The Gappas (ガッパ are a species of ancient monsters created by Gappa)Nikkatsu. Two adult Gappas, male (雄ガッパ and female Osu Gappa) (雌ガッパ, and their Mesu Gappa)baby son first appear in the 1967 Nikkatsu kaiju film Gappa.
In ancient times, the Gappas would fight other monsters for survival. They were already present when Earth was still an interstellar cloud, suggesting that the Gappas originated in outer space.
All three of the Gappas share common characteristics, being based on various reptiles and birds such as eagles and hawks. Overall, they resemble enormous bipedal griffins. As exhibited in the two adults seen in the film, the species is sexually dimorphic. The female has a smaller head crest and has a flatter face compared to her mate. Their scales are triangle-shaped, and their eyelids are the reverse to that of humans. Gappas' wings are unlike those of birds; they are actually evolved ribs.
An expedition to Obelisk Island by Mr. Funazu uncovers a baby monster, who hatches from an egg near a sacred temple. The natives plead with the skeptical scientists not to take the baby away, lest it anger the baby's parents. Sure enough, they take the baby away, and soon, inside the caverns, its two parents rise from the underground waters beneath the volcano, destroying everything in their path. Saki, the only survivor, is rescued by an American navy fleet and brought back to Japan.
The parents storm across Japan, destroying all in their wake, but their assault ceases once they recover their baby. Mercifully, they relent and depart to return to Obelisk Island.
- The Gappas can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 6.
- The Gappas have a maximum underwater speed of 150 knots.
- The Gappas have a destructive force of 2 million horsepower.
- The Gappas' wings can emit hurricane-force winds.
- The Gappas can cause tsunamis or storm surges using this ability.
- The adult Gappas can fire a 4,000-degree Celsius Radiant Heat Beam (放射熱光線 Hōshanetsu Kōsen) from their mouths. This is described as being "comparable to a death ray" in the film, and can burn or melt anything it contacts.
- This ability is also speculated in the film to make the Gappas immune to poisons.
- The Gappas emit bioluminescence from their eyes, which appears blue-white underwater and yellow on land.
- The female Gappa possesses a pearl-like substance within her body, likely stored in her legs. This substances is able to cause humans to go blind.
- The baby Gappa's body is electrified and causes electric arcs/sparks whenever metals are attached to its body. This may suggest that adult Gappas are also able to emit electricity.
- Main article: Gappa/Gallery.
- The Gappas' design was based on three mythological figures: the kappa, the tengu, and Garuda.
- Tsuburaya Productions originally had an idea of a space bird monster that protected Earth in times of need called Nikkatsu Corporation. However, these rumors are likely false, as the design was recycled for another Tsuburaya monster called . Thus, Hydra also bears a resemblance to the Gappas, though he is completely feathered. . The 'Bemular Birdman' shares many traits with the Gappas, and caused rumors of it being sold to the
- Stock footage of the adult Gappas appears in an episode of the British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, "Meltdown", where they are enormous wax-droids roaming the Prehistoric World section of an abandoned theme park. Though intimidated, the mechanoid Kryten quips "I can't believe how feeble and improbable those creatures were, sir. I've seen more convincing dinosaurs given away free with a packet of Wheaty-Flakes."
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