The Kraken: when myth encounters science

Rodrigo B. Salvador, Barbara M. Tomotani

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Hundreds of years ago, sailors were terrified by the Kraken, a dreadful sea monster capable of sinking ships and with a taste for human flesh. Today we know the legends of this monster were based on sightings of giant squids. This animal belongs to the genus Architeuthis and was the subject of many scientific studies. Despite its enormous size (up to 18m), the giant squid is astoundingly elusive and much of its biology remains unknown. Thus shrouded in mystery, Architeuthis is almost a mythological creature and has a place both in science and in myth: the very last of the legends to persist to this day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-994
Number of pages24
JournalHistória, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Architeuthis
  • cephalopod
  • giant squid
  • Microcosmus marinus
  • sea serpent
  • international


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