The Kraken is a legendary sea creature that haunted the imagination of seafarers for centuries. The origins of the legend may have been with sightings of giant squids in the Atlantic where its size and fearsome appearance inspired numerous stories of encounters between man and monster.
The most famous account is from 1870 and was penned by Jules Verne in his Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in which the kraken tried to swallow a submarine.
But earlier accounts go back to the late 1300’s. In the Old Icelandic saga Orvar-Oddr is an episode where the protagonist encounters not one but two sea monsters or Hafgufa. “The hafgufa is the hugest monster in the sea. It is the nature of this creature to swallow men and ships, and even whales and everything else within reach.” (art – Pierre_Denys_de_Montfort, 1801)
Update: Celebrating The Year of the Reef
During 2018 we are celebrating The International Year of The Reef. Over the next six months we will increase the frequency of our articles on the world’s coral reef ecosystems. We will include current news on the health of reefs and the worldwide efforts to maintain and restore them. In addition, we will republish a variety of our past, but still very pertinent and helpful articles on coral reefs. Our hope is that this effort will focus more attention on these very important issues.
Swimming Through Our Imaginations!
So, Kracken have been around for centuries if not literally swimming the oceans at least swimming in our imaginations. But now, there is a new kraken in the neighborhood and it is very much something that you can see and touch and even swim around and through, if you are lucky to be swimming in the waters near the British Virgin Islands.
This kraken is the result of a collaboration between Owen Buggy, a British photographer; Sir Richard Branson; the nonprofit Unite BVI, an artist group Samurai Productions and others. The result called, BVI Art Reef, is a giant, 80’ long steel kraken wrapping its tentacles around the Kodiak Queen, a former Navy ship with an impressive wartime pedigree (one of five ships to survive the attack on Pearl Harbor).
It has all come together as an eco-friendly art installation; artificial coral reef ecosystem; educational center for marine research and dive attraction.
“It’s envisioned that within just a short space of time the ship and arwork will attract a myriad of sea creatures” said Clive Petrovic, a consultant. “Everything from corals to sea sponges, sharks and turtles will live on, in and around the wreck. The ship will become valuable for future research by scientists and local students alike.”
The Kodiak Queen and it’s 80 foot long passenger was sunk in shallow waters off Virgin Gorda in BVI, at depths suitable for visits from both scuba divers and snorkelers. Read more here. (photo – Owen Buggy)
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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