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old comments[edit]

Discussion on reference to the colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. An edit in June 2005, suggested the kraken was based on this "recently discovered" squid. Well ignoring the fact that M. hamiltoni isn't recently hi whats going on...discovered (it was described in 1925) there seems no reason to associate it with the kraken which was an animal from the North Atlantic. Fearless nation though they are, the Norwegians were not exploring the southern ocean until the 19th century so I somehow doubt the kraken (term first used at end of 17th century) owes its origins to sightings of M. hamiltoni by Scandinavians. So I have deleted ref to colossal squid.

The other issue people may want to discuss here is whether "kraken" should be "Kraken". I would argue that as almost all authors including Pontoppidan said there was more than one it should be "kraken". It is not given as a proper noun in the OED. In its earliest use in English it is capitalised but then so were lots of other nouns as well and in context it is clearly being used as a noun rather than a proper noun. Tennyson, of course, uses it as a proper noun. But he was a poet and so is not really an appropriate authority on such an important matter :-) Longfellow (1862) treated it as a noun proving that not all poets are so flakey on sea monsters.

I suppose the parallel to follow might be Leviathan.--Wetman 3 July 2005 19:18 (UTC)
They appear to be using "Kraken" with a capital K in Norwegian, and that language use capitalizations more economically than English. "Kraken" is actually the noun krake in definite form, i.e. "Kraken" = "the Krake". On the other hand, "The ship was sunken by the Kraken, arrgg!" could be contrasted with "The ship was sunken by the lightning, arrgg!" That is, Kraken is more like a phenomenon than an animal ... or something like that :P (smiley)
I looked "krake" up in Norsk Ordbok [2] and also in Svenska Akademiens Ordbok [3] [4], which is a little more extensive. Both give the etymology as "krake: diseased or deformed animal", which in turn comes from a word for a ditto tree trunk. Salleman 3 July 2005 19:51 (UTC)
Hmm.. actually the Leviathan thing is an interesting insight. "leviathan" means "twisted/coiled" and so does "krake" (in their respective times). Pontoppidan, being a bishop and a scholar probably knew this. Perhaps he invented the name kraken as a translation of leviathan to 'biblicize' folk-beliefs, so to speak? This is pure speculation on my part of course, but Wallenberg seems to be making this connection as well. I'll see if I can find some real reference on this. BluePlatypus 17:27, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Pending tasks for Kraken[edit]

1. Find someone who can translate the following from Örvar-Odds saga:

Vignir sagði: "Rétt þykkir mér þér fara vit eptir vexti. Nú mun ek segja þér, at þetta eru sjóskrímsl tvau. Heitir annat hafgufa, en annat lyngbakr. Er hann mestr allra hvala í heiminum, en hafgufa er mest skrímsl skapat í sjónum. Er þat hennar náttúra, at hún gleypir bæði menn ok skip ok hvali ok allt þat hún náir. Hún er í kafi, svá at dægrum skiptir, ok þá hún skýtr upp höfði sínu ok nösum, þá er þat aldri skemmr en sjávarfall, at hún er uppi. Nú var þat leiðar sundit, er vér fórum á millum kjapta hennar, en nasir hennar ok inn neðri kjaptrinn váru klettar þeir, er yðr sýndist í hafinu, en lyngbakr var ey sjá, er niðr sökk. En Ögmundr flóki hefir sent þessi kvikvendi í móti þér með fjölkynngi sinni til þess at bana þér ok öllum mönnum þínum. Hugði hann, at svá skyldi hafa farit fleiri sem þeir, at nú drukknuðu, en hann ætlaði, at hafgufan skyldi hafa gleypt oss alla. Nú siglda ek því í gin hennar, at ek vissa, at hún var nýkomin upp. Nú höfum vér getat sét við þessum vélum Ögmundar, en þó er þat mín hyggja, at af honum hljótir þú verst allra manna,"

Here's my attempt at partial translation. I've havent studied this language, but it's somewhat simulare to Icelandic.

Vignir sagði: "Rétt þykkir mér þér fara vit eptir vexti.
Vignir said: You speak as your knowledge reaches.

Nú mun ek segja þér, at þetta eru sjóskrímsl tvau. Heitir annat hafgufa, en annat lyngbakr.
Now I'll tell you this, that these are seamonsters two. One named hafgufa, and the other lyngbakr.

Er hann mestr allra hvala í heiminum, en hafgufa er mest skrímsl skapat í sjónum.
He is the greatest of all whales in the world, but hafhufa is the most monster created at sea.

Er þat hennar náttúra, at hún gleypir bæði menn ok skip ok hvali ok allt þat hún náir.
It's in her nature, that she swallows both men and ship and whales and everything she reaches.

Hún er í kafi, svá at dægrum skiptir, ok þá hún skýtr upp höfði sínu ok nösum, þá er þat aldri skemmr en sjávarfall, at hún er uppi.
She is under the sea/she is diving, for days and days, and then she shoots up her head and nose, then there is never skemmr en tide, that she is up.

Nú var þat leiðar sundit, er vér fórum á millum kjapta hennar, en nasir hennar ok inn neðri kjaptrinn váru klettar þeir, er yðr sýndist í hafinu, en lyngbakr var ey sjá, er niðr sökk.
The passage we went throu, was beteen her mouths and her noses and lower jaw were what seemed to be cliffs in the sea, but lyngbakur was an island that sank in the sea.

En Ögmundr flóki hefir sent þessi kvikvendi í móti þér með fjölkynngi sinni til þess at bana þér ok öllum mönnum þínum.
But Ögmundr flóki has sent this beast against you with his magic to kill you and all your men.

Hugði hann, at svá skyldi hafa farit fleiri sem þeir, at nú drukknuðu, en hann ætlaði, at hafgufan skyldi hafa gleypt oss alla.
He expected that more whould have drowned, but ment to have Hafgufan swallowing thouse who didn't.

Nú siglda ek því í gin hennar, at ek vissa, at hún var nýkomin upp.
I was therefor sailing in her open mouth, since I knew, that she had just come up.

Nú höfum vér getat sét við þessum vélum Ögmundar, en þó er þat mín hyggja, at af honum hljótir þú verst allra manna,"
We have now been able to avoid this magic sent by Ögmund, but it is to my relief, that from him you hljótir worst of all men.

