Huge Prehistoric Sea Beast - Legend, Myth, or Real?
Perhaps you have heard tales of the Kraken, a giant sea-monster from northern seas, a colossal octopus who feeds on ships and whales... and men. Maybe you saw the vivid depiction of the Kraken in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie "Deadman's Chest".
Maybe you heard tales of the mythological monster of the sea, who was sometimes mistaken for an island, and the deadly whirlpools he leaves in his wake. Or perhaps it might have even been the "Whale" who ate Jonah! Or did you sea the Kraken unleashed in "Clash of the Titans"?
Well now. Let me tell you this! The Kraken is no longer a myth to some modern day scientists. Studied extensively in recent years, there now seems to be physical evidence that the monster did in fact exist!
How so? Not from evidence of his own demise, but from the fossils of his prey.
Mysterious Demise of the Ichthyosaurs
Top of the Triassic Ocean Food Chain
In attempting to solve the mystery of how the Ichthyosaurs died out, paleontologist Mark McMenamin believes he has discovered evidence of a real creature, similar to our notion of the (up until now) legend creature Kraken: A huge octopus or giant squid-like creature with very long tentacles.
The Ichthyosaur was a top ocean predator from the Mid Triassic period . They looked something like today's bottle nose dolphin, but with more ferocious teeth. Their average size was around 10 feet long, but they could get much larger, up to the size of a modern day school bus.
What McMenamin found is what appears to be fossilized remains of large Ichthyosaur "arranged" in a sort of graveyard. This is consistent with behaviour of today's octopus, who drag their prey to their lair to eat. He concludes that the fossils seem to show evidence that these ancient "lizard fish" were killed (by drowning or broken neck as evidenced by multiple broken ribs and twisted vertebrae) by something larger than they were, and who had habits similar to the Octopus. This leads to the assumption that there is a strong possibility that a Kraken-like creature did in fact exist.
Clip from Pirates of the Caribbean - Great Depiction of Kraken Mythology
[after being covered in mucus
after the Kraken roars at him]
Not so bad...
[wipes the slime from his face]
[he looks down and sees his old hat]
[reaches for his hat and puts it on]
Jack Sparrow: 'Ello, beastie.
[smiles and draws his sword]
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
Elizabeth, having realized that the Kraken is only after Jack and not the ship or crew, chains him to the mast to ensure the crew's survival.
Who said this?
"Men still exercise unjust laws. They fight, tear one another to pieces. A mere few feet beneath the waves their reign ceases, their evil drowns. Here on the ocean floor is the only independence"
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne
The 20,000 League Under the Sea Ride - No longer in operation at Disney World
I remember going on this ride as a teenager. While it was not very scary, it was still clever and well done. I enjoyed it!
Look for the mention of Atlantis, which I explore more in depth on other lenses.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Captain Nemo's many adventures included an attack by what is generally translated as a Giant Squid, or Monstrous Octopus. The book was first released in the mid 19th century, and is still fascinating and popular today.
Original cover: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Release the Kraken! - scene from Clash of the Titans!
Liam Neeson is Awesome as Zeus!
Clash of the Titans - Mythological Legend of the Kraken
Hades proclaims that in the upcoming solar eclipse, he will unleash the Kraken against Argos unless the Princess Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice.
The Stories could be based on Giant Squid
Have you hever heard a story told and retold? You know how the details sometimes get embellished over the years? Perhaps you listened to your Grandpa tell the same story over and over, yet it was never quite the same twice. Or we all know about the fishermen who brag about catching a fish that was "this big".... as they open their arms as wide as they are tall.
Suppose for a moment that it was indeed the giant squid who is to blame for these ancient fables. We now know they do get quite large. While not necessarily big enough to eat a school bus, they have been known to attack sperm whales. (What? I thought sperm whales ate squid!)
At any rate, it woudn't be prudent not to throw that thought out there. There will always be nay sayers. So .... it could be the giant squid. Just sayin'!
Modern Evidence that it could have happened - Albeit on a much smaller "scale"!
So if this Octopus/Giant Squid Monster thing of a Kraken did kill beasts who were deadly predators themselves, it might have looked a bit like this.
Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep - Sci Fi Thriller
More on the Kraken - and other resources for this lens
- Kraken: Scientist Mark McMenamin claims existence of mythical 100ft sea monster | Mail Online
Researcher Mark McMenamin, a paleontologist at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, said markings on a pattern of lizard bones (pictured) shows the Kraken did exist.
- Lair Of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered | Fox News
A giant sea monster, the likes of the mythological kraken, may have swum Earth's ancient oceans, snagging what was thought to be the sea's top predators - school bus-size ichthyosaurs with fearsome teeth.
- "Kraken" sea monster emerges from mythological mists - CBS News
Giant predator said to have swum Earth's ancient oceans, according to new study
Scientist says found evidence for an ancient kraken
- Kraken - Monster Wiki - a reason to leave the closet closed and saw the legs off your bed
The Kraken attacking a shipAdded by Real WabaAdded by Aiken18A painting of a Kraken "attack".Added b
- The UnMuseum - The Legendary Kraken
Probably no legendary sea monster was as horrifying as the Kraken. According to stories this huge, many armed, creature could reach as high as the top of a sailing ship's main mast.
- 'Kraken' sea monster's lair possibly discovered - BlogPost - The Washington Post
A giant sea monster, akin to the mythological Kraken, may have terrorized Earth's ancient oceans.