For centuries sailors have traveled the world's seas and returned with stories of a creature that would emerge from the water and attack their vessels, snaring men off their decks and capsizing boats. In some tales the crew might see an island and attempt to land but are surprised when this "island" submerges and attacks the ship, destroying the vessel and killing its crew.
This creature became known as The Kraken and it was THE beast that many came to fear, as second-hand stories of encounters with this beast traveled from crew to crew and port to port. Descriptions varied, but many described it as a gigantic crab-like creature.
However, since the 18th century, this legendary creature has been described as more octopus-like and reports of this creature attacking men in whaling vessels started emerging.
Since the 12th century, Norwegian sailors first described a squid-like creature that had large tentacles that could reach the tallest of masts and sink ships. The word 'Kraken' actually comes from the Norwegian and German languages and many have depicted these encounters in art and fiction. The most notable depiction was in Jules Verne's classic tale '20,000 Leagues under the Sea', which depicts the crew aboard the Nautilus being attacked by a number of Giant Squid. The chapter depicting the battle between crew and these monsters was inspired by stories Verne had heard from sea-farers tales.