It Came From Beneath The Sea.

Release the Kraken!

–Zeus, Clash Of The Titans

The creature superimposes itself upon you by a thousand mouths; the hydra incorporates itself with the man; the man amalgamates himself with the hydra. You form but one. This dream is upon you. The tiger can only devour you; the octopus, oh horror! breathes you in. It draws you to it, and into it, and bound, ensnared, powerless, you slowly feel yourself emptied into that frightful pond, which is the monster itself.

–Victor Hugo, Toilers Of The Sea

What a scene! Seized by the tentacle and glued to its suckers, the unfortunate man was swinging in the air at the mercy of this enormous appendage. He gasped, he choked, he yelled: “Help! Help!” These words, pronounced in French, left me deeply stunned! So I had a fellow countryman on board, perhaps several! I’ll hear his harrowing plea the rest of my life!

–Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Swallowing my disgust I reached under her slippery head and draped it over my arms. It was like picking up entrails. Carefully, carefully, I carried her outside and deposited her on the ground at the bottom of the porch steps. She had enough energy to carve a wicked gash in my arm with a talon before vanishing.

–William Sleator, Interstellar Pig

The Kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance.

–Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

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.

–Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Kraken

Had a person attempted to taste me so soon after we met, I would have been alarmed; but since Athena was an octopus, I was thrilled. Although we couldn’t have been more different — I, a terrestrial vertebrate constrained by joints and bound to air; she, a marine mollusk with not a single bone, who breathed water — she was clearly as curious about me as I was about her.

–Sy Montgomery, The Soul Of An Octopus

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  1. mydangblog

    Fascinating mythology! My next publishing project is a short story collection by a Canadian author called In The Lair of the Kraken—the first story is about a sea captain who battles one!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That sounds amazing and I want to get that as soon as it comes out! As you can tell I have a thing for cephalopods–although they really seem to be having a moment with books like Sy Montgomery’s and the documentary “My Octopus Teacher”. I was fascinated by octopuses when I was a kid and thought I was alone but I now realize how many others shared that same interest.

  2. Ann Koplow

    Thanks for releasing this awesome post, my four-limbed friend.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It still amazes me that someone painted an octopus in what was clearly a difficult position to reach, and it amazes me even more, once I started looking, how many octopus and cephalopod-themed quotes I could find. I didn’t even release them all.


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