Many people enjoy traveling and they are dreaming about it their entire life. It’s perfectly normal, who wouldn’t want to visit a lot of cool, attractive, strange, and beautiful places from around the world? Well, I think you got my point. What’s really great is the fact that around the globe, there are lots of myths about sea monsters and you know how much we love bizarre stuff.
Probably because there were smarter people who enjoyed making fun of the stupid, or simply because there were such creatures like sea monsters. Marine monsters are sea-dwelling creatures like dragons or sea serpents, but they always tend to be gigantic. Why? Because nobody would be afraid of little tiny things therefore they have to huge!
Lots of proofs in sea monsters’ favor could be the many statements given by shipwrecked sailors who believed that the underwater creatures were sinking their ships. Well, there is only water out there so what should they attack if not ships? So far nobody really proved the existence of mythical or legendary sea monsters, except marine reptiles from dinosaurs’ reigning era.
Here are some of the most renowned sea monster myths from around the world, and (of course) the best way to start is the Loch Ness Monster.
#1 Loch Ness Monster
This sea monster allegedly lives in the lake called Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Although the scientific community considers this story a “modern day myth” or simply a hoax, there are a lot of believers around the world, and there are a lot of people who brought authentic proof of the Loch Ness monster. These proofs consist of photographic material and sonar readings, but the living status of the creature remains unconfirmed.
The Loch Ness monster was first reported by Alex Campbell on 2 May 1933. Campbell was a water bailiff during those times, and a part-time journalist for the Inverness Courier. However, we wasn’t sure that he spotted something in the water, but on 4 August 1933, he published an article which said that a Londoner named George Spicer, and his wife had sighted “the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life”.
According to the “Spicers”, the event happened on 22 July 1933, and the sea creature was crossing the road just in front of them. It seems like the Loch Ness monster measured about 4 feet high and 25 feet long, had a long and narrow neck, but they didn’t see any limbs. Allegedly, the sea creature was carrying an animal in its mouth, and that was all.
After the “Spicers”, a motorcyclist named Arthur Grant said the nearly hit the animal in August 1933, then a woman named Margaret Munro observed it for twenty minutes also in 1933. There was no proof to sustain all of the above, but this is were the modern story started.
The earliest report of the Loch Ness monster appeared in the 7th century in a book called “The Life of St. Columba” written by Adamnan who described an event which took place in 565 when St. Columba saved a “Pict” from the monster. Another Loch Ness monster encounter was reported in October 1871 by D. Mackenzie, but it was considered a modern invention so people and scientists ignored it.
The first image of the Loch Ness monster appeared in 1934 and it’s known as “Surgeon’s Photograph” which was taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynecologist. For many years it was considered as an authentic proof of Nessie’s existence, but later research showed that it was a hoax.
Another sighting is “The Taylor Film” from 1938 when a South African tourist filmed the Loch Ness monster for three minutes, but he never showed it to the investigators. However, he published a single frame in his book – in the frame you can spot an unidentified inanimate object, but so far it hasn’t been determined what is “that”.
The list of sightings continues with “The Dinsdale Film” from 1960 when a Tim Dinsdale filmed something moving very quickly in the water. Some said it was a boat, some believed that it’s the Loch Ness monster. Something interesting happened in 1993 when a team of researchers from Discovery Communications made a documentary about the creature. Later, a computer expert declared that “before I saw the film, I thought the Loch Ness Monster was a load of rubbish. Having done the enhancement, I’m not so sure.” Obviously nobody proved so far that Nessie is actually in the film.
The last sighting that “deserves” to be mentioned is “The Holmes Video” which occurred on 26 May 2007 when Gordon Holmes captured on video “this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water.” However, most of the experts who studied the Holmes Video said that “thing” is actually a seal or a water bird.
Well, until we get our hands on some real footage of the Loch Ness monster we will stick with the fact this is only a sea monster myth and nothing more.
This sea monster is mentioned in the Bible in five places, and nowadays the word represents any enormous sea creature. In the Old Testament, the Leviathan is a fleeing serpent which lives in the sea, while in the novel “Moby Dick”, the Leviathan is a great whale.
The myth of the Leviathan sea monster was explained by a French rabbi, Rashi, who said that “God created a male and female Leviathan, then killed the female and salted it for the righteous, for if the Leviathans were to procreate the world could not stand before them.”
As aforementioned, the Leviathan was also mentioned in the rabbinic literature – this sea monster was created by God to play with it, and it’s described as the meanest and the biggest creature in the sea. However, in the Christian literature, the Leviathan is a demon which is synonymous with the pre-existent forces of darkness on Earth.