I hope you find someone to correct this and translate the rest. Internet 09:36, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

"Er hann mestr allra hvala í heiminum, en hafgufa er mest skrímsl skapat í sjónum.
He is the greatest of all whales in the world, but hafhufa is the most monster created at sea."
I would instead translate these instances of "mest" as the sense of "largest". Also, typo of Hafgufa as Hafhufa. LokiClock (talk) 02:29, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
"aldri skemmr en" would likely mean "an ever-shorter-than". Aldri means ever instead of never before a comparative or negative, en is used like English than, and skemmr means shorter (from skammr), or for a shorter time. LokiClock (talk) 02:42, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Also note that this will ultimately not be able to be included in the article, even if finished. Especially for translations, an external, reliable source needs to be given. LokiClock (talk) 10:00, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

2. Find Pontoppidan's description of Kraken. It doesn't appear to be anywhere online. Not in English, nor in Danish.

Translation from Ǫrvar-Odds Saga[edit]

The Old Norse of this passage should be in the common domain, having been written in the 13th century. There are certainly editions available that are in the common domain. I am using:

Rafn, Carl Christian, ed. Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda. Vol. 2. Copenhagen: Enni Poppsku. 1829. pp. 248-249. Google Books free ebook edition

The text in question is at the end of chapter 21:

"Nú mun ek segja þér, at þetta eru sjóskrímsl tvau. Heitir annat hafgufa, en annat lyngbakr. Er hann mestr allra hvala í heiminum, en hafgufa er mest skrímsl skapat í sjónum. Er þat hennar náttúra, at hún gleypir bæði menn ok skip ok hvali ok allt þat hún náir. Hún er í kafi, svá at dægrum skiptir, ok þá hún skýtr upp hǫfði sínu ok nǫsum, þá er þat aldri skemmr en sjávarfall, at hún er uppi. Nú var þat leiðar sundit, er vér fórum á millum kjapta hennar, en nasir hennar ok inn neðri kjaptrinn váru klettar þeir, er yðr sýndist í hafinu, en lyngbakr var ey sjá, er niðr sǫkk. En Ǫgmundr flóki hefir sent þessi kvikvendi í móti þér með fjǫlkynngi sinni til þess at bana þér ok ǫllum mǫnnum þínum. Hugði hann, at svá skyldi hafa farit fleiri sem þeir, at nú drukknuðu, en hann ætlaði, at hafgufan skyldi hafa gleypt oss alla. Nú siglda ek því í gin hennar, at ek vissa, at hún var nýkomin upp."

I make this:

Now I will tell you that there are two sea-monsters. One is called the hafgufa (sea-mist), another lyngbakr (heather-back). Whales are the biggest of of everything in the world, but the hafgufa is the greatest monster ocurring in the water. It is its nature that it swallows both men and ships and whales and everything that it can reach. It is submerged both by day and night together, and when it strikes up its head and nose above the surface, then it stays at least until the turn of the tide. Now, that sound we sailed through? We sailed between its jaws, and its nose and lower jaw were those rocks that appeared to you in the ocean, while the lyngbakr was the island we saw sinking down. However, Ǫgmundur Floki has sent these creatures to you by means of his secret arts for to cause the death of you and all your men. He thought that more men should have gone the same way as those that had already drowned, and he expected that the hafgufa would have swallowed us all. Today I sailed through its mouth because I knew that it had recently surfaced.

--Gunnora (talk) 17:58, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Translation from Konungs Skuggsjá[edit]

The text relating to the kraken is at the end of chpter 12:

Einn fiskr er enn útaldr, er mér vex heldr í augu frá at segja fyrir vaxtar hans sakir, þviat þat mun flestum mǫnnum útrúligt þykkja; þar kunnu ok fæstir frá hánum nǫkkut at segja gǫrla. þviat hann er flestum sjaldsénn, þviat hann er sjaldan við land eða í ván við veiðarmenn, ok ætla ek ekki þesskyns fisk margan i hǫfum; vér kǫllum hann optast á vára tungu hafgufu. Eigi kann ek skilvísliga fráa lengð hans at secja með álna tali, þviat þeim sinnum er hann hefir birzk fyrir mǫnnum, þá hefir hann landi sýnzk likari en fiski; hvárk spyr ek, at hann hafi veiddr verit né dauðr fundinn; ok þat þykki mér likt, at þeir sé eigi fleiri en tveir í hǫfum, ok ǫngvan ætla ek þá auka geta sín ámilli, þiat ek ætla þá hina sǫmu jafnan vera, of eigo mundi ǫðrum fiskum hlýða, at þeir væri svá margir sem aðrir hvalir fyrir mikilleika sakir þeirra, ok svá mikillar atvinnu er þeir þurfu. En sú er náttúra sǫgð þeirra fiska, at þegar er hann skal eta, þá gefr hann ropa mikinn upp or hálsi sér, ok fylgir þeim ropa mikil áta, svá at allskyns fiskar, þeir er í nánd verða staddir, þá samnask til, bæði smáir ok stórir, ok hyggjask sér skulu þar matar afla ok góðrar atvinnu; en þessi hinn mikli fiskr lætr standa munn sinn opinn meðan, ok er þat hlið eigi minna en sund mikit eða fjǫrðr, ok kunni fiskar eigi at varask þat at renna þar í með fjǫlda sinum. En þegar er kviðr hans er fullr ok munnr, þá lýkr hann saman munn sinn, ok hefir þá all veidda ok inni byrgða, er áðr girntusk þangat at leita sér til matfanga. (Keyser, Rudolph, Peter Andreas Munch, Carl Rikard Unger. Speculum Regale. Konungs-Skuggsjá. Oslo: Carl C. Werner & Co. 1848. Chapter 12, p. 32.)

My translation:

"There is a fish that is still unmentioned, which it is scarcely advisable to speak about on account of its size, because it will seem to most people incredible. There are only a very few who can speak upon it clearly, because it is seldom near land or appears where it may be seen by fishermen, and I suppose there are not many of this sort of fish in the sea. Most often in our tongue we call it hafgufa. Nor can I conclusively speak about its length in ells, because the times he has shown before men, he has appeared more like land than like a fish. Neither have I heard that one had been caught or found dead; and it seems to me as though there must be no more than two in the oceans, and I deem that each is unable to reproduce itself, for I believe that they are always the same ones. Then too, neither would it do for other fish if the hafgufa were of such a number as other whales, on account of their vastness, and how much subsistence that they need. It is said to be the nature of these fish that when it shall desire to eat, then it stretches up its neck with a great belching, and following this belching comes forth much food, so that all kinds of fish, that are at hand will come to present location, then will gather together, both small and large, and that believing they shall obtain there food and good eating; but this great fish lets its mouth stand open the while, and the gap is no less wide than that of a great sound or fjord, And nor may the fish avoid running together there in their great numbers. But as soon as its stomach and mouth is full, then it locks together its mouth and has them all caught and enclosed, that before greedily came there looking for food."

