The Legend of The Kraken Tennyson's poem is ba...
Drawing by malacologist Pierre Dรฉnys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by a sea monster off the coast of Angola via Wikipedia

The Kraken is a huge sea monster apparently spotted off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. It is also known as sykraken, sea kraken, or krabben because of its flat, rounded shape and numerous arms.

Reports from sailors claim that it is between a mile and two miles in circumference and creates a huge whirlpool when submerging, sucking even the largest seafaring vessels underwater.

Although the word Kraken never appears in the old Norse Sagas, the idea of sea monsters is certainly present. The Norwegian Churchman Erik Pontoppidan first popularized the term Kraken in the “Natural History of Norway” in 1752-53 but legendary accounts go back to the 13th century.

From a contemporary standpoint, the Kraken may be nothing more than large squids spied by weary and imaginative sailors suffering from the malnutrition that often came with sea voyages (current medical studies strongly suggest that malnutrition can affect brain performance and by implication, perception and judgment).

Depth psychologists, however, tend to see the myth of the Kraken as an archetypal symbol for powerful forces emanating from a hypothesized collective unconscious or as we more commonly say, the underworld.

Just what symbols like this mean no doubt depends on the person interpreting them. This arguably makes the process more of an art than a ‘science’ as most understand the term.

PBS Digital – Monstrum Episode 5 “Undersea Kraken”, Samuel Allan via Google Images | Pinterest