11 Terrifying Mythological Creatures That Expose Humanity’s Worst Fears

Published September 9, 2018
Updated June 17, 2020


Qalupalik Concept Art

Jonathan Wright/PinnguaqAn artist’s rendition of Qalupalik.

The Inuit children of the arctic knew never to get too close to the water’s edge because there, underneath the ice, Qalupalik lay waiting for them.

The first thing the Inuit children were told they would hear when Qalupalik was near would be the eerie, distant hum of its song under the sea. But if the Qalupalik was too eager to contain itself, then it would gently tap its fingers on the ice under their feet.

Qalupalik could be seen only for the flash of an instant before it was gone. It would leap out from under the water, its long, sharp fingernails would allegedly sink into its victim’s flesh and drag them forward. Its victim would get one, quick, brief glimpse of its face which was somewhat like a woman’s which had turned green and bloated from decomposing under the sea.

Inuit Woman And Girl

Wikimedia CommonsAn Inuit girl and her mother stand on the ice.

The Qalupalik would jam its victim into the great pouch it wore on its back and dive back down into the sea.

The Inuit child or victim might experience a few final moments of a pain in the frozen depths of the Arctic waters, as the ice-cold water rushed into their open, screaming throat. They would feel the very blood in their veins freeze and through the haze of the water, hear their family’s distant, muffled voices, crying out their name.

The Qalupalik, likely, was told to Inuit children as a means of keeping them out of harm’s way, like wandering too close to treacherous, frozen Arctic waters.

Mark Oliver
Mark Oliver is a writer, teacher, and father whose work has appeared on The Onion's StarWipe, Yahoo, and Cracked, and can be found on his website.