--Gunnora (talk) 21:55, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

18th c. translation of Pontoppidan[edit]

But the largest of the star-fish kind is that sea monster called kruken, kraken or krabben. Bochart, says our author, might with reason say, Lib. I, cap. 6, with Oppian. Halieut, cap. 1. In mare multa latent, i.e. In the ocean many things are hidden. Amongst the many great things which are in the ocean, and concealed from our eyes, or only presented to our view for a few minutes, is the kraken. This creature is the largest and most surprizing of all the animal creation, and consequently well deserves such an account as the nature of the thing, according to the Creator's wise ordinance, will admit of. Such I shall give at present, and perhaps much greater light in this subject may be reserved for posterity, according to the words of the son of Sirach, "Who hath seen him, that he might tell us? and who can magnify him as he is? There are yethid greater things than these be, for we have seen but a few of his works." Eccles. chap. xliii, ver. 31, 32.
Our fishermen unanimously affirm, and without the least variation in theoir accounts, that when they row out several miles to sea, particularly in the hot summer days, and by their situation (which they know by taking a view of certain points of land) expect to find 80 or 100 fathoms water, it often happens that they do not find above 20 or 30, and sometimes less. At these places they generaly find the greatest plenty of fish, especially cod and ling. Their lines they say are no sooner out than they may draw them up with hte hooks all full of fish; by this they judge that the kraken is at the bottom. They say this creature causes those unnatiral shallows mentioned above, and prevents their sounding. These the fishermen are always glad to find, looking upon them as a means of their taking abundance of fish. There are sometimes 20 boats or more got together, and throwing out their lines at a moderate distance from each other; and the only thing they then have to observe is, whether the depth continues to be the same, which they know by their lines, or whether it grows shallwoer by their seeming to have less water. If this last be the case, they find that the kraken is raising himself nearer the surface and then it is not time for them to stay any longer; they immediately leave off fishing, take to their oars, and get away as fast as they can. When theyhave reached the usual depth of the place, and find themselves out of danger, they lie upon their oars, and in a few minutes after they see this enormous monster come up to the surface of the water; he there shows himself sufficiently, though his whole body does not appear, which in all liklihood no human eye ever beheld (excepting the young of this species, which shall afterwards be spoken of;) its back or upper part, which seems to be in appearance about an English mile and a half in circumference (some say more, but I chuse the least for greater certainty) looks at first like a number of small islands, surrounded with something that floats and fluctuates like sea-weeds. Here and there a larger rising is observed like sand-banks, on which various kinds of small fishes are seen continually leaping about till they roll off into the water from te sides of it; at last several bright points or horns appear, which grow thicker and thicker the higher they rise above thesurface of the water, and sometimes they stand up as high and as large as the masts of middle-sized vessels.
It seems these are the creature's arms, and, it is said, if they were to lay hold of the largest man of war, they would pull it down to the bottom. After this monster has been seen on the surface of the water a short time, it begins slowly to sink again, and then the danger is as great as before; because the motion of his sinking causes such a swell in the sea, and such an eddy or whirlpool, that it draws every thing down with it.
As this enomous sea-animal in all probability may be reckoned of the polype, or of the star-fish kind, it seems that the parts which are seen rising at its pleasure, and are called arms, are properly the tentacula, or feeling instruments, called horns as well as arms. With these they move themselves, and likewise gather in their food.
Besides these, for this last purpose the great Creator has also given this creature a strong and peculiar scent, which it can emit at certain times, and by means of which it beguiles and draws other fish to come in heaps about it. This animal has another strange property, known by the experience of a great many old fishermen. They observe, that for some months the kraken or krabben is continually eating, and in other months he voids his excrements. During this evacuation the surface of the water is coloured with hte excrement, and appears quite thick and turbid. This murkiness is said to be so very agreeable to the smell or taste of other fishes, or to both, that they gather together from all parts to it, and keep for that purpose directly overthe kraken: He then opens his arms or horns, seizes and swallows his welcome guests, and converts them, after the due time, by digestion, into a bait for other fish of the same kind. I relate what is affirmed by many; but I cannot give so certain assurances of this particular, as I can of the existence of this surprising creature; tho i do not find any thing in it absolutely contrary to nature. As we can hardly expect an opportunity to examine this enormous sea animal alive, I am the more concerned that nobody embraced that opportunity which, according to the following account, once did, and perhaps never more may offer. The Rev. Mr. Friis, consistorial assessor, minister of Bodoen in Nordland, and vicar of the college for promoting Christian knowledge, gave me at the latter end of last year, when he was at Bergen, this relation; which I deliver again on his credit.
In the year 1680 a krake (perhaps a young and careless one) came into the water that runs between the rocks and cliffs in the parish of Alstahoug, though the general custom of that creature is to keep always severalleagues from land, and therefore of course they must die there. It happened that its extended long arms, or antennæ, which this creature seems to use like the snail, n turning about, caughthold of some trees standing near the water, which might easily have been torn up by the roots; but beside this, as it was found afterwards, he entangled himself in some openings or clefts in the rock, and therein stuck so fast, and hung so unfortunately, that he could not work himself out, but perished and petrified on the spot. The carcase, which was a long while decaying, and filled great part of that narrow channel, made it almost impassable by its intolerable stench.
The kraken has never been known to do any great harm, except they have taken away the lives of thise who conseuently could not bring the tidings. I have never heard but one instance mentioned, which happened a few years ago near Fridrichstad, in the diocese of Aggerhuus. they say that two fishermen accidentally, and to their great surprise, fell into such as spot on the water as has been before described, full of thick slime, almost like a morass. They immediately strive to get out of this place, but they had not time to turn quick enough to save themselves from one of the kraken's horns, which crushed the head of the boat so, that it was with great difficulty they saved their lives on the wreck, tho the weather was calm as possible; for these monsters never appear at other times. (The London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intelligencer Vol. 24 (Appendix, 1755). pp 622-624.)

