Japanese Giant Salamander Spotted on Land (+Photos, Facts)

July 6, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A Japanese Giant Salamander was spotted on land recently and a Twitter user captured several photos of its excursion.

The creature is endemic to Japan, where it’s known as Osanshuou, or “giant pepper fish.” The name comes in part from the smell that it sometimes excretes. Some also say that the animals were the inspiration behind the legendary creatures known as kappa in Japan.

The extremely odd looking creature can grow up to five feet in length and almost always stay in streams and rivers with clear, cool water. A land venture is rare.

The animals have poor eyesight but special sensory cells that cover its skin. Japanese giant salamanders eat insects, frogs, and fish, and may live for over 50 years.

It’s unclear where the recent photos were taken of the one on land, but wherever it was it got the attention of local police officers.

The officers likely ensured that the creature was able to safely return to the water.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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