Thursday, April 21, 2011

History’s Great Mythical Sea Monsters |

History’s Great Mythical Sea Monsters


Generally, the advancement of science leads to the dispelling of myth. It turns out the Sun is not actually Apollo riding his chariot across the sky after all. But it was only really in the 19th century that palaeontology took off and brought the domain of the dinosaurs to public consciousness, many centuries after monster sightings across the world and its history.
Knowledge that giants once existed fuels speculation that they may yet still. While the lion’s share of Earth’s land has been seen and studied, the majority of the ocean remains unexplored. We have rather literally only scratched the surface. There is of course danger in the flagrant filling of the blanks of natural history, but with so much unknown, inexistence is no more certain.
With not only better access tools but the advent of video recording equipment, humans are now better equipped than ever to confirm or dispel our most enduring monster myths. Technology and the knowledge it brings certainly have a sobering effect, as most of our monster sightings have been reduced to misinterpretation and misdirection. But sometimes science brings confirmation, and when misinterpretation turns out to just be exaggeration, we can forgive and still be left with something that captures our imaginations.
Get Kraken
Certainly one of the more celebrity monsters is the Kraken, which is essentially thought to be a massive octopus that terrorized ships off the coast of Iceland and Norway. With tentacles that could reach up and around the top of the tallest mast and pull the ship under, equally dangerous was the large funnel it left behind as it dove deep, leaving whatever remained of a ship to swirl and flush away.
Some seafarers speculated the width of the Kraken to be well over a mile. While that’s certainly fun to imagine, even the blue whale, today’s biggest known animal, has never been recorded over 110 feet long. But as monsters go, the Kraken has the most likely real world cousin…

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History’s Great Mythical Sea Monsters |


Sunn said...

Can you please tell me the name of the Artist who painted the Kraken picture? I cannot quite make out the signature on the jpeg.

Thanks for your help!

Patrick Bernauw said...

Sorry, I don't have any idea. Maybe you can ask for it at (the site where the article originally was published).