--Gunnora (talk) 21:55, 24 May 2012 (UTC)


IMHO, this article really needs some work. First off, it should be clear that this is folklore, more specifically Norwegian folklore. It is not part of Swedish folklore, AFAICT, despite Wallenberg quote. The Wallenberg quote seems somewhat misleading as well. The author is clearly being humorous, and is essentially making fun of superstitious fishermen and Pontoppidan. It would be better to quote Pontoppidan directly, since that's the primary source here. Wallenberg has no doubt exaggerated for comical effect, as well.

The link to the norse sagas seems specious. Kraken is a sea-monster. The norwegian Sagas had sea monsters. Apart from that, I can's see any reason to believe they are the same. Is this about the Kraken myth or about scandinavian sea-monsters in general?

The link to HP Lovecraft should go. It's pure speculation, which has no place in a Wikipedia article. It's fine to report on the speculation of others - so write WHO supposed that Tennyson inspired Lovecraft, or get rid of it. The same goes for Tolkien. No original research and all that. User:BluePlatypus

Two simple google searches provided me with the sources for point three. Point one and two are basically what the "pending tasks" above are about. Pontoppidan would be better than Wallenberg, but I am unable to track down his work. The quote above might describe two creatures called Hafgufa and Lyngbakr, who are very large and floats on the sea like islands. When men land upon them, they return back to the depths, thus drowning all upon them. This sounds like a forerunner to Kraken of Pontopiddan. --Salleman 08:28, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I should perhaps underline that I don't mind references to fiction, but they need to be attributed and presented as "some[reference] consider it likely that Kraken may have inspired X" or similar. And not "it is likely that Kraken.. etc". (On another note: There should probably be a seperate section for 'Kraken in fiction' or something, to distinguish the actual folklore from the fiction it inspired. As for Hafgufa and Lyngbakr it's not enough that you think it 'sounds like a forerunner' because of Wikipedia's no original research policy. I think you'll need to find a reference to someone else making that connection. However, there are certainly sea-creatures in Pontopiddan which stem from the time of the Sagas: giant sea-snakes. BTW: Does anyone know who/what the sources earlier than Pontopiddan are? The Norwegian 'kraken' page says that Pontopiddan was first. BluePlatypus 17:30, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I think the Danish page brought me onto the Hafgufa tread. Do as you wish with it. Currently, the article falsely states that Kraken is plural. Kraken is definite article form: Kraken = The Krake, (and Krakes = kraker). I strongly get the impression from secondary accounts that Pontopiddan's Kraken is a one-of-a-kind creature, like Leviathan. The Krake would be correct, but a neologism in English, thus I have used Kraken as a proper noun when editing this article. Please leave comments on this. --Salleman 20:25, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, "Kraken" is definitely definite-form singular and nothing else. That should be pointed out, although there's no need to elaborate too much on the linguistics. (the curious can always go to the norwegian language page for that) It's perhaps noteworthy in this context that "krake" also exists in Swedish with the meaning "bläckfisk". But by all accounts this usage started after Pontopiddan and stems from the name of the mythical animal and not vice-versa. I agree that "the Kraken" is correct in english. By this time, it's entered common usage. BluePlatypus 16:37, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok so I've got a suggestion. I have read some of the stuff on this wikipedia page along with the eye witness accounts and descriptions from sailors a few hundred years ago. And I must come to the conclusion that with 90% certainty, at least half of the descriptions are actually based on sightings of humpback whales hunting. I've already registered this idea as my own through payment. But perhaps someone has already done this before me. Anyway I think it's relevant for people to investigate this idea further. Just watch a video on youtube "humpback whales hunting" and watch closely. I've read somewhere about bubbles as a sign of The Kraken coming to the surface. The Kraken slowly goes to the surface untill about 15 meters underneath the sea after wich it shoots up suddenly. Other accounts describe that fishermen have often taken the risk to fish just before the Kraken surfaces because the catch is amazing then (also the case when humpback whales surface as a group when hunting). Other accounts/descriptions by Hamilton R (I believe, not sure?) explain that the Kraken when it surfaces surfaces enough to be recogniseable. But it only shows a small part of it's body. And then visually the beaks of the whales breaching the surface could be interpreted as arms/tentacles.

I can tell you all the things. It's based on all kinds of small detailed descriptions. But as I said I'm 90% sure. Investigate it yourself. And hopefully it will soon be mentioned as a possible explaination for at least half of the sightings out there. Pay in mind though that only the described size is a lot smaller than the descriptions say. But with the fishing of today, perhaps in earlier days there were much larger schools of fish out there and much larger packs/groups of humpback whales coordinating this attack together. Making the end result a lot bigger, as some descriptions describe the size of the Kraken to be measured in miles (wich is by far bigger than today's packs of hunting humpback whales). Don't want to spoil your legend but yeah it's definately worth some investigation. Especially since the recent discovery of giant squid etc make the possibility of some kind of "Kraken" existing much more likely. So it's kind of important in some way as well. I am not a researcher by the way. I haven't got any real educational degree. I'm just a pretty uhm... bored person who has a lot of different interests and because of that I think I might have been able to combine several seemingly completely seperate phenomena into one event/explaination. Goodbye!

PS Also one description says that it's tentacles sometimes breach and rise as high as masts of mid-sized vessels. Wich is not that high if you think about it. Certainly not for vessels at that time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NielsM12345 (talkcontribs) 17:12, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Kraken according to Nordisk familjebok[edit]

