Friday, 17 June 2011

Summer Project Research: Mythological Sea Creatures

I thought t would be interesting to see Sea Creatures from a Mythological Point of View. How did people picture beings of the Sea during ancient times? Did the resemble some already known animals or were they something totally new?  Here are some monsters that have been a great interest to people for thousands of years- even today. 

1)The Leviathan: (Hebrew for "Twisted; coiled") was a Biblical sea monster referred to in the Old Testament (Psalm 74:13-14; Job 41; Isaiah27:1). The word leviathan has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature. In the novel Moby-Dick it refers to greatwhales, and in Modern Hebrew, it means simply "whale".Leviathan is described in detail as a creature of immense strength. In the Hebrew text, he has ‘terrifying’ teeth and scales like rows of shields, closely fastened together and hard as stone. He is a resident of the sea, knowing no fear and apparently immune to all man’s weapons.


2) The Loch Ness Monster: The Loch Ness Monster, sometimes called "Nessie" or "Ness" (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) is a creature or group of creatures said to live in Loch Ness, a deep freshwater loch (lake) near the city of Inverness in northern Scotland. Nessie is generally categorized as a lake monster.

3) The Kraken: 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.

4) The Hydra: The Lernaean Hydra 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.”

5) Cetus: Cetus is the legendary whale, or sea monster. Often it is the sea monster that was sent to devour Andromeda in the Cassiopeia ordeal. The Babylonians referred to this area of the sky as the chaos of the deep and Aratus called this group of stars the dusky monster.


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