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Encyclopedia > Kraken
Pen and wash drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola.
Pen and wash drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola.
Pierre Dénys de Montfort's "Poulpe Colossal" attacks a merchant ship.
Pierre Dénys de Montfort's "Poulpe Colossal" attacks a merchant ship.
Imaginary view of a gigantic octopus seizing a ship.
Imaginary view of a gigantic octopus seizing a ship.

Kraken ( kra’ ken, IPA: /ˈkrɑːkɛn/) are legendary sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelled off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the beasts have made them common ocean-dwelling monsters in various fictional works (see Kraken in popular culture). The legend may actually have originated from sightings of real giant squid that are estimated to grow to 13 metres (46 feet) in length, including the tentacles. These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and reportedly have "attacked" small ships. Kraken may refer to: The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of gargantuan size, said to have been seen off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. ... Image File history File links An alleged colossal octopus drawn in 1801 by French malacologist Pierre Denys de Montfort from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature outside the coast of Angola. ... Image File history File links An alleged colossal octopus drawn in 1801 by French malacologist Pierre Denys de Montfort from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature outside the coast of Angola. ... Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... Pierre Dénys de Montfort (1766 - 1820) was a French naturalist, remembered today for his pioneering inquiries into the existence of the Giant Squid Archeteuthis, which was thought to be an old wives tale, and for which he was long dismissed. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1106x713, 451 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kraken Gigantic octopus ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1106x713, 451 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kraken Gigantic octopus ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1047x677, 508 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kraken Scandinavian folklore Gigantic octopus ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1047x677, 508 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Kraken Scandinavian folklore Gigantic octopus ... For the television series about extinct sea animals, see Sea Monsters. ... An illustration from the original edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. ... This article is about the animal. ...


Kraken is the definite article form of krake, a Scandinavian word designating an unhealthy animal, or something twisted.[1] In modern German, Krake (plural: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken (Terrell, 1999). Definite Article is the title of British comedian Eddie Izzards 1996 performance released on video and CD. The video/DVD and CD performances were both recorded on different nights at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, England. ...

Contents

History

Although the name kraken never appears in the Norse sagas, there are similar sea monsters, the hafgufa and lyngbakr, both described in Örvar-Odds saga and the Norwegian text from c. 1250, Konungs skuggsjá.[2] Carolus Linnaeus included kraken as cephalopods with the scientific name Microcosmus in the first edition of his Systema Naturae (1735), a taxonomic classification of living organisms, but excluded the animal in later editions. Kraken were also extensively described by Erik Pontoppidan, bishop of Bergen, in his "Natural History of Norway" (Copenhagen, 1752–3). Excerpt NjÃ¥ls saga in the Möðruvallabók (AM 132 folio 13r) circia 1350. ... Orvar Odd informs Ingeborg about Hjalmars death, by August Malmström (1859) Orvar-Odd (i. ... A page from Konungs skuggsjá. Konungs skuggsjá (Old Norse for Kings mirror; Latin: Speculum regale, modern Norwegian: Kongespeilet) is a Norwegian educational scripture from around 1250, dealing with politics and moral. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Orders Sepiida Sepiolida Spirulida Teuthida Octopoda Vampyromorphida Nautilida The Cephalopods (head-foot) are the mollusc class Cephalopoda characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a modification of the mollusc foot into the form of arms or tentacles. ... Cover of the tenth edition of Linnaeuss Systema Naturae (1758). ... Erik Pontoppidan (August 24, 1698 in Aarhus - December 20, 1764) was a Danish author, prelate, historian and antiquary. ... Bjørgvin is a diocese in the Church of Norway. ...


Early accounts, including Pontoppidan's, describe the kraken as an animal "the size of a floating island" whose real danger for sailors was not the creature itself, but the whirlpool it created after quickly descending back into the ocean. However, Pontoppidan also described the destructive potential of the giant beast: "It is said that if it grabbed the largest warship, it could manage to pull it down to the bottom of the ocean" (Sjögren, 1980). Kraken were always distinct from sea serpents, also common in Scandinavian lore (Jörmungandr for instance). A representative early description is given by the Swede Jacob Wallenberg in his book Min son på galejan ("My son on the galley") from 1781: Saltstraumen whirlpool A whirlpool in a glass of water A whirlpool is a large, swirling body of water produced by ocean tides. ... This article is about sea serpents in mythology and cryptozoology. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ...