For your consideration, I have translated the Swedish PD encyclopedia Nordisk familjebok's article on Kraken. [5] This is as close to Pontoppidan I can come at the moment. Any strange English are likely translational errors. --Salleman 21:22, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Kraken [the krake, the critter, the wretch] or Horven [the horv alt. the horve, I've never seen the word before], a fabulous sea monster of which E. Pontoppidan, supported by the tales of Norwegian fishermen, could tell remarkable things in Norges naturlige historie (1752—53). So, when fishermen on some hot summer day had rowed a few miles of the coast and according to common measurement should have found the bottom at 80–100 fathoms, it sometimes happen that the plumb stops at 20–30 fathoms. But in these waters are to be found the most abundant swarms of cod and ling. Then you can be sure that kraken rests down there; it is he who comprises the artificial raise in the ocean floor and with his excrements attracts the fish. But should the fishing people note that kraken hoists himself, they must swiftly move away. After a few minutes, the beast can be seen with the upper parts of his body lifted above the surface, which on 2.5 km distance appear as a collection of submerged rocks, draped in flowing seaweed-like outgrowths. Lastly can be seen some gleaming, towards the base increasingly thicker tips (or tentacles) who can even be as high as the mast of a ship. After a while, kraken again sink down, and one must then be careful not to be caught in the whirlpool he generates. (Cf. J. Furö, Fra Ishavets kyster, p. 9 ff.) Possibly, giant sea-polyps [Cephalopods?] have given rise to this tale.
Salleman, you'd better work the fishermen's description into a paragraph and edit it into the article (crediting Nordisk familjebok), shouldn't you? --Wetman 02:07, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
Sea-polyps - could mean jellyfish? BluePlatypus 16:50, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
From the same source: "Polyps (greek polypos, with many feet). In zoology, the name for numerous Cœlenterata and corals." A giant jellyfish. Well, that's a theory too, I guess. --Salleman 06:40, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Sounds good. May I suggest replacing the Wallenberg quote with this one, perhaps? Having several re-tellings of Pontopiddan's story seems redundant to me, and the Familjebok one is probably closer to the original anyway, since Wallenberg has a less serious tone. BluePlatypus 16:19, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

"Death" of Kraken[edit]

I found this rather interesting link, which mentions how the Kraken, sea-serpents and other folkelore myths were reglated to myth status during the Enlightenment. There's a citation of Johan Ernst Gunnerus: Critiske Tanker om Kraken, Søeormen og nogle flere Vidunder i Havet ('Critical thoughts on Kraken, the Sea-serpent and several other sea-monsters') from 1784. I think it's worth mentioning. So I guess in summary one could put the story of Kraken as "1) pre-18th century: Various folk-tales 2) Early 18th century: Kraken given authoriative form by Pontoppidan 3) Late 18th century: Discredited and regulated to mythological status 4) 19th century, revived in romantic fiction" .. quite a journey :) BluePlatypus 17:05, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Miscellaneous necessary?[edit]

Is the Miscellaneous section really necessary? Right now it seems to overlap the Kraken (disambiguation) page, which is linked right there at the top. Retodon8 21:28, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Reverted anon[edit]

I just reverted this from an anon vandal:

Another description, by the Bishop of Bergen, Erik Ludvigsen Pontoppidan, in his "The Natural History of Norway" described it as a "floating island" one and a half miles across. "It seems these are the creatures's arms, and, it is said, if they were to lay hold of the largest man-of-war, they would pull it down to the bottom"

If it is actually useful to the article feel free to put it back in. - RoyBoy 800 21:23, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Removed the Suikoden II reference[edit]

There are no talking Kraken in Suikoden II. Nor does the player have a navy. It's possible that this is a reference to Suikoden THREE (which I have never played), but regardless, I have removed it as it is incorrect.


Now this has become a serious article[edit]

I applaud the initiative of someone else for removing that totally needless section of popular references to the myth/monster. None of those references played a major role in increasing the popularity of the monster, but were, from my point of view, a mere result of its popularity. For example, including in the shark article a reference to the film would be justified, but including references to every game/novel featuring a shark would not. Also, I got the feeling that the only purpose that section was achieving was advertising games and films were the Kraken itself wasn't even playing a major role. Thereby, I'm opposing the revertion/reinsertion of that section in this article. DrJones 12:39, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Kraken is a specific mythological creature; that distinguishes it from (real) sharks that would likely have many, many more references.

I do agree that the list was excessive, though. I've thrown in a sentence for the introduction that says Kraken has been seen often in fiction (which it has), and I'll leave it at that. --Crazysunshine 05:56, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the popular culture-section was interesting and it is a common section in all articles about cryptids and legendary creatures. I resurrected that section as a new article and linked to it from this page. I hope that could be a good compromise for everybody! --Danielos2 08:11, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Merge Articles?[edit]

I think that, because of the similarity of the articles, Lusca should be merged to this article. Since Kraken is the more well-known name, a search for "Lusca" could be directed here, and a section could be put on this page regarding the Lusca. But the pages are so similar: same picture, same quotation.... NCartmell 00:00, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree, Lusca needs to be cleaned up. There are no historical links between the two monsters. The only link is the same purported cause but that is speculation.

This has already been discussed. The connection is that both may be giant octopi, but in both cases, some of the earlier identifications were not cephalopods, e.g. the Lusca was sometimes described as being dragon like, and the kraken as having crab-like characteristics.--MacRusgail 19:20, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Disagree. They are analogous, nothing more, and thus providing a link in the "See also" section is enough. Serendipodous 07:49, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Fished on Kraken?[edit]

'If a fisherman had an unusually good catch, they used to say to each other, "You must have fished on Kraken." '

Can we have a source on this? Sounds suspiciously like a joke to me. Maybe not a funny one. ACDavis 00:00, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

The belief that fishing above a resting Krake is especially good is mentioned in Richard Ellis's "Search for the Giant Squid" I think. Vultur 21:43, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


Who wrote that giant squid prey upon sperm whales!? Sheesh, how atrocious. Someone recommend why this sentence should not be completely and utterly destroyed forever, or I shall be forced to take the necessary measures. What if some poor middle-schooler comes to this site and puts that in a paper of his? Bah!

Cupbearer 08:09, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Good catch - a very quick glance at the giant squid article shows that the hunter-prey relationship is the other way round. I've removed the "(such as sperm whales)" bit. Carre 16:42, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Kraken and Cthulhu[edit]

I have a theory that Cthulhu may be based on the legend of the Kraken, as it has some similarities. Does anyone know of any other reference to this effect? Berimbau1 22:15, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Michael Bright and volcanoes?[edit]

In "There are Giants in the Sea", Michael Bright suggests that another contributor to the kraken legend might have been underwater volcanic eruptions. He says that early (medieval) descriptions showed it as vast and featureless, and the cephalopod features came later (when the monster became identified with the giant squid). Vultur 21:46, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

"The" Kraken[edit]

In 1830, possibly aware of Pierre Dénys de Montfort's work, Alfred Tennyson published his popular poem "The Kraken" (essentially an irregular sonnet), which disseminated Kraken in English forever fixed with its superfluous the.

