I knew that I would write about this creature when I got to K. It is a creature that I am pretty familiar with, having been a huge fan of the film Clash Of The Titans – the original one. The creature I have always been familiar with is enormously tall, sort of like a huge lizard type man, as per the Kraken in the film. So imagine my surprise when I look into this myth and discover that the Kraken is in fact a huge Octopus.
The myth states that this creature loves the taste of human flesh, as well as consuming ships, whole. Sailors who happened upon a sleeping Kraken would often mistake it for an island – the top of its head quite often the only thing visible. They only discovered the truth when their ships’ were attacked.
Of course, the legend I am familiar with is the one from the Clash Of The Titans. The Princess Andromeda is to be sacrificed to the Kraken as a result of her mother’s bragging about her beauty. Cassiopeia claims that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Goddess Thetis and this angers her, hence the sacrifice. Of course she is saved by Perseus, who marries her after solving an almost impossible riddle, who just gets to her in time after severing the head of the Gorgon, a creature who turns everything to stone if she looks into their eyes. Perseus uses Medusa’s head – because even in death her stare is lethal – to turn the Kraken into stone and he holds Medusa’s head up for so long that the Kraken cracks and crumbles into the sea.
That myth is a far cry from the stories of Octopus like creatures who devour men and ships.