… Kraken, also called the Crab-fish, which [according to the pilots of Norway] is not that huge, for heads and tails counted, he is no larger than our Öland is wide [i.e. less than 16 km] ... He stays at the sea floor, constantly surrounded by innumerable small fishes, who serve as his food and are fed by him in return: for his meal, if I remember correctly what E. Pontoppidan writes, lasts no longer than three months, and another three are then needed to digest it. His excrements nurture in the following an army of lesser fish, and for this reason, fishermen plumb after his resting place ... Gradually, Kraken ascends to the surface, and when he is at ten to twelve fathoms, the boats had better move out of his vicinity, as he will shortly thereafter burst up, like a floating island, spurting water from his dreadful nostrils and making ring waves around him, which can reach many miles. Could one doubt that this is the Leviathan of Job? For the Finnish island, see Ã…land. ... A fathom is the name of a unit of length in the Imperial system (and the derived U.S. customary units). ... This article is about the biblical creature. ... The Book of Job (איוב) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. ...

According to Pontoppidan, Norwegian fishermen often took the risk of trying to fish over kraken, since the catch was so good. If a fisherman had an unusually good catch, they used to say to each other, "You must have fished on Kraken." Pontoppidan also claimed that the monster was sometimes mistaken for an island, and that some maps that included islands that were only sometimes visible were actually indicating kraken. Pontoppidan also proposed that a young specimen of the monster once died and was washed ashore at Alstahaug (Bengt Sjögren, 1980). County Nordland District Helgeland Municipality NO-1820 Administrative centre Sandnessjøen Mayor (2003) Magne Greger (Ap) Official language form Neutral Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 336 187 km² 186 km² 0. ...


Since the late 18th century, kraken have been depicted in a number of ways, primarily as large octopus-like creatures, and it has often been alleged that Pontoppidan's kraken might have been based on sailors' observations of the giant squid. In the earliest descriptions, however, the creatures were more crab- like than octopus-like, and generally possessed traits that are associated with large whales rather than with giant squid. Some traits of kraken resemble undersea volcanic activity occurring in the Iceland region, including bubbles of water; sudden, dangerous currents; and appearance of new islets. Pen and wash drawing by malacologist, Pierre Denys de Montfort, 1801 from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. ... This article is about the animal. ... Superfamilies Dromiacea Homolodromioidea Dromioidea Homoloidea Eubrachyura Raninoidea Cyclodorippoidea Dorippoidea Calappoidea Leucosioidea Majoidea Hymenosomatoidea Parthenopoidea Retroplumoidea Cancroidea Portunoidea Bythograeoidea Xanthoidea Bellioidea Potamoidea Pseudothelphusoidea Gecarcinucoidea Cryptochiroidea Pinnotheroidea * Ocypodoidea * Grapsoidea * An asterisk (*) marks the crabs included in the clade Thoracotremata. ... For other uses, see Octopus (disambiguation). ... This article is about the animal. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ...


In 1802, the French malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort recognized the existence of two kinds of giant octopus in Histoire Naturelle Générale et Particulière des Mollusques, an encyclopedic description of mollusks. Montfort claimed that the first type, the kraken octopus, had been described by Norwegian sailors and American whalers, as well as ancient writers such as Pliny the Elder. The much larger second type, the colossal octopus (depicted in the above image), was reported to have attacked a sailing vessel from Saint-Malo, off the coast of Angola. Classes Caudofoveata Aplacophora Polyplacophora - Chitons Monoplacophora Bivalvia - Bivalves Scaphopoda - Tusk shells Gastropoda - Snails and Slugs Cephalopoda - Squids, Octopuses, etc. ... Pierre Dénys de Montfort (1766 - 1820) was a French naturalist, remembered today for his pioneering inquiries into the existence of the Giant Squid Archeteuthis, which was thought to be an old wives tale, and for which he was long dismissed. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Pen and wash drawing by malacologist, Pierre Denys de Montfort, 1801 from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. ... Categories: France geography stubs | Communes of Ille-et-Vilaine ...

