Karen’s Folklore Tidbits – The Kraken

The Kraken

The Kraken


The origins of the Kraken have been traced back to the coasts of Greenland and Norway,from as far back as the 15 and 16th centuries. Sailors that have sailed the northern seas have depicted this creature mostly as large sea creatures that can span out more then a mile across, with huge octopus like tentacles. The Kraken are famous in stories for their Camouflage abilities and their ability to tear whole ships apart.


A antique plate depicting a Kraken attacking a merchant vessel.

In the late 14th century there were many stories of sailors awakening on top of the Kraken. These cunning creatures would surface and wait silently in the water for unsuspecting ships to mistake them for small islands. Then the Kraken would then encircle them with its huge body and drag the poor souls beneath the sea. Its been said that it could consume a whole fleet of ships in one go.


A giant Kraken attacking a large ship

The word Kraken derives from Scandinavia meaning [ something twisted]  The Kraken will be found in the deepest oceans, anchored to the floor very near huge underwater caverns which suffice as their underwater dwellings. It is said that with their size and strength, they could wrestle the largest of sperm whales with ease. There are many sightings of huge whales that have terrible scarring which they received during their encounters with the Kraken. Some believe the scars come from the poisonous suckers on the Kraken’s tentacles . Most sightings of this formidable creature have been known to happen immediately before volcanic activity on the sea bed. Many also appear in waters that develop dangerous currents and when there are sightings of many small inlets.


A depiction of a Kraken attacking a giant sperm whale

Suggested reading

200px-Thekrakenwakes  The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham.

jules verne  20000 Leagues Under the Sea  by Jules Verne,

china meiville  China Mieville  Kraken

The poem by Lord Tennyson really captures the essence of the Kraken.

The Kraken
by Alfred Tennyson

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 sea-worms 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.

See you next time here on



And beware of the Kraken!!!!


Posted on February 1, 2014, in Folklore and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I really like this one. It’s nice to hear from this blog again. Hope things are going well for you.

    • Hi China Sorrow, thanks for sticking with us. It had been a grueling 6 months for us here at the Stranger’s Bookshelf. Life kinda threw us a few unexpected curve balls so we kinda fell a bit on the wayside, but we picked our self up and are back.

      In addition we have been really coming up with some great new ideas for the site, some which will probably really interest you. We are going back to more of the book reviews as well as incorporating manga and graphic novels into those reviews. As to the books we are still mostly going to be reviewing fantasy and horror but this time with a more worldly slant as we hunt down books and authors that aren’t quite as well known in North America in the horror and fantasy field. For myself personally this is something that I really want to do because I have a great love for literature from China,Japan and Korea especially of the fantasy and horror genre, and I feel that these great works deserve more attention than what they are getting. I would also like to look at a bit more literature from India, Southeast Asia and some from the middle east, as well as some of the Gothic literature from central and east Europe.

      In addition to that, we are also looking into writing some articles about Manhua and Manhwa comics as well, because we feel they are often being overlooked by their better counterpart Manga. And speaking of manga, like I said earlier I am hoping to do several reviews on fantasy and horror Manga and graphic novels. I am also working on a new project and am hoping to share some of my artwork and ideas here on the Strangers Bookshelf. Can’t say too much at this point but it dose have something to do with manga/manhua/manhwa and graphic novels.

      Karen will still be doing Karen’s Folklore Tidbits, and has a special coming up on gargoyles which will surely be an interesting piece.

      Thank you for staying with us, and we here at the Stranger’s Bookshelf love it when our followers interact with us and we are hoping to encourage more of it so if you have any ideas, books or manga that you would us to take a look at please feel free to drop us a line, we look forward to hearing from you,especially because you are a fellow lover of Wuxia, and we love wuxia. and just can’t get enough of it. What we would like to do is find more people and fellow wuxia lovers to chat with, because we really want to promote it. And Once again because there is not enough of this genre available over here in North America, I am trying to learn Mandarin, so I can read great works by authors like Louis Cha [Jin Yong 查良鏞博士] and Manhua legends like Tony Wong {Wong Yuk-long (黃玉郎)} in their traditional form and be able to share them with others.

      Once again thank you so much for your reply and we hope that you have a pleasant day from us to you,

      Sincerely E&K (Hosts of The Stranger’s bookshelf)

      • Wow. Those ideas sound absolutely amazing. I’m quite excited.
        You don’t have to thank me for staying with you. This is one of my favourite blogs. It’s so unique.
        I hope you two have a good day as well.

  1. Pingback: Famous Mythical Sea Creatures | Nantucket Brand Blog

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