Is it myth, legend, or can science prove that there may be some truth to these tales?
This creature became known as The Kraken and it was THE beast that many came to fear, as second-hand stories of encounters with this beast travelled from crew to crew and port to port. Descriptions varied, but many described it as a gigantic crab-like creature.
However, since the 18th century, this legendary creature has been described as more octopus-like and reports of this creature attacking men in whaling vessels started emerging.
Since the 12th century, Norwegian sailors first described a squid-like creature that had large tentacles that could reach the tallest of masts and sink ships. The word 'Kraken' actually comes from the Norwegian and German languages and many have depicted these encounters in art and fiction. The most notable depiction was in Jules Verne's classic tale '20,000 Leagues under the Sea', which depicts the crew aboard the Nautilus being attacked by a number of Giant Squid. The chapter depicting the battle between crew and these monsters was inspired by stories Verne had heard from sea-farers tales.
But are these stories, of ships and men being attacked and killed by squids, based on fact?
Is The Kraken an actual creature?
Even less is known about the Colossal Squid, a creature that has been captured a handful of times dead or dying and is theorized to grow as large as a school bus and has 5x the length from tail to the tips of its 2 larger tentacles.
The largest squid ever washed ashore was found off New Zealand, was 57 feet long and was found in the 1920's. Creatures of these sizes or even larger would rival the sizes of sea-faring vessels of centuries past, so could a large species of squid, yet unknown to science, explain the fearsome tales from the oceans?
Many scientists are now no longer dismissing tales of giant squid, with evidence mounting up indicating that these creatures may grow to massive sizes but dwell in the deepest depths of the seas.
So could the tales of The Kraken be fact and explained by current scientific evidence and theory, or could it perhaps be another yet un-classified creature lurking beneath the surface of the world's oceans?
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013