11 Crazy, Creepy Things People Have Found In Rivers (Some On A Daily Basis)

Have you ever been wading around in a river and stumbled across a cool-shaped rock, an arrowhead, or maybe even an old fishing pole? It can feel a little bit like you've found some sort of long-lost buried treasure. 

Now, imagine you found a body. Horrifying, right? What’s even more horrifying is that you wouldn’t have been the first person to do so. In fact, there are a ton of questionable things pulled out of rivers every year. Some that are disgusting and some that are fascinating. 

From ancient artifacts to river monsters, read on to discover the creepiest and craziest things that have actually been found in rivers. 

  • A 10-Foot Fish

    The Arapaima, also known as the Pirarucu, is one of the largest fish in the world, but it doesn’t live in the sea. It’s 10 feet long, has armored scales, and is carnivorous. The Arapaima’s home is the Amazon river, and it has been hunted and eaten by locals as long as they've been around. 

    In 2009, there were accounts from locals in Kuala Berang, Malaysia, of a massive Arapaima living and feeding nearby. It was reported that the creature may have been involved in the drownings of two men - one who fell off his boat and another man who went in to rescue him.

  • The Remains Of NYC's East River Monster

    The Remains Of NYC's East River Monster
    Video: YouTube

    In 2012Denise Ginley was walking along the shore of the East River in New York City when she thought she spotted something among the debris. When she approached it, she found that it was an unidentifiable, warped-looking creature.

    Media sources jumped on the images, naming the creature the East River Monster and sparking controversy as to what it could be. While the Parks Department called it a "pig" and removed the body from the shore, other people claimed it looked more like a giant rodent, bloated and mutilated dog, or sea turtle without a shell. Some still hold fast to the idea that it's a mutant monster from New York's sewers. 

  • The Thames Nessie

    The Thames Nessie
    Video: YouTube

    In April 2016, a video was taken of a strange, unidentified creature swimming in the Thames River in London. Scientists speculated that it could be a whale, a pod of porpoises, or maybe even a trick of the light, but ultimately, they were stumped. 

    Some people claim it's Nessie - the Loch Ness monster - on vacation. Aside from amateur speculation, this mysterious creature continues to be an enigma. 

  • A Mysterious, Centuries-Old Ball and Chain

    In 2009, Steve Brooker and Rick Jones were looking for historic junk along the Thames River in London. They came across what they initially thought was a cannonball, but when they pulled on it they found it was attached to a chain and leg cuff.

    Upon further inspection by historians, they found that the ball and chain was made of high-quality iron (likely expensive). The ball and chain dated back from some time in the 17th or 18th century, and it would have been worn by a prisoner of some kind. 

    When the ball and chain were found, the leg iron was still locked. Based on its high quality, it was unlikely that it was just tossed away, so that only really leaves two possibilities: it was either cut off or thrown in with a prisoner attached. 


  • An Entire Gallic Ship

    Arthur Forgeais was a bit of a treasure hunter and antique seller in the mid-1800s. One of his favorite places to search for treasure was the Seine River in Paris. There he found all sorts of objects, including jewelry and ancient artifacts. However, one discovery was particularly stunning.

    In 1862, Forgeais found an entire Gallic ship near the tip of the Île de la Cité. Considering the ship dated back to the beginning of Paris itself, it was quite the find. 


  • Scuba-Diving Spiders

    Scuba-Diving Spiders
    Video: YouTube

    In 2011, scientist Roger Seymore was studying the creatures in ponds and rivers in Australia. Looking at certain river spiders, he found that not only were they capable of surviving underwater but that they weave webs to hold pockets of air.

    This meant that these spiders spend nearly their entire lives living underwater, only coming up to the surface occasionally, and eating small underwater organisms.