The Kraken: Norse Legend or Recently-Discovered Creature?

By | December 5, 2018

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Circa 1650, A kraken attacking a ship. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Norse were accomplished sailors and navigators. But on their voyages, they often encountered things they could not explain, including sea monsters. One such sea monster, the Kraken, became firmly placed in Norse mythology because of its immense size and its habit of attacking ships and devouring sailors. There is good reason to believe that these legends are true…at least in part. 

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Release the Kraken

The Norse and Viking legends describe the Kraken as a giant, tentacle creature with eyes the size of dinner plates. Most accounts compare the Kraken to a squid or octopus but note that it is much, much bigger. Some stories claim that the tentacles of the Kraken are more than a mile long. Others say that the sea monster is so large it can be mistaken for an island.