Both tell of dark and mysterious forces, always inexplicable, always lurking just out of sight. Once they tired of their new pets – or at least, realised quite how big and hungry they were going to get – the owners would flush them down the toilet.
Besides its eyes and ears, alligators are equipped with skin sensors that are incredibly sensitive to vibration.
These sensors make it possible for an alligator to detect anything entering the water or disturbing the surface of the water anywhere nearby.
Excess calories are stored in fat deposits at the base of the alligator's tail.
Incredibly, by burning fat reserves, it is possible for an alligator to last more than two years between feedings.
An alligator can sit like this for hours waiting for something edible to wander nearby.
When its prey gets close enough, the alligator moves with startling speed.
According to the archives, the first sighting of a suspected sewer alligator was in 1932, when one was found lounging on the banks of the Bronx River.
The next, and most famous, came three years later, when two teenagers shovelling snow in East Harlem came across one nosing its way out of a manhole.
When lurking, only the eyes and nostrils are above the waterline.
If it is lurking in the shadows at a pond's edge, this posture can make an alligator impossible to detect.
The "ALLIGATOR FOUND IN UPTOWN SEWER: Youths Shovelling Snow into Manhole See the Animal Churning in Icy Water.