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For hundreds of years, terrifying tales of sea monsters have haunted the men and women that sailed the seas for trade and exploration. Of all the destructively devilish ocean lurkers, few held as much fear for humanity as the mighty Kraken. Most often described as a kind of gigantic octopus, it was the greatest fear of many a superstitious sailor. Gripping boats with its enormous tentacles, crushing them in mere moments, and dragging them to the murky depths of the cold sea floor, it’s no wonder that it held so much fascination and distress for those putting their lives on the line every day by setting out to sea. Clearly this was one destructive terror with no regard for human life or trade…

Unless, there were another explanation. Perhaps such a creature just didn’t know its own strength…

The Kraken is one of those monsters you look at and aren’t immediately forced to disregard as utterly ridiculous. You’ve got your Nessies and your werewolves and your vampires, but it’s hard to take those things really seriously when there’s no evidence. The Kraken, on the other hand, may have some truth behind it, as we’ve been finding out in recent years, though we can’t be entirely sure just yet. There have been real reports of a creature known as the colossal squid, an enormous creature which normally lives at great depths in the ocean, but which has been reported near the surface and has even been known to attack ships.

Is the colossal squid the same creature as the Kraken? It seems unlikely, as the range of these two beasts conflict (colossal squid mostly seem to inhabit the Southern Ocean, living near Antarctica) but we don’t know for sure. Perhaps there is a creature very much like colossal squid inhabiting the northern hemisphere of the world.

Early stories of the Kraken mostly come to us from Scandinavia in the 12th Century, describing the beast as being as large as an island and with a ferocity to match its size. The stories were so believable and frightening that descriptions of the Kraken were included in a volume about the natural history of Norway in the middle of the 18th century (though it wasn’t included in later editions). In the realm of reality, the Kraken’s cousin, the colossal squid is known to battle with sperm whales, one of the major predators of the colossal squid. It is thought that ships may be mistaken as predators or prey by these enormous cephalopods, causing them to lash out with aggression.

Nowadays, hundreds of years since the peak of Kraken reports, it’s difficult to separate truth from fiction. The Kraken, for many sailors, was a real terror to be avoided on the high seas, but the evidence handed down to us from the past is merely anecdotal. While there are creatures that could fit the later descriptions of this monster, we can’t be sure what people were seeing all those years ago without more evidence.

The only thing we can know for sure is that if the Japanese were to release Godzilla vs the Kraken, it would be incredible.

…Though the Kraken might just try to hug Godzilla to death.

I guess that would still be awesome.

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