In 1902, English language newspapers brought word from the Congo, via a rather dubious source, that an unknown freshwater cryptopus with a hankerin' for human thought-meat was prowling the Uele river (from the Sept. 7 San Francisco Call, also reprinted elsewhere):
TERRIBLE OCTOPUS OF THE UELLE RIVER
It Hunts the Natives and Feeds Upon the Brains of Its Human Prey.
A Belgian officer just returned from the Congo Free State reports that in the caverns of the Uelle River there dwells a species of octopus that presents a grave danger to all who navigate the river in small boats.
The strange beasts are called "megwe" by the natives, and are very numerous in the neighborhood of the station of the Amadis, owing to the number of rocks and caves in that region. They attack the native canoes, capsizing them easily with their tentacles and, according to their state of hunger, seizing one or two men.
The octopus drags his human prey to his cavern and there, without inflicting the slightest external wounds, feeds on his victim's brains by inserting the points of his tentacles in his nostrils. He generally keeps his prey fifteen hours, then lets the body float out on the river.
"I was an eye witness to a disaster of this kind," says the Belgian. "A canoe was capsized in the river and one of the three occupants disappeared. When the survivors swam ashore they told us that an octopus had turned their boat over and carried off their companion.
"The next morning about 9 o'clock the body was found floating and no trace of any wound could be found, while the only abnormal appearance was the swollen state of the nostrils. On examination it was found that the brains had been extracted. The natives of the Uelle all dread the 'megwe.' while those of the Itimbri know nothing of its existence."
It turns out this report was over two years old -- the officer hadn't "just" returned (and wasn't "Belgian", but that's another matter). It went viral, 1900s style, because everything old is new again.
However, I'm leading the post with it since it's pithy and things are about to get more wordy, ambiguous, and French.