Now Cometh The Kraken


Let’s take a moment from all of our very busy lives and talk about something extremely important: sea monsters.

Yes.  Really.  😀

Actually, I’d like to talk about one kind of sea monster in particular: The Kraken.

(This is my entry for Sommer Leigh‘s month-long Monster Fest 2011.  You should go check it out immediately.  It’s fine.  I’ll wait here.  :D)

Afternoon snack?

Now when I say the word Kraken (Krake is singular), I see half of you–the Clash of the Titans fans!–nodding in profound understanding, while the other half are giving me the “What-on-earth-is-that?” raised eyebrow.  I’m with you.  On the list of imaginary, sea-vessel-crushing creatures of myth and legend (yes, such a list does exist), the Kraken don’t really rank highly, do they?

I’ve always been a big fan of mythical creatures, the ones that lay on the edge of reality, that have a place both in the lives of our ancestors and in our own dreamscapes.  The belief in monsters lends a certain mystery to the world.  Isn’t it the easiest thing to believe that rationality, common sense, reason–all that is scientific and easily derived–are the ways of the universe?  But where’s the fun in that?  So much remains unexplained.  Much more of the world is born out of our fears and irrational obsessions than from a common understanding that two plus two equals four.

And you might be surprised to discover that ancient mythical sea monsters like the Kraken are still a part of our everyday lives.  Don’t believe me?  Well, lemme tell ya ’bout it.  From Wikipedia:

Kraken are legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland….Later versions of the legend may have originated from sightings of real giant squid, which are variously estimated to grow to 13–15 m (40–50 ft) in length (including tentacles). These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and have reportedly attacked ships.

Numerous references to the Kraken exist in popular culture.  For example, as I touched on, the Kraken showed up in both versions (1981 and 2010) of Clash of The Titans, but do you remember it in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest?

Jack Sparrow: “Open up and say ahhh…savvy?”

The list of books that feature Kraken runs to several dozen as well, including Jule’s Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Terry Brooks’ 1985 novel The Wishsong of Shannara, even a sonnet by Alfred Tennyson, among others.  And the Kraken have even shown their ugly mugs in comic books:

My copy is still in mint condition, in my underground vault, the one I won’t tell anyone about.

There’s also a rollercoaster that bears the name, at Sea World in Orlando.  Check out the review!

The scary part is when the coaster barrels through his ear canal.

Finally, and what I find most interesting, is there is a high-end spiced rum named–you guessed it!–The Kraken.

Goes extremely well with the “other other white meat.”
Mmmm….what was I saying?

According to an article about the kit that the drink comes in:

The kit is set up as a “proof” kit, each element inside is one piece of proof that the mythical Kraken sea monster exists. It includes a Kraken tooth, Kraken ink, a log book, a scroll, a feather, movies of the Kraken, and lastly a bottle of The Kraken.

See?  There’s proof.  That the Kraken exist, I mean.  Or, it’s mostly proof…?

OK, well, let’s say there’s a bit of a academic tussle over whether the Kraken did in fact exist.  But who are they kidding?  They’re just a bunch of scientists.  They don’t understand one jot or tittle about myth and legend.  They can’t even wrap their over-reasonable brains around the concepts of fear and irrationality.  Not like we fiction writers can, right?


It’s not too late to get over and check out all the posts for Friday’s Pay It Forward Blogfest.  Plus, the Rule of Three Blogfest is entering it’s 3rd week, so stay tuned, and have a blastin’ groovy Monday while you’re at it!