From a jaded 21st century perspective, it's all too easy to dismiss tales from pre-modern mariners as superstitious tall tales. Written accounts of encounters with unspeakably huge and malevolent oceanic beasts sound like exaggerations at best and outright lies at worst.
The fact of the matter remains, however, that 95% of the world's oceans remain unexplored. The briny depths of North Atlantic where even light can't reach, may very well have been home to the fearsome kraken, a monstrous leviathan that could crush even the sturdiest vessel and devour every sailor aboard, be they swabs, mates, or officers.
In Norwegian, kraken means "twisted creature," and accounts of its appearance vary. Some include vivid descriptions of tentacles, others of razor sharp teeth. All agree, however, that the creature was unfathomably large, so large it could even be mistaken for a mass of land on the surface.
The 16th century book Konungs skuggsja describes a creature that may very well have been a kraken. "There is a fish that is still unmentioned, which it is scarcely advisable to speak about on account of its size, because it will seem to most people incredible," writes the mysterious author. "There are only a very few who can speak upon it clearly, because it is seldom near land nor appears where it may be seen by fishermen, and I suppose there are not many of this sort of fish in the sea."
Hold you breath and dive into the briny depths of the video below. And remember to beware the kraken!