into the water. Sometimes people were able to swim back to the sea ice before the Amikuk disengages it’s spindly limbs from the kayak. Even is they escape the Amikuk’s grasp it possesses the ability to burrow into both earth and ice follow, unresting and unrelenting until the person is finally caught by it.
The Amikuk produces a thumping noise moving through the earth that echoes from the main tunnel and into the surrounding area. The vibrations caused by its movement are said to be strong enough to freeze a fleeing victim in their tracks and allows it enough time to burst through the ground/ice below and kill the human above.
While a majority of the legends about the Amikuk depict it as being nothing more than a deadly monster, other legends talk of it being magical as well.
In one story, the Amikuk is said to create a bird-like nest which it protects with extreme devotion even though it contains no eggs or young but a few scraps of magical fur or animal hide. If a human manages to steal the Amikuk’s nest, the scraps of fur inside are able to repair anything broken. It was also believed the furs were capable of creating great riches from nowhere if the nest remains in the possession of the one who stole it.
Another legend of the Amikuk tells of it being able to shape shift into an almost human form. While in this form, it must pull a sled and can only walk in a straight line. If a human were to see an approaching Amikuk in this form, they can sit directly in its path. Since it must only walk in a straight line, it won’t be able to avoid the sitting person and begins to panic. While in this panicked state, the Amikuk offers a gift in order to get the sitter to move, but the sitter shouldn’t accept it. The refusal of the offering causes the Amikuk to become desperate and it will offer a better gift each time the sitter refuses until the final and most valuable gift is offered. On acceptance of this offer, the sitter will move and be extremely wealthy and the Amikuk can continue on its way.