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According to legend this huge, tentacled, creature could reach as high as the top of a sailing ship's mast. Kraken's were reported to have attacked ships, wrapping their arms around the hull and trying to capsize it. The Kraken of legend is almost certainly due to the giant squid, the worlds largest and most aggressive mollusc.
Early stories about Kraken, from Norway in the twelfth century, describe a creature the size of an island. Even in 1752, when the Bishop of Bergen, Erik Ludvigsen Pontoppidan, wrote his The Natural History of Norway he described the Kraken as a "floating island" one and a half miles across. He also noted: "It seems these are the creatures's arms, and, it is said, if they were to lay hold of the largest man-of-war, they would pull it down to the bottom." Though giant squids are considerably less then a mile and a half across, they are large enough to wrestle and kill sperm whales and large sharks.
In the 1930's a 15,000 ton Royal Norwegian Navy tanker called The Brunswick was attacked at least three times by giant squid. For some unknown reason, the Brunswick looked like a whale to the squids. This suggests that the sperm whale is not always the aggressor in the battles. Each time the attack was deliberate as the squid would pace the ship, then turn, run into the ship and wrap it's tentacles around the hull. Since the animal was unable to get a good grip on the ship's steel surface, the animals slid off, fell into the ship's propellers and was killed.
While a giant octopus might also fit the description of the Kraken, the squid is larger, more aggressive and more likely to come to the surface where it might be seen by man.
MYSTERY SOLVED - The Kraken is the Giant Squid