The Ayia Napa Sea Monster is a cryptid, claimed to inhabit the coast off of Ayia Napa in Cyprus, a popular tourist resort in the Mediterranean. Most sightings occur around Cape Greko (Cavo Greko). It is known by the local fishermen as "to filiko teras",1 which translates as "the friendly monster". There have been no reports of it causing any harm, although it has been reported at times to rip and drag away fishing nets. There have been countless sightings of the “creature from the depths”, with some local newspapers calling the mystery the “Cyprus Loch Ness".2
There is no evidence that the monster actually exists, except in folklore and through various sightings by tourists and locals alike. There exists little photographic evidence, except unverified short-films and pictures.
Many believers of the myth of the Ayia Napa Sea Monster like to link it with the common mythical sea monster of Greek mythology called Skylla, which is depicted in the mosaics that remain in the House of Dionysus, a Roman villa from the 3rd century AD in Paphos, Cyprus.3 Many ancient authorities describe it as a monstrous form of a giant maiden in torso, with a serpent for its lower body, having six snarling dog-heads issuing from its midriff, including their twelve forelimbs. This is the form described by Hyginus, Apollodorus and the Suida, among so many others, and it is this form most often depicted on vase paintings.
Government officials have started a search for the monster and its existence in a couple of locations on the island including Kouris Dam as well as Cape Greko.4
The hope of spotting the Ayia Napa Sea Monster remains a highlight for many tourists on boating day-trips. Many hotels boast to being in close proximity of sightings.