Lair of the Giant Kraken Discovered

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 12th, 2011

Source: The Escapist
Andy Chalk

Paleontologist Discovers “Giant Kraken Lair”

A paleontologist has discovered what he believes to be the lair of an ancient, real-life kraken.

The Kraken, as you may be aware, is a giant, octopus-like sea creature of myth, capable of dragging entire ships to the bottom of the ocean. Kids will probably tell you that Bill Nighy used one to put the screws to Johnny Depp not too long ago. But paleontologist Mark McMenamin believes that a real live kraken may have one day roamed the depths, albeit a little further back in history than is generally thought.

McMenamin spent time at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada this summer, examining the fossilized remains of nine 45-foot-log ichthyosaurs, giant marine reptiles that thrived during the Mesozoic era. In the 1950s, Charles Camp of U.C. Berkeley posited that these ichthyosaurs had died accidentally in shallow water or from ingesting a toxic plankton bloom, but a more recent analysis of the rocks around the fossils suggest that it was actually a deep-water environment, putting that theory in doubt.

That was the mystery that initially attracted McMenamin to the site, but it was the state of the bones that grabbed his attention once he got there. Not only did they indicate that the reptiles hadn’t all died at the same time, but they also appeared to have been “purposefully rearranged,” a behavior exhibited in the current era by none other than the octopus. He also noted that the skeletons had twisted necks and many more broken ribs than would be expected in an accidental death.

But that isn’t something any normal-sized octopus could pull off. Only a true colossus of the sea could capture and kill such massive prey. Only… a kraken! “I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart,” McMenamin said.

Even more bizarrely, the vertebrae are arranged in patterns similar to those of sucker discs on cephalopod arms. “In other words,” the Geological Society of America stated in a press release, “the vertebral disc ‘pavement’ seen at the state park may represent the earliest known self-portrait.”

Lending credence to McMenamin’s theory is a discovery by the Seattle Aquarium, captured on video, that large octopuses actually hunt and kill sharks. “We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing,” McMenamin said. “It was either drowning them or breaking their necks.”

His theory will be very difficult to prove. His hypothetical kraken is soft, squishy and, aside from its beak, entirely boneless, which means the likelihood of finding any fossilized evidence of the thing is extremely low. Nonetheless, McMenamin, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America yesterday, is confident in his work. “We’re ready for this,” he said. “We have a very good case.”

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

10 Responses to “Lair of the Giant Kraken Discovered”

  1. Ragnar responds:

    I read about this yesterday. The team has no fossil evidence and appear to making some of the stuff up out of whole cloth.

  2. wolfatrest responds:

    Gotta agree with Ragnar, there was absolutely no physical evidence to back up their claims. They had a hypothesis about the possibility of a creature that might have existed. What was amazing was how the media took this story and ran with it without ever bothering to get a second opinion from anyone.

  3. ericthegeek responds:

    Sounds like every other paleontologist out there. “Hey, I found this toe bone. It looks like this creature hunted in packs, lived in social groups, ate only small mammals and purple flowers from this extinct tree. They also like long walks and jazz music.”

    I don’t trust many of them as far as I can throw them. Too much guess work based on nothing at all.

  4. watn6789 responds:

    I have pictured the Kraken more like a giant squid as depicted in art…

    also @ericthegeek, got a laugh at ‘hunt in packs’

  5. djwcaw responds:

    Not sure why all the skepticism here…especially on a website dedicated to the ‘existence’ of hidden animals from arguably little scientific evidence spawning many and varied theories! *LOL* A new hypothesis is being offered based on the given fossil and geological evidence and has supplanted the ‘old’ 1950’s theory about the ichty’s all dying accidentally in shallow water or plankton bloom digestion. That’s how science works. New evidence (deep water) disproves the old hypotheses. I think it’s a very unique theory and I believe octopus fossils date back at least 300 mya whereby this formation is around 240-200mya. Was the ancestor to our cryptid giant squid around then? The theory will be tested as future and alternate hypotheses are developed and evidence is discovered.

  6. wolfatrest responds:

    The problem DJ is that there isn’t enough evidence for this to be considered a theory. The way the bones were lying could be attributed to many causes all of which would be more likely than a undiscovered creature. From what I’ve read, it seems as if he looked at the bones and thought, hmmm, seems a lot like the sucker pattern of a squid. What if……… As far as us being skeptical, if we aren’t the most skeptical of all, then you end up with even more hoaxes than have been previously done.

  7. Hapa responds:

    I think this is a stunning idea. Though the scientists will not be able to get a new species designation without a fossil, their argument may nevertheless convince scientists of their claim if it is good enough. Its also interesting how the size of the hypothetical prehistoric Kraken is similar to that of colossal Octupi sighted in modern times (the monsterquest base measurements of the modern monster Octopus I think measured 100-200 feet in length or arm span).

    Of course it should be noted that two Crypto-Krakens has already been discovered: the Giant and Colossal Squids

  8. springheeledjack responds:

    I agree. There’s not enough evidence to prove anything yet, but that’s how it all starts: you find something, you make a hypothesis, test it and see where it goes. The article to me, sounded like he was looking into it–didn’t mean he bought it hook line and sinker either, just saying that it was another possibility to explore.

    All of the kraken stories I’ve heard told (and granted many of them are probably just regurgitated renditions of a single story), talk about the actual kraken being so big that sailors actually mistake it for an island…to the extent of getting out of their ship/boat/etc. and exploring only to have the thing start moving around and realize it’s a living critter. The squid motif doesn’t fit there for me, because while squids get big, they’re more cylindrical and not very “island” like.

    As to what the kraken could be…heck if I know…the whale is the closest thing in size and volume we know of…however, Mcmenamin did point out that with the cephalopods and such things without vertebrae, they’re even more difficult to find in the fossil record. SO, if we have to take into account invertibrates, there could be an entire host of critters that have so far been unrecorded in history–now something the size of a small island seems a little sci-fi to me, but then again…I’ve seen some pretty weird critters coming up out of the ocean lately here and elsewhere…

    In the meantime, it is just another theory, but one we can watch and see what else shows up…to either support the idea or rule it out.

  9. Redrose999 responds:

    All they need to do is look at the bones for signs of a beak marks. The idea of a HUGE octopus isn’t impossible. It is exciting though.

    Paleopathology if applied with basic paleo forensics would help to shed some light on this. All they need to do is study the “victims” for injury, and match it up with modern animals and look for similarities with injury patterns. Obviously they’ve already done with with the stacking of bones and animal’s injuries. They should be looking for marks as well.

    They do this all the time with Dinosaurs and it is why we know T-rex, hunted Hadrosaurus. They matched teeth marks on the victim animal and it fit with the T rex teeth.

  10. wolfatrest responds:

    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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