It’s June. You’re off to Cancun for a much-needed vacation. When you arrive, the noise and bustling crowds are a bit much, so you make arrangements with a local to spend a few days on his houseboat. As the water taxi transports you a mile east, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, you relax into the warm, summer breeze infused with a refreshing ocean spray mist. You contemplate nothing but lazing around, swimming, and enjoying three days of complete solitude.
The taxi’s captain tosses your bag onto the house boat, promises to return in three days, then rushes off without so much as a backward glance. You don’t mind because with no one else around for miles, you can finally let your hair down. You tear off your outer shell of clothing and start to dive into the sparkling water when you see a 30-foot shadow glide by.
A whale shark? People swim with them all the time. You’ve seen it on TV. They don’t hurt humans. You run into the cabin where you stored your bag, tear it open, and grab the waterproof camera. This could be fun. You hurry back out, step to the opposite side of the boat, and lift your camera.
Your mouth goes dry. The behemoth creature closes in for a second pass. It’s head surfaces within feet of the boat. Not only is it the size of a large whale, but the head looks like that of a prehistoric hippo with tusks jutting up from its bottom jaw. As it skims the water, you notice it’s body is covered in scales with the feet and tail of an oversized alligator.
The sun beats down, sweat pours off your body, the bottoms of your feet burn. You glance in all directions but there isn’t even the sound of a sea gull. What is this place? This creature? You return to the cabin and reach for the radio when the first thump hits the side of the boat.
It All Starts With an Idea
With the Large Mouth Warhead Behemoth, I knew I wanted to create something big. I wanted it to live on land but retreat to the water to eat, cool down, and mate. I wanted it to live in the tropical areas of the world, and I wanted it to be scary in appearance with tusks and scales. Tusks have always intrigued me, so I wanted the focus of this creature to be on the mouth.
Next, I think about what animals fit these characteristics.
Since the tusks were an important visual in my mind, I pictured something like a prehistoric hippopotamus. A large scary mouth needs a large body–one that can swim deep in the ocean. So, I studied the whale shark. However, as I considered the fish as part of this creature, I was thinking more about biome and size than physical characteristics.
With the snout as it is, I considered the ear flaps and nasal cavity of an alligator. And that is where the scales and appendages came from.
Put it all together and we get a 30-foot giant that swims off the coast of Mexico to feed and mate but retreats to the land to sun bath.
But will they eat humans? As you vacation on the houseboat, are you in danger? Do you think you will survive?
Let us know what you think happens.