The Kraken by Tennyson

 Below the thunders of the upper deep;
 Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
 His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
 The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
 About his shadowy sides; above him swell
 Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
 And far away into the sickly light,
 From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
 Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
 Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
 There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
 Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
 Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
 Then once by man and angels to be seen,
 In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Montfort later dared more sensational claims. He proposed that ten British warships that had mysteriously disappeared one night in 1782 must have been attacked and sunk by giant octopuses. Unfortunately for Montfort, the British knew what had happened to the ships, resulting in a disgraceful revelation for Montfort. Pierre Dénys de Montfort's career never recovered and he died starving and poor in Paris around 1820 (Sjögren, 1980). In defence of Pierre Dénys de Montfort, it should be noted that many of his sources for the "kraken octopus" probably described the very real giant squid, proven to exist in 1857. This article is about the capital of France. ... This article is about the animal. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1830, possibly aware of Pierre Dénys de Montfort's work, Alfred Tennyson published his popular poem "The Kraken" (essentially an irregular sonnet), which disseminated Kraken in English forever fixed with its superfluous the. The poem in its last three lines, also bears similarities to the legend of Leviathan, a sea monster, who shall rise to the surface at the end of days. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Alfred, Lord Tennyson Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and is one of the most popular English poets. ... Francesco Petrarca, or Petrarch, one of the best-known early Italian sonnet writers. ... This article is about the biblical creature. ...


Tennyson's description apparently influenced Jules Verne's imagined lair of the famous giant squid in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from 1870. Verne also makes numerous references to Kraken, and Bishop Pontoppidan in the novel. This article is about the French author. ... Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne (1828–1905), published in 1870 under the title Vingt mille lieues sous les mers. ...


Later developments of the Kraken image may be traced at Kraken in popular culture. An illustration from the original edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. ...


See also

The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration several times during the summer of 1997. ... The spectrogram of Slow Down. ... Cryptozoology (from Greek: κρυπτός, kryptós, hidden; ζῷον, zôon, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge or study – zoology) is the search for animals hypothesized to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. ... For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ... Pen and wash drawing by malacologist, Pierre Denys de Montfort, 1801 from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. ... Carcass that washed ashore in St. ... Scandinavian folklore is the folklore of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. ... For the television series about extinct sea animals, see Sea Monsters. ... This article is about the animal. ... Binomial name Robson, 1925 The Colossal Squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), sometimes called the Antarctic or Giant Cranch Squid, is believed to be the largest squid species. ... This article is about the biblical creature. ... Carcass that washed ashore near St. ... An illustration from the original edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. ... The Kraken is a fictional sea monster, based on the legendary monster of the same name, in Walt Disney Pictures 2006 film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Cognate with the English crook and crank.
  2. ^ Or Speculum Regale, the "King's Mirror". The text describes a massive sea creature as large as an island. It is rarely seen by seamen and fishermen, and it is speculated that there are only one or two in the world. The Kraken eats by opening its massive mouth, belches up smaller fish, and eats the larger fish which come to feed upon them.

Look up cognate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up crook in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up crank in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

References

  • John Wyndham (1953). 'The Kraken Wakes'/'Out of the Deep' (US). ISBN 0-14-001075-0
  • Sjögren, Bengt (1980). Berömda vidunder. Settern. ISBN 91-7586-023-6 (Swedish)
  • Terrell, Peter; et al (Eds.) (1999). German Unabridged Dictionary (4th ed.). Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-270235-1.

John Wyndham (July 10, 1903 – March 11, 1969) was the pen name used by the often post-apocalyptic British science fiction writer John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

External links

  • Fishermen caught the world's biggest squid
  • The Kraken and the Colossal Octopus, a review from Fortean Times, October 2003.
  • Min son på galejan, see p. 54 for the text quoted (PDF).
  • "King's Mirror" (See Chapter XII)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Kraken at AllExperts (1254 words)
Kraken (plural) are a supposed type of sea monster of gargantuan size, said to have been seen off the coast of Norway and Iceland.
Kraken is the definite article form of krake a word designating an unhealthy animal, or something 'twisted' (cognate with the english crook and crank).
Gradually, Kraken ascends to the surface, and when he is at ten to twelve fathoms, the boats had better move out of his vicinity, as he will shortly thereafter burst up, like a floating island, spurting water from his dreadful nostrils and making ring waves around him, which can reach many miles.
Kraken Stamps (1265 words)
The Kraken is a legendary sea creature which would attach a ship by grabbing it with its many arms and capsizing it.
The arms of the Kraken were said to be to reach as high as the top of a sailing ship's mast.
This Kraken stamp is one of a set of four stamps commemorating legendary Canadian animals.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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