What is the Swamp Ape?

Sometimes referred to as a “Skunk Ape” or “Swamp Cabbage Man,” the Swamp Ape is the southern equivalent of Bigfoot—an eight-foot-tall missing evolutionary link—but ours has the bonus of smelling awful. There is one other key difference between our Swamp Ape and its Bigfoot (Bigfeet?) brethren in the north: if you’re in the cavernous swamps or whistling fields of South Florida and smell something more beast than man, you'd best start looking over your shoulder—the Swamp Ape is not known for being particularly kind to trespassers.

Despite the media’s usual presentation of Sasquatch as a misunderstood, gentle giant (looking at you, Harry and the Hendersons), the earliest recorded interactions with a Swamp Ape involved an Ape-hunting expedition gone sour, leaving behind several corpses. The few hunters who made it back with huffing breath and wet trousers stuttered a story of something “as tall as two men with eyes like fire, and God, the smell of the thing, like meat and milk and three day old guests.” Something capable “of throwing poor Jed into the tops of the trees.”

But that was long ago... what about now?

Perhaps most famously, an anonymous woman from Miami was able to snap a few pictures of the thing while she was hiking in Loxahatchee. What's it look like? This:


So if you see one, run. But not before taking a picture, or at least a mental one, because we want to know about sightings. We want to see it too. Even if it costs you a limb or two.

Taking this legend into account, submissions to the Swamp should defy form to the extent that the piece’s creator might be unsure of where it belongs. Across all genres, we encourage pieces with a hybrid or non-traditional nature—works that subvert our expectations of both content and form and unsettle our assumptions of what is possible.