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Home > History > Explorer Legends, Goals, and Destinations - Sea Monsters

Explorer Legends, Goals, and Destinations - Sea Monsters

This page describes the legends of various sea monsters during the Age of Exploration.

Sea Monsters

Sea Monsters

In the 1400's and 1500's, much of the world had not been explored. Large portions of the populations believed in myths and legends we would call ridiculous today. Many sailors aboard early seafaring vessels believed that terrible, serpent-like sea monsters existed, that the water boiled near the equator, and that a ship could simply sail off the edge of the world. In deed, many of the maps published during these times came complete with sea monster images swimming in the oceans. Among the monsters reported by some expeditions was the Kraken, a large sea monster that could envelop ships and toss them into the air. Most reports were probably a combination of fact and exaggeration, as the Giant Squid and Basking Shark can appear as sea monsters to those not expecting them. There were even books published that detailed the various sea monsters that could be encountered in the open ocean. Among the monsters detailed was the aforementioned Kraken, and another that appeared as a lobster the size of a whale. Other monsters, known as "The Sea Bishop," and "Sea Monk" had the heads of clergy men and the bodies of an unidentified sea creature.




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