Scary monsters litter dreams all over the world, and when a cool story or even myth is attached to the nightmarish figures, they jump off the page and fill our imaginations.

Around the world, reports of Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasquatch or the Abominable Snowman keep kids up at night and prompt grown men to arm themselves before a trip into the darkened wilderness.

In Utah, an equally scary legend has lived on, a remnant from the Shoshone Indians that used to populate these lands.

It's called the Dzoavits (pronounced with a silent "D," so Zo-Ah-Vits).

This mean beast "was a demon or ogre from Shoshonean mythology who stole the sun and kidnapped children. He is associated with volcanism and cannibalism," according to Wikipedia.

The story goes that the Dzoavits was in pursuit of several animals in a trip of vengeance when the animals tricked him into going into a cave. Once inside, the animals sealed off the cave by pushing huge boulders over the entrance and trapped the Dzoavits inside, where it still lives today.

That cave, known as Devil's Hole, is in Nevada and extends for miles beneath the earth's surface. At one point, Devil's Hole goes nearly 1,300 feet below the surface. It has pools with a unique fish species called the pupfish (found nowhere else in the world). Pupfish survive despite darkness, warm water temperatures (91 degrees) and oxygen-poor water.


But so far, no one has unearthed a cavern covered with boulders that might still be the home of the Dzoavits.

Perhaps that is for the best.

Devil's Hole in Nevada
Devil's Hole in Nevada

Offbeat adventures: Travel to the coolest hidden wonders in every U.S. state

Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

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