Legend of the KrakenMyth or Fact?
The Kraken has been been characterized by modern film as a giant sized sea monster in the 1981 Greek movie Clash of the Titans. But this mythological creature, in fact, has Norwegian origins.
Around 1752 the Kraken was first described by Erik Pontoppidan, a Danish author, in the The Natural History of Norway. In this document he describes the Kraken as “round, flat, and full of arms, or branches” and so large that it could be mistaken for an island. Pontoppidan further describes the beast as “evacuating” in the waters to attract fish to eat, but that it would not hesitate to eat a man alive.
Imagine being a Norwegian fisherman in the 18th century and you witness a creature of immense size tangled in your net. With tentacles latching to the side of your ship, it would be easy to imagine that the Kraken was trying to drag your ship and every soul aboard into the abyss.
Clearly these fishermen were encountering giant squid that can grow to as large as 40-50 feet long. These squid have powerful tentacles, with suction cups lined with sharp teeth. Wether the giant squid excrete ink or poo (as suggested by Pontoppidan), they remain a mystery to modern science and would be truly frightening to encounter on a dark night in the ocean.
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