If the last phrase of the above sentence makes any sense, please rephrase it so that it actually becomes clear for all readers. If not, I'll go ahead and delete the phrase (which disseminated...). --Ibn Battuta (talk) 02:21, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

To the extent it makes sense, it is untrue; there are numerous references to "the kraken" vs. "kraken" in English predating Tennyson's poem. Have removed the claim. Happy to provide sources, but not sure if that's the normal thing to do when removing an unsourced claim. Bassington (talk) 17:28, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Will Bassington's forthcoming references actually demonstrate that "the Kraken" was obscure in English before Tennyson and that information has been deleted on the basis of a quibble? Perhaps. We shall soon see. The less shrill former version of this statement was "In 1830, possibly aware of Pierre Dénys de Montfort's work, Alfred Tennyson published his popular poem "The Kraken" (essentially an irregular sonnet), which disseminated Kraken in English with its long-standing superfluous the". Obscure earlier appearance might make a useful footnote.--Wetman (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
"Kraken" was not obscure in English prior to Tennyson, Pontoppidan's article was widely reprinted. Do a Google book search. Also I am aware of no evidence that Tennyson influenced Verne (since when did English poets influence Frenchmen!!). Verne does not mention Tennyson or Denys de Montfort in 20000 Leagues Under the Sea but he does mention Pontoppidan. Denys de Montfort's work was not translated into English, Pontoppidan was, so directly or indirectly Tennyson had to be influenced by Pontoppidan too. Article edited in light of this. Tullimonstrum (talk) 21:18, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Dead Reference Link[edit]

This reference link appears to be a dead link. Should it be removed, or merely revised? Maetrix (talk) 20:56, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Giant humboldt.[edit]

A few months back I saw a special on one of the nominally educational upper cable channels (which one I can never remember) dealing with possible explanations for the kraken legends. At any rate, since in folklore the thing is consistently described as an extremely aggressive creature willing to venture to the surface to attack entire ships, which is behaviour quite uncharacteristic of both giganticus and colossus. So someone devised the hypothesis that there are humboldts almost never seen at upper deaths that grows to many times the size of its common brethren via cannibalism, and these are indeed the krakens of legend. Blah blah blah they constructed a camera probe and sent it down with a humboldt in the Sea of Cortez and caught a fleeting glimpse of an enormous squid whose body-to-tentacles ration was similar to that of a humboldt but its size was estimated to be more like that of a colossus.

tl;dr I can't find any info on this via google and I think it could be of great benefit to this article. It's undoubtedly of somewhat dubious scholarly merit (as anything on cable tends to be) but there must be some solid science behind it. If anyone has more information, kindly speak up! Wormwoodpoppies (talk) 03:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

The programme in question is History channel's Monster Quest. Unfortunately the size estimate of 108 feet (33 m) is bollocks. No squid species is known to even approach this size; the colossal squid and giant squid reach around 13 m in length. mgiganteus1 (talk) 18:55, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you give an updated link or the specific info from the page? The page is gone, and I can't get anything to come up on the archive page listed in the humboldt discussion page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:58, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Here's a web archive link: mgiganteus1 (talk) 16:15, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Another question: do squids have indeterminate growth? Many fish and mollusks are able to continue growing near-indefinitely so long as they have enough food. Even if modern squids can only reach a certain length, is there any real certainty that they couldn't have reached greater sizes in the past without various threats or competition for food? If their growth is indeterminate, then may there be some possibility that some could have gotten large enough to attack weakened or dying whales? This may explain the old stories (smaller ships may have looked like injured creatures from below, and the best way to attack a marine mammal would be to pull it down and drown it), as well as the fact that no squid we've found is large enough for some of the beaks we've found. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Concerning the article Mgiganteus1 cited, it appears quite ambiguous, too much to really merit calling the estimate "bollocks" if you ask me. It does not say that the measurement is false, in fact it seems to imply that the measurement would be accurate if the object to one side is the squid's eye, as the analysts on the show suggested. The lead investigator himself expressed skepticism about this, as anyone with sense would for a measurement so far above known scales, but this still does not disprove anything. The only thing with significant substance I got from that is that efforts are/were being made to obtain a better copy of the video in order to better determine the dimensions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

What happened to the 10 British ships?[edit]

From the article:

Montfort later dared more sensational claims. He proposed that ten British warships that had mysteriously disappeared one night in 1782 must have been attacked and sunk by giant octopuses. Unfortunately for Montfort, the British knew what had happened to the ships ...

Ok, but what actually did happen to the ships? --Badger151 (talk) 16:03, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

A candidate for Pending changes restriction[edit]

This article is a good candidate for pending changes restriction, so that revisions from new and unregistered users require review: see Wikipedia:Pending_changes. --Wetman (talk) 19:49, 26 August 2010 (UTC)


Current text: "Kraken may be derived from the Old Norse noun kraka "to drag under the water"."[1]

Can someone check this noun that's got a verb's "definition"?

This replaced the former text, reading "Kraken is the definite article form of krake, a Scandinavian word designating an unhealthy animal, or something twisted.[2] In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken.[3] Kraka in Old Norse is "crow". Thank you. Wetman (talk) 20:58, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ An Icelandic-English Dictionary (Second ed.). Oxford, England: Clarendon. 1957. , p. 354 s.v. kraka. [1]
  2. ^ Cognate with the English crook and crank.
  3. ^ Terrell (1999)

Lots of content removed...twice?[edit]