According to an interpretation of the Book of Job, the Leviathan is a mundane creature like goats, eagles, or any other creatures on Earth. Many interpreters believe that this monster is actually the Nile crocodile as it is “aquatic, scaly, and it possesses fierce teeth.” Others say that the Leviathan was a fire dragon, a whale-like sea creature, or a sea serpent which had the purpose of devouring entire ships.
The majority of the Young Earth Creationists believe that the Leviathan was a dinosaur, either a Parasaurolophus or a Kronosaurus, but they also said that it was only a giant marine reptile.
The problem is that there are too many interpretations about what the Leviathan really was, so nobody knows if the sea monster was on the good side or on the bad side. However, even if the Leviathan was a demon or God’s favorite animal to play with, we can tell your for sure that it was a gigantic creature which could have destroyed if it was in a bad mood.
I don’t know why, but mermaids always fascinated men. I just don’t get it… A mermaid is a half human, half fish creature with the torso of a woman and the tail of a fish. At this point it’s not necessary to remind you that these creatures were supposed to live underwater and they couldn’t breathe for too long at the surface. A mermaid resembles a siren as they both sung songs to gods and people in order to cast spells on them.
In many mythologies around the world, the mermaids were drowning men who were trying to rescue them as they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Also, it is said that the mermaids were taking men into underwater kingdoms (probably to procreate). A long time ago, people believed that these sea monsters were water fairies or animals that could transform themselves from seals or other sea creatures into humans.
The history shows that mermaids were first mentioned in Assyria ca. 1000 BC, then they showed up in the “Arabian Nights” story, and even in the British folklore where these creatures were sized up to 2000 feet. Let’s not forget the Warsaw Mermaid which is the symbol of Polish biggest and capital city, Warsaw.
However, many people think that the “mermaid” just like the “minotaur” was used to show that human beings are both one with and different from all other animals and creatures on Earth, and we should accept ourselves the way we are, and that we should love all animals like ourselves. I still don’t get why men are attracted to mermaids…
The Kraken is a mythological sea monster which was supposed to live in the waters between Norway and Iceland. It seems like these gargantuan sea creatures were attacking ships and they didn’t leave anyone alive. However, this sea monster myth is based on true stories as the Kraken resembles a real giant squid which can grow up to 60 feet in length.
Even if the giant squid lives at great depths, recently there were many reports of such creatures attacking smaller ships using their gigantic tentacles. The work Kraken comes from the Scandinavian word, krake, which describes a twisted, unhealthy animal. Also, in German, krake, means octopus, but it can be also referred to the mythological Kraken.
According to some descriptions, the Kraken was a sea creature “the size of a floating island” and it wasn’t attacking ships – when it would go back to the depths, its tentacles were creating a whirlpool and the ships were dragged deep into the ocean. However, the Kraken had enormous power and “it is said that if it grabbed the largest warship, it could manage to pull it down to the bottom of the ocean.”
Well, a giant squid isn’t the size of an island and it cannot pull down the largest warship to the bottom of the ocean, so I’m calling this a sea monster myth. It would be great if these creatures really exist, but it would be really frightening to encounter the Kraken – there is no doubt that a human would only see it once, guess what will happen after that?
#5 The Hydra
The last but not the least is the Lernaean Hydra which can be found in the Greek mythology as one of the Twelve Labors of Heracles. The Greek hero received the task of killing the sea creature from the lake of Lerna in Argolid – the Hydra.
According to a description from Gaius Julius Hyginus, a Latin author, “this monster was so poisonous that she killed men with her breath, and if anyone passed by when she was sleeping, he breathed her tracks and died in the greatest torment.”
Also, the myth says that this sea monster had numerous heads, actually it possessed “more heads than the vase-painters could paint” and whoever encountered it, was killed almost instantaneously. However, Heracles (with a little help from his nephew, Iolaus) managed to kill the Hydra which was the guardian of an entrance to the Underworld.
As far as I’m concerned, the Hydra is only a mythological creature which never existed, and if it weren’t for the numerous heads, I would say that this sea creature has the Komodo Dragon as its succesor as the breath of Earth’s largest reptile is deadly.
I have to say that my favorite sea monster myth is the one about the Kraken. Why? Because one of my favorite trilogy is the “Pirates of the Carribean” where the Kraken shows up. Now I’m expecting you to let me know which is your favorite sea monster!
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