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  • Emmy

Is the Kraken real?

You’ve heard about him in sea stories, seen him in movies like Clash of the Titans, and likely met him in your nightmares before heading on a cruise. That’s right, it’s the Kraken.

One of the more misunderstood cryptids, this Scandiavian creature is typically depicted as a massive cephalopod with an appetite for humans lost at sea. Stories of the Kraken are thought to date back as far as 1180, with rumors that it would attack vessels with its large tentacles. According to some accounts, the Kraken could take down entire ship crews in one hunt.

With all of the mystery surrounding the Kraken, we decided to compile some of the most interesting facts about this beast that you may not yet know.

1. The Kraken may actually be real.

Or, at least, based on a real creature.

Stories of this gigantic sea monster are thought to be based around an almost-as-terrifying ocean dweller: the giant squid. While the two creatures are extremely similar, lore around the Kraken reports that the behemoth is around 2 miles long -- the giant squid, by contrast, measures a still-huge 59 feet. What’s more, because they live so deep in the ocean, giant squids have seldom been seen in person -- they were only first captured live on film in 2019 -- let alone grabbing humans off of a ship with their tentacles.

Bubbles may mean a Kraken is near.

According to lore, sailors would know a Kraken was near if they saw gurgling bubbles, surfacing fish, or large groups of jellyfish. This was thought to be because Krakens would swim alongside large schools of fish, or drove away prey trying to flee it. Unfortunately, due to the monster’s sheer size, this rarely gave sailors enough time to escape.

Of course, there are many natural explanations for these relatively-common ocean experiences, but sailors swore by these tell-tale signs to let them know a sea monster was lurking below.

You may just get lucky if you see a Kraken.

While most Kraken encounters didn’t seem to end well, some sailors claimed to have a plentiful catch if they came close to a Kraken. Allegedly, because the Kraken tends to drive schools of fish toward the surface, fisherman brave enough to go near the beast could enjoy large catches.

Getting wrapped up in this monster’s tentacles doesn’t quite seem worth it to me, but hey, fisherman gotta eat too!

You can use Kraken poo as bait.

This one’s a little far-fetched even for us, but according to legend, Kraken feces actually attracts fish. Apparently, Kraken poop was so delightfully smelling that it attracted fish, bringing hoards of sea creatures toward the beast, which it subsequently ate -- continuing the vicious cycle! This means that fisherman could use the dung as bait.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the Kraken, check out our deep dive on the creature in the latest episode of our podcast here.


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