Blade-- we're curious what you've got in mind here with this multi-edit revision. Any clues as to what you're up to, or how long this will take, or why it involves the mass removal of information? Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 17:40, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Because right now it looks as though a baby and bathwater misfortune has struck the article.--Old Moonraker (talk) 19:41, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Any clues as to what you're up to? and baby and bathwater? Hurm. Expected better than that. So - unnecessary duplication of what is essentially the same image, repetition of a famous poem already on the "Kraken in popular culture" page, lengthy quotes that do not focus on the key issue, cited sources with no links which in effect means nothing, unsourced claims and finally a great deal of weak colloquial language. This article needs work if to be encylopedia standard. BladeofOlympus (talk) 02:17, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, whoever originally wrote this article really muddied the waters with the references as it is now difficult to assign statements to sources, and there appears to be some overlap. BladeofOlympus (talk) 02:28, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Sources may overlap, but that's a call for cleanup, not erasure. Also, one of your recent removals has confused the bit about the King's Mirror, which actually describes the hafgufa and suggests it might be the same beast known as the kraken in the narrator's homeland. What really confuses me is that I actually fixed that passage only a few hours ago (cleaning up the mistake I made when I originally added that and the reference for it) and it appears now to be just as unclear as it had been before I fixed it.
On a sidenote, the speedy removal of user talk page discussions (and especially blanking of the page) is usually indicative of someone who's up to no good and trying to hide something, so if you don't wish to attract attention, you'd be better off not clearing your talk page so quickly.
And...many sources quite simply can't be hyperlinked to the article. Texts aren't always available online. That doesn't mean the source is a bad source (in fact, printed sources are usually more trustworthy!). Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 02:53, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Bob, have implemented your suggestion and the King's Mirror is back in play. As to my Talk Page, nothing sinister - am trying (unsuccessfully at present) to implement an archive system. As I said, trying to make my Talk Page seem less like a hospital space. Regards BladeofOlympus (talk) 03:17, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, mgiganteus1 has made a faux pas and reverted material that has already been revamped, restoring many unnecessary repetitive images, unsourced statements and weak colloquial language. By all means tweak the technical aspects of the article, but please do not make wholesale reversions. For example, all the material for the Popular Culture article was already taken out and moved across. Thank you. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 00:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Stop, both of you, Blade and Mgig. [[WP:3RR]. Let's talk this out like civilized editors rather than haplessly reverting. Blade, I understand you have some problems with a large amount of the material that had been in this article, and Mgig, I understand you have a problem with the way this was handled (as do I). I believe we can salvage quite a bit of the material by digging up sources. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 18:06, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Here's my view. Like other editors, I'm concerned that the recent article trimming has been excessive, throwing out the good with the bad. I'll outline my issues with the current version:

  • Lead - The single-sentence lead is far too short. Per WP:LEAD, the intro should summarise the most important points and "be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article". As it is, the intro is little more than a dictionary definition.
  • Images - I think all three added value to the article as historical depictions of the subject - that they are broadly similar does not count against this in my view. Nor do I believe three images is excessive - there's plenty of room for them, even at the highest of screen resolutions. And a minor point, but I don't see why the caption of the one remaining image has been shortened, removing relevant detail.
  • Body of text - Here we have numerous deletions that are to the article's detriment, in my view. Why was mention of whirlpools removed from the coverage of Pontoppidan's claims? And what of Wallenberg's quote? Or the second paragraph about de Montfort? Or the one about changing depictions of the kraken?

I agree with Bob that the focus should now be on sourcing content. It's much easier to reference existing material than to start from scratch. If no supporting sources can be found then the material should, of course, be removed.

I'd welcome outside comments and will of course yield to consensus, wherever it may settle, but I haven't seen any demonstrated thusfar. mgiganteus1 (talk) 04:34, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

More sources are welcome, providing text is written in a concise., literary tone, which is where your version falls down. As to images, it is essentially three different versions of the same scene and the last two add nothing. I will see if I can find another that is truly original. I remember one from years ago that depicted the Kraken as a huge swordfish like creature with a tiny ship below for perspective. As to deletions, it goes to my point about statements being encyclopedia standard, as opposed to weak, colloquial statements. Quotes should also be concise and convey the gist of a point. As to technical tweaks, by all means, go ahead. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 05:40, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, a breakdown of the various weaknesses in the version mgiganteus1 keeps reverting to will be posted shortly. Regards PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 04:32, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't typically like to bring up disputes at WP:ANI due to the extremely stressful nature of the noticeboard; hopefully simply mentioning it there is enough alone to get this dispute back on track here to actually resolve the situation rather than continue reverting. If not, I can assure you corrective action will be taken. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 05:11, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
One would hope not. I have to say I am disappointed at the mass reversion given I came up with a nice compromise on another issue at Kraken in popular culture. I'll do a breakdown of the current version tomorrow. Regards PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 09:24, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd be interested to see this breakdown. I'll note however that my points about the length of the lead and specific removals have not been addressed. I've tried to find a more crab-like depiction of the kraken to balance the article image-wise, but no luck so far. I'll take another look later. In the meantime I've added a number of citations for some of the previously unreferenced bits. mgiganteus1 (talk) 11:10, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps, but still not an excuse for a mass revert! The smart thing to do was build on the corrected information that had no speculation, rambling statements or colloquial language...PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 11:19, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
A few things to start with as real world issues have taken up some of my time today:
  • There is no "stable" version - this is a myth as articles are constantly changing. Many, many articles - including this one - are poorly written and not at encyclopedia standard, for many of the reasons indicated above. The fact that no one actually attempted to improve the article (which takes a considerable amount of time: hence a blind revert is to be honest - and I say this in a clinical fashion with no venom - rather rude) for several days/weeks/months/years is not an argument. Please understand that.
Wikipedia is a work in progress and the previous, long-standing version of this article was far from ideal. I'm sure we can agree on that. My issue was with the amount of content that was removed, which included statements that can easily be sourced (I've sourced a number of them already) and colloquial language that can be improved with a bit of rewriting.
  • Old version distorted with a large white space at start of article.
Do you mean the white space created by the Refimprove tag?
  • Repetition of what is essentially the same image. We can look for another different image, but two is sufficient and it will need to be inserted in the correct place to ensure there is no further article warping.
I'd be fine with dropping the third image, but the first two are directly relevant as they show de Montfort's colossal octopus, which is discussed in the text.
  • The brief sourced mention of actual giant squids slots in at the end of the article, after discussion of the fictional creature, which is the focus of the article. Myth is balanced with fact in a summary for a nice conclusion.
Mention of giant squid naturally fits in towards the end of the article, agreed. But it also merits coverage in the lead, which should be able to stand alone as a summary of the article's main points.
  • Keep the literary meanings of Kraken on track: just what is relevant. Do not confuse issue with irrelevant details.
  • Mention of the whirlpools is actually fine, so long as the information is succinct and quotes do not ramble and are to the point.
Here I think we still disagree. I believe the entirety of Wallenberg's quote is relevant and benefits the article.
  • Last portion of old version rambles and uses colloquial language (Montfort later dared more sensational claims) and unsourced claims (In defence of Pierre Dénys de Montfort, it may be noted that some of his sources for the "kraken octopus" may have described the very real giant squid, Architeuthis, proven to exist in 1857).
The latter should go unless it can be sourced. As for the first bit, I don't really see the problem.
  • Unnecessary:

In 1830, Alfred Tennyson published his popular poem "The Kraken" (essentially an irregular sonnet). The poem in its last three lines, also bears similarities to the legend of Leviathan, a sea monster, who legend tells shall rise to the surface at the end of days. Pontoppidan's description influenced Jules Verne's depiction of the famous giant squid in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from 1870.

