Where does the word “Hellbender” come from and What does Hellbender mean?

The Hellbender, a peculiarly repulsive amphibian looks not unlike an uncouth young crocodile, and we can well imagine that the first white men to run across it in the valley of the Allegheny thought it a salamander direct from hell.

Why the bender part of the name is not certain, but it may be that the man who named it thought it to be “bent for hell,” rather than to have come direct from hell.

Another common name for the hideous, though harmless, creature is mud puppy, for, though it is able to live several hours out of water, its natural habitat is in the muddy bottom of a stream.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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