Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Kraken

The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. A number of authors over the years have postulated that the legend originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 12–15 meters (40–50 feet) in length, despite the fact that the creature in the original tales was not described as having tentacles and more closely resembled a whale or crab. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works. It was first described by the Dane, Erik Pontoppidan in his first book: Det første forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie, forestillende dette kongeriges Luft, Fjelde, Vand, Væxter, Metaller, Mineraliser, Steen-arter, Dyr, Fugle, Fiske og omsider Indbyggernes Naturel, samt Sædvaner og Levemaad, I-II, Kbh. 1752-1753

The English word kraken is taken from Norwegian. In Norwegian Kraken is the definite form of krake, a word designating an unhealthy animal or something twisted (cognate with the English crook and crank). In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary kraken.

The legend of the kraken continues to the present day, with numerous references existing in popular culture, including film, literature, television, video games and other miscellaneous examples (e.g. postage stamps, a rollercoaster ride, and a rum product).

In 1830 Alfred Tennyson published the irregular sonnet The Kraken, which described a massive creature that dwells at the bottom of the sea:

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick (Chapter 59. Squid.) the Pequod encounters what chief mate Starbuck identifies as: "The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it." Narrator Ishmael adds: "There seems some ground to imagine that the great Kraken of Bishop Pontoppodan [sic] may ultimately resolve itself into Squid." He concludes the chapter by adding: "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."

Pontoppidan's description influenced Jules Verne's depiction of the famous giant squid in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from 1870.

Marvel Comics has its own version of the Kraken.
The Kraken (comic book character) from The Umbrella Academy was named so after the Kraken (sea monster) as he has the ability to breathe under water.
In the manga Rosario + Vampire the character Okuto Kotsubo is a kraken.
In the Disney comic series "Tamers of Nonhuman Threats" the Kraken appears in the fifth story, "Let's Get Kraken". In this story, the Kraken has a natural enemy, the sperm whale.
In the hit manga One Piece, a kraken named Surume is a minor character in the Fishman Island Arc.

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.
The Kraken appears in Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003) where it is shown to be telepathic.
A telemovie called Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006) features the Kraken as its main antagonist.
In the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), the Kraken is an enormous cephalopod-like sea monster. It does the bidding of Davy Jones by pursuing the souls of men who bear the black spot, a mark that appears on men who are overdue on their debt to Jones.
In the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans (2010), the Kraken is again featured as a servant of the Olympian Gods. 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 Hades' creation 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 1830 Alfred Tennyson published the irregular sonnet The Kraken, which described a massive creature that dwelled at the bottom of the sea.
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."
Jules Verne's 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea featured a group of giant squids that attack the submarine Nautilus.
H. P. Lovecraft's novel The Call of Cthulhu, written in 1926, according to Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M. Price, has been inspired by Alfred Tennyson's sonnet. Both reference a huge aquatic creature sleeping for an eternity at the bottom of the ocean and destined to emerge from his slumber in an apocalyptic age.
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 novella The Kragen, depicts a world where natives must beware the kragen, giant, semi-intelligent squid-like predators which roam the ocean.
In Richard Adams' novel The Girl in a Swing, the main female character is stalked by the Kraken to punish her for the crime of murder by drowning.
Terry Brooks' 1985 novel The Wishsong of Shannara features a Kraken as a giant sea creature summoned by "dark magic" to join an assault on a Dwarf fortress.
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).
In Ken MacLeod's trilogy Engines of lights (Cosmonaut Keep, Dark Light, Engine City), the giant squids or kraken are one of the five intelligent species from Earth that colonized the Galaxy, the others being one species of saurs and three species of hominidae, including the Homo sapiens. The krakens are the most intelligent of the space colonizers, and the ones who created the technology which made interstellar travels possible,
In Michael Crichton's posthumous 2009 novel Pirate Latitudes the sailors call the large sea creature that terrorizes the protagonist's ship "the kraken".
China Miéville's 2010 novel Kraken features a cult devoted to the worship of the creature.
In George R.R. Martin's saga A Song of Ice and Fire, House Greyjoy uses a Kraken in its sigil. In the television adaptation, the Kraken sigil closely resembles a giant squid.

"Kraken" is a song by filk songwriter Leslie Fish, based partly on the Tennyson sonnet.
"Kraken" Is a song by Knife Party featured on their most recent EP, Trigger Warning

In the HBO series Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's fantasy novel series The Song of Ice and Fire, on which the TV series is based, the Kraken is the sigil of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands.
The television series Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell has a kraken character (Michael Ward) who lives in a closet on the set and is occasionally released by the character Sir Bobo Gargle (Francis Greenslade), where he dances to "Mickey".
An episode of Angry Birds Toons titled 'Sweets of Doom ' featured glowing candy when King Pig ate some and turned into a huge Kraken-like octopus.
The Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper mentions krakens in the episodes "Release the Kraken" and "The Date Night Variable", and in "The Hofstadter Insufficiency", Sheldon dreams of Leonard being grabbed by a kraken and pulled off the research ship he was on.
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".
Video games
Age of Mythology (2002)
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
Darkfall: Unholy Wars (2013)
Darkfall Online (2009)
Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)
EarthBound (1994)
One of the monster classes in the 2015 video game Evolve is named Kraken.
Fable: The Lost Chapters (2004)
Final Fantasy (1987)
Final Fantasy ARR (2012)
God of War II (2007)
Golden Sun (2001)
Heroes of Newerth (2010)
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (2003)
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.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
Secrets of the Deep for Pinball FX 2 (2011)
Shamu's Deep Sea Adventures (2005)
Shining Force II (1993)
Smite (2013)
The Ocean Hunter (1998)
The Sims 3: Island Paradise (2013)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)
Wonder Boy in Monster Land (1987)
World of Warcraft (2004)
Risen 2 (2012)
Vainglory (video game) (2014)
Splatoon (2015): the Kraken is a special weapon obtainable in a match that allows the player to temporarily become a giant squid and move with great speed across the map.

In Greek mythology, Perseus defeats a monster called Ceto, represented by the constellation of Cetus (usually depicted as a whale, whose systematic name is Cetacean, also deriving from Ceto).
In 1990, a set of four postage stamps displaying legendary Canadian animals was released. One stamp in the set featured the kraken.
Magic: The Gathering features the kraken as a creature type. Alongside their aquatic brethren leviathans, krakens are typically among the largest creatures available to summon with blue mana.
Kraken was the name of a marine biological supply house in the United Kingdom from 1968 to 1978. A historical website exists .
The Kraken is a steel floorless roller coaster manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard. It opened in 2000 and is located at SeaWorld Orlando, in the United States.
The Kraken Rum is a 94 proof rum manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago; it was released in the United States in 2009.
The Cassini probe has detected a huge body of liquid on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. It has since been named the Kraken Mare.
Greg Hardy, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, is called "The Kraken" by himself and his fans. "The Kraken's" School has been listed as Hogwarts.
The Razer Kraken is a gaming/music headphone range created by Razer Inc.
Filipino basketball player June Mar Fajardo of the San Miguel Beermen is often called the "Kraken" during broadcasts of Philippine Basketball Association games and the Philippines men's national basketball team. The term was first used in 2010 by members at the forum

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