All at Kraken in popular culture - that's why there's a link!

Kraken in popular culture was created to avoid excessive pop culture clutter over here in the main article. This doesn't mean we have to exclude all coverage of popular references. I think both Tennyson and Verne deserve a brief mention here (as long as we can find a reference for the Verne claim, that is).

Also unnecessary: Later developments of the Kraken image may be traced at Kraken in popular culture. This is an out of universe statement in colloquial form, and again, there's a link: it goes under the universally accepted ==See also== section.

We should be trying to integrate topics into the article, not placing them under see also. See also is for articles that don't obviously fit into the main text but are nonetheless related in some way (like Cthulhu, see below). Kraken in popular culture should be easy enough to accommodate in-text.
  • Last one for now: Cthulhu is NOT NOT NOT a giant squid or anything of the kind! Have a read of the article (which I revamped). Any Lovecraft fan will tell you it ain't so and as such a mention only confuses the issue. The Kraken (novel) is also unnecessary as we go again to the Kraken in popular culture link above.
Nowhere is it claimed that Cthulhu is a giant squid or anything like a giant squid. It's included in the See also section because, like the kraken, it's a fictional giant sea creature with tentacles. I'm not too bothered whether this stays or goes but the link between the two is clear.

Have a think about that, and in a day or so I'll present a version that incorporate some of those things that you would like to keep. Most things can be retained, but we have just have to adhere to a few Wikipedia policies on presentation. Regards PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 11:54, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

I've added my reponses above in purple. I propose we work on a compromise version at Talk:Kraken/sandbox to avoid unnecessary edits to the main article. How does that sound? mgiganteus1 (talk) 23:26, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Glad to see this is cooling down! Face-grin.svg Good luck, both! Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 01:34, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
I encourage you to use a sandbox as Mgiganteus suggested. It's cleaner, less confusing, and easier to work with altogether. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 06:05, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
The updated version is in the Sandbox for comment. Let's put this to bed! PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 13:34, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Article now revamped to accommodate suggestions but still focused on relevant information without any speculation or weak language. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 02:28, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
OK, almost there. The date has been added to the 2nd image, a title for the section that separates fact from fiction (please also be careful with those edits, as the section on giant squid was repeated twice: at start and end. In a section at end that clarifies is fine), a source discussing the sonnet (and without a statement that carries opinion) and the giant squid link has been moved to the page of the same name as that is where it is relevant. I've have also retained the trimmed version of the quote because as a writer I can safely say this is standard practice. Brevity is always better, particularly when a quote meanders. Hence just the gist. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 04:20, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, more tweaking. Note that the article - indeed no article on Wikipedia or anywhere else - features what is essentially the same sentence twice. This is not done. What is now in place and does work is an expanded comment on the influence of the Kraken, with a Fact section in the correct place at the conclusion of the article. This has a logical flow. Also tweaked a sentence and added some punctuation to the quote to make it more readable. All in all, now complete. PurpleHeartEditor (talk) 03:49, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

"Habitat" in infobox[edit]

I'm no expert on these mythological animal entries, but is it usual to have a field for the creature's supposed habitat in the infobox? It seems almost comical to me, on first blush. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

When the habitat is part of the legend, yes. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 04:46, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Pilots in Norway in 1781?[edit]

That part has caught my attention:

"Swedish author Jacob Wallenberg described the Kraken in the 1781 work Min son på galejan ("My son on the galley"):[18] ... Kraken, also called the Crab-fish, which [according to the pilots of Norway] is not that huge..."

I removed the "[according to the pilots of Norway]" part as possible vandalism. Cmpxchg8b (talk) 18:00, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Scientists meeting the description of the Kraken[edit]

"In 2012, a team of scientists — marine biologists Edith Widder and Steve O'Shea, and zoologist Tsunemi Kobodera — discovered a giant squid that corresponded to the physical description of the kraken" Which physical description? Needs to be more specific, as this article names at least 3 separate descriptions of the beast (talk) 00:58, 20 March 2013 (UTC)


This article is full of (sorry!) shit. A 'Kraken' has nothing to do with squid, just nothing! A Kraken is an octopuss > not a squid. (talk) 17:13, 10 May 2014 (UTC)


I don't feel comfortable editing in the article, but there are several mistakes here:

"In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken.[22] In Dutch, the verb Kraken means breaking or the sound of cracking."

First "Kraken" is plural and a declined plural version of "Krake", but it is not a declined singular of the word for octopus. However, if you use the word "Krake" as the english Kraken, it has a different gender and therefore it is now can have the declined form "Kraken" (which then is a form of "der Krake" (kraken) and not "die Krake" (octopus). In my own experience, however, using the word "der Kraken" is much more common then "der Krake" when referring to the monster, whereas "die Krake" is the real animal.

In "kraken" does mean "to crack" - but it is also a noun which means exactly the same as in english, just type in "Kraken" in the dutch wikipedia.

Maybe someone can put all that in proper English and change the article? :) -Johannes203.206.166.123 (talk) 10:48, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Colorized colossal octopus copyright?[edit]

The lead image we have here appears in color, however the original work was black and white. Do we know when the color was added and who did it? The colorized version may fall under copyright if it was colorized recently. DreamGuy (talk) 13:45, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

In Popular Culture Section[edit]

Shouldn't this segment of the article be removed? There is already a completely separate article that is specifically Kraken in popular culture which is linked to just above that section. So, ALSO having this as a section in the main article is redundant. Not only that, but it kind of adds undue weight to those few items listed on the main Kraken article, since there's really nothing to indicate that these items are more important enough to be on this page while the rest are not. This section didn't even exist until just a few months ago, and should probably be removed again. (talk) 18:16, 15 January 2016 (UTC)


/krɑkən/, really? I've heard /krækɨn/ and /krekɨn/, but never /krɑkən/. I'm in the US, FWIW. (talk) 17:21, 13 August 2016 (UTC)