After the escape of Daedalus and his son Icarus from King Minos's imprisonment, and the subsequent death of Icarus, Daedalus arrived in Sicily, where he was welcomed by Cocalus. Minos was, however, determined to find Daedalus, and he travelled from city to city offering a challenge: he presented a spiral seashell and asked for it to be strung all the way through. When he reached Kamikos, Cocalus, knowing that Daedalus would be able to solve the puzzle, showed it to him. Daedalus tied the thread to an ant, which walked through the seashell, stringing it all the way through.
Minos then knew Daedalus was sheltering in the court of Cocalus, and demanded that he be handed over. Cocalus managed to convince him to take a bath first, and Cocalus' daughters then killed Minos.
- The myth of how Cocalus orchestrated Minos' death is shown in the fourth book of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, The Battle of the Labyrinth, via a dream.
- Ovid. Metamorphoses. Book VIII, 261; Herodotus (vii.169 merely states "For the story goes that Minos, having come to Sicania, which is now called Sicily, in search of Daidalos, died there by a violent death," as a preamble to the story of the unsuccessful siege of Kamikos by a league of Cretan cities, supposedly in retaliation.