In silent films of the 1910s and 1920s, the Kraken was often portrayed using stock footage of an octopus in a bathtub attacking a toy ship. This footage first appeared in Georges Méliès' 1906 film Under the Seas and was recycled in many other films.
The Kraken appears in the film Clash of the Titans (1981) as a giant, four-armed humanoid with scales and a fishtail.
In the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans (2010), the Kraken is again featured as a servant of the Olympian Gods; it is said to be "the last of the Titans". This version of the creature has a humanoid head, torso and arms but also boasts a number of tentacle. Instead of a tail, it is depicted with crab-like legs. It is given a new backstory as the creation of Hades that was used to overthrow the Titans, and was later used by Hades to get revenge on Zeus for tricking him into the underworld.
In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick (chapter 59) the crew of the Pequod encounter a "vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length". Starbuck calls it 'The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.' Narrator Ishmael attributes this to Bishop Pontopiddan's "the great Kraken," and concludes: "By some naturalists who have vaguely heard rumors of the mysterious creature, here spoken of, it is included among the class of cuttle-fish, to which, indeed, in certain external respects it would seem to belong, but only as the Anak of the tribe."
John Wyndham's 1953 novel The Kraken Wakes features the sonnet written by Alfred Tennyson called The Kraken (1830), which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea; the story itself refers to an invasion by sea-dwelling aliens. The title is a play on Tennyson's line "The Kraken sleepeth".
Jack Vance's 1966 science fiction adventure novel The Blue World, based on an earlier 1964 novellaThe Kragen, depicts a world where natives must beware the kragen, giant, semi-intelligent squid-like predators which roam the ocean.
In the children's book Monster Mission (also known as Island of the Aunts) by Eva Ibbotson, the Kraken is a force for good who has the ability to clean and heal the oceans.
Kraken appear in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as enormous, peaceful creatures that stay in the same spot for centuries feeding on algae, doubling as islands. They are described as being conical in shape, although there is a tubular shaped one on the coast of Ireland. In this book, Kraken shed their shells explosively, igniting a layer of methane under the old one and sending it flying. A comparison is made between the Kraken, and a barnacle (albeit one big enough to be mistaken for an island).
The television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea featured an episode called "The Village of Guilt" (1964), in which a failed experiment creates a giant octopus that terrorizes the population of a Norwegian fjord.
In a 2015 commercial for the U.S. insurer, GEICO, a "kraken" emerges from a golf course water hazard during a televised tournament, its tentacles writhing and grasping a golfer and his caddy, as the commentators intone with characteristic understatement that the sea monster looks like a kraken.
The kraken appears in an episode of Lost Tapes called "Kraken".
A floating-point bug in the space flight simulator Kerbal Space Program which caused vessels at high speed and/or far away places to be disassembled and destroyed was named "Space Kraken" by the community. This name was adopted by the developers, who named the fix for this bug "Krakensbane". Various other game-breaking or ship-destroying glitches have since been found, which are also referred to as the Kraken.