The kraken is generally considered to be a mythical creature that lives in the sea, rising from the waves to terrify sailors. As a result, the beast has featured in the stories and legends of various cultures for centuries, although it is still generally believed to be a fictional creature much like the Lockness Monster in Scotland. However, did you know that there are various accounts of “real” kraken-like creatures? For example, there have been numerous sightings of sea creatures that are extremely large in size spotted off the coast of countries like Norway and Greenland. Don’t believe us? Read on…
Is the Kraken a legend or real beast?
Some claim that the Kraken is the largest sea monster that has ever been imagined by man but whether this creature is real or not is still a matter of debate. Many sailors over the years have claimed sightings of large squids that can grow up to as large as 12-15 meters (40-50 feet) long, and marine biologists today also support these findings. However, in the original tale of the kraken there was no mention of the beast having any tentacles; rather legend has it that the kraken looked more like a crab or a whale.
The Kraken of Nordic Folklore
Nordic folklore said that the Kraken would swim and haunt the seas from Norway throughout Iceland, then onto the seas around Greenland. The Kraken would harass vessels forcing them to capsize in order to eat the crew on board. If the kraken was unable to capsize the boat with its tentacles or arms, it would start swimming in circles fast around the ship, so the swift and fierce maelstrom would make the ship sink. Other legends say that the Kraken could eat a ship’s crew in just one bite.
King Sverre of Norway
In 1180, King Sverre of Norway wrote about the kraken. As with many other legends of the time, the King of Norway described the kraken as some kind of large squid-like monster. He warned sailors about the dangers of the seas, claiming that there were hordes of sea monsters in many forms protecting the shores of Norway.
Positive benefits of the Kraken
The scary reputation of the Kraken monster also brought a few benefits as it would swim with a large schools of fish. Therefore the bravest sailors would risk their lives fishing near the monster just to secure a large catch of fish.