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Kraken

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The Legend of The Kraken Tennyson's poem is ba...

Drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by a sea monster off the coast of Angola via Wikipedia

The Kraken is a huge sea monster apparently spotted off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. It is also known as sykraken, sea kraken, or krabben because of its flat, rounded shape and numerous arms.

Reports from sailors claim that it’s between a mile and two miles in circumference and creates a huge whirlpool when submerging, sucking even the largest seafaring vessels underwater.

Although the word Kraken never appears in the old Norse Sagas, the idea of sea monsters is certainly present.

The Norwegian Churchman Erik Pontoppidan first popularized the term Kraken in the “Natural History of Norway” in 1752-53.

In reality, the Kraken may be nothing more than large squids spied by weary and imaginative sailors suffering from the malnutrition that often came with sea voyages in those days (it’s now known that malnutrition can affect brain performance and thus proper perception and judgment).

Psychologically speaking, however, we might see the myth or the Kraken as an archetypal symbol for forces emanating from the collective unconscious or underworld.

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