I saw a comment on a vacation photograph that reads:
Чайки жирные летают просто жуть
Does this literally mean that the fat seagulls are creepy, or is there a colloquial meaning to all this? I don't get it.
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In fact this is a verse from a song by Oleg Gazmanov:
На пляжу лежу и в небо я гляжу,
Чайки жирные летают, просто жуть,
А я худенький такой - унесет меня прибой,
Лучше я в песок зароюсь с головой.
I don't think it has some "deep meaning" except for the seagull and the sea (and the fact that the author of the photo remembers this song).
As for the meaning of "просто жуть" - the verse itself can be rephrased without any losses in meaning as "летают ужасно жирные чайки": the awfully fat seagulls are flying around.
I wouldn't say Просто жуть means very much (очень). It's more an evaluation of what is said in the phrase before. Seagulls are fat! That's awful, disgusting.
in your second example
Поехавший парень! Просто жуть.
It's same, not that he is "very crazy", but that his madness is beyond any limits, it's awful.