1. Story of the Sea Monster
Stories of sea monsters have existed since humans sailed to sea. These creatures exist in several forms. Sightings include serpent like creatures, marine dinosaurs, giant squid, and gill men.
Photo: Sea Monster (Creative Commons: Dave Mathis).
2. Sea Serpents
One popular form of the sea monster has been the sea serpent. Over history, reports have come in of giant snake like creatures longer than ships sailing the sea. Sea serpents have been depicted as large snake like creatures. Sometimes they have had manes like a lion, fins, horns, or a long tail.
Image: Sailors’ description of a sea serpent (source: public domain).
3. More Sea Serpents
“On the 6th of July 1734, when off the south coast of Greenland, a sea-monster appeared to us, whose head, when raised, was on level with our main-top. Its snout was long and sharp, and it blew water almost like a whale; it has large broad paws; its body was covered with scales; its skin was rough and uneven; in other respects it was as a serpent; and when it dived, its tail, which was raised in the air, appeared to be a whole ship’s length from its body.”
Image: Sea Serpent (Creative Commons: Coryn Wolk).
4. Lake Monsters
Scotland’s Loch Ness monster is the most famous lake monster. However, lake monster sightings in Asia, the Americas and Africa exist in local folklore.
Photo: Loch Ness monster photograph (source: Erik Morner).
5. Aquatic Dinosaurs
One explanation for sea and lake monsters is the belief that aquatic dinosaurs have survived. The elasmosaurus which is now extinct does resemble the famous Loch Ness monster.
Image: Elasmosaurus (Creative Commons: Gerry Thomasen).
6. Fossil Evidence
Another contender for the sea monster title is the plesiosaur. Also extinct, fossils of the plesiosaur seem to match many sea and lake monster sightings. But, is it possible for dinosaurs to still be alive today?
Photo: fossils of a plesiosaur (Creative Commons: CNilsen).
7. Coelacanth: A Living Fossil
The coelacanth was thought to be extinct for the past 65 million years or so. Then, in 1938, one of these ‘extinct’ fish was caught off South Africa. Believers in sea monsters have argued that it may be also possible for the plesiosaur or elasmosaur to still be alive today.
Photo: A preserved coelacanth caught in 1974 in the Indian Ocean (Creative Commons: Smerikal).
8. The Kraken
Another popular sea monster in folklore is the kraken. The kraken is a sea monster with giant tentacles. The kraken resembles a gigantic squid. What sets the kraken apart from the sea serpent is that giant squid do actually exist. The giant squid can grow to lengths of over 13 meters. Large sucker marks on sperm whales suggest battles between these two beasts.
Image: A giant squid battling a sperm whale (Creative commons: Ed T).
9. Gill Man
A final sea monster that exists in folklore around the world is the gill man. The gill man is a lizard like creature that resembles a human. Living underwater, it has gills like a fish.
Photo: Gill man (source: Creature from the Black Lagoon movie).
10. Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills
Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.
How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.