Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

I’m not talking about the rum, but I do think the bottles that brand come in look rather cool. I am talking about the legendary sea-monster that seems to be rumoured to well around the coasts of Norway and Greenland. It is a cephalopod which generally includes things like squid, octopus and nautilus. This particular type of marine life is characterized by large bodies, tentacles and many fishermen call them inkfish. Many of them do squirt ink so this does make sense.

There is a theory that many authors hold that the legend might be originated from sightings of giant squids. Giant squids can grow between 40-50 feet. It’s name is taken from Norwegian and an old Icelandic saga mentions a beast called hafgufa which swallows up men and ships. Some early accounts seem more crab-like than giant squid, but whatever the account it seems that the giant tentacled beast is now the modern accepted depiction.

A pretty famous poem by Alfred Tennyson was published in 1830 describing the massive creature at the depths of the ocean. In 1851 came Moby Dick by Herman Melville and it is described as a giant squid and similarly forms part of Jules Verne’s 1870 tales of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

The kraken is also referred to as a leviathan, this is from the Jewish belief and referenced in their texts in the Book of Job a large primeval monster is defeated by the god Hadad and various interpretations range from dragons and whales to sea monsters in general.

It is part of the Satanic Bible (1969) by Anton Szandor LaVey uses the Leviathan of the element of water, listing the leviathan of the Four Crown Princes of Hell. It is however not described as a kraken exactly but more as a large sea-serpent.

In modern culture the kraken has been imagined for various stories, 2010 saw the “release the kraken” line delivered by Liam Neeson as Zeus, and yes it is still used in our Dungeons and Dragons campaigns to this date, the film Clash of the Titans uses it as a servant of the Olympian Gods. In 2011 Wolverine and Hercules are attacked by the kraken, Marvel Comics. In 2016 King Nereus takes on a form of the kraken but is defeated by Aqua-Woman (Mera) in the DC comics universe of the Bombshells series.

The Disney series of Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest specifically, also brings the kraken to the big screen and TV’s as it devours Jack Sparrow under the servitude of Davy Jones. Used as servant it devours the souls of men marked by Davy Jones who are overdue on their payments. It appears at the end of At The World’s End as dead on the beach. I actually like its depiction in the second film as it felt like an all encompassing and fearsome creature.

It wouldn’t be my blog without mentioning H P Lovecraft and The Call of Cthulhu, the novel was written in 1926 and the Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M Price points to Tennyson’s influence when Lovecraft designed his description of Cthulhu. It is certainly a strong theory given his monstrous tentacles and that fact he is said to reside under the ocean in a large sunken city known as R’yleh. The location of this city was given by Lovecraft as being in the South Pacific. The position is known as ‘Nemo’ point which is a part of the ocean furthest away from any landmass. It is also known as a spacecraft cemetery, because a lot of our space rubbish is dumped there on re-entry as it is less likely to cause a collision with vessels and maritime traffic and is pretty lifeless due to a lack of nutrients in the area.

So I’m still a little off-topic from the kraken but I think it is loosely related so there is actually an old historical monument out there, the Antarctic Research Station, полюс недоступности (excuse any misspelling please), Pole of Inaccessibility Research Station at the Southern Pole and was founded and defined in 1958. It is also very cold there, -58.2c (-72.8f) and was initially reached on the 14th December, 1958 by an 18 man party.

26th December, 1958 the team left as it was too far from regular stations to be a safe venture. It has been visited since then and a bust of Vladimir Lenin was left at the site facing towards Moscow. In 2007 Team N2i ventured there and found the bust to still be visible and I am wondering if the kraken/Cthulhu would even notice knocking it over?

So do you think it is real? Asleep I some great depth or just an overly inflated tale about giant squid?

Sources: bbc.co.uk, traverse.npolar.no, wikipedia, gutenberg.org, victorianweb.org, lovecraftf.andom.org

Pirates of the Caribbean films

Old copy of the Satanic Bible – forgot I had this until I went digging around, old goth me would be impressed maybe.

H P Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu (from the compendium brought for me by friends!)

Denys de Montfort Poulpe Colossal.jpg
By Pierre Denys de Montfort († 1820) – Ellis, R. 1994. Monsters of the Sea. Robert Hale Ltd., Public Domain, Link

 

An unidentified woman was found dead in Isdalan Valley (hence her namesake) in Bergen, Norwary on 29th November 1970, even today her death and mystery remain a point of interest.

On the afternoon that she was found it was by a professor and his two daughters, they came across the charred remains of a woman’s torso. Her body was hidden amongst the rocks and with her they found a dozen pink sleeping pills, an empty bottle of liquor, a packed lunch and two more empty bottles which had the smell of gasoline.

A murder investigation was launched and the autopsy showed traces of around 50 or more sleeping pills in her body. On the neck was a bruise, she’d died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The investigation also found that she had two suitcases left at an NSB train station back in Bergen. Even the labels in her clothes had been removed and tags that might have been able to help identify her, her fingerprints were removed and there was a prescription bottle but the label had been removed so not even a doctor’s name could be traced. In an attempt to identify her they released sketches backed on witnesses and analysis of the body. It was even released via INTERPOL.

A variety of false names had been used by the woman as she travelled around Europe. She had used wigs and the diary entries were cryptic. The codes were deciphered and police concluded that they were of dates and places that she had visited. Dental checks suggested that she had been to a dentist in Latin America.

From witness reports she had spoken several languages, and whilst travelling had got hotel rooms always requesting a balcony. The last report of significance was when the Isdal woman checked out of Hotel Marin from room 407. She left having paid cash and got into a taxi.

Five days before this a man said he had seen her near the area where she was discovered. He stated that she was dressed elegantly, and not for walking, and he thought she seemed to want to say something. He said she was being followed by two men in black coats. The 26 year old man contacted the police when he recognised the sketch but says the policeman he spoke to had told him to forget it. He had said that the case would never be solved and then waited for 32 more years before stepping forwards publicly.

 

(Image seen on google, abovetopsecret, wikipedia and reddit)sv5353bc64

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a fascinating natural occurrence that has people travelling from all over the world to try and catch a glimpse. Most often the best country appears to be Norway however with the right night’s sky views they can be seen in other countries fairly clearly too.

Cruises for Norway can also be booked and thanks to websites you can sign up for alerts to tell you when they can be seen, or even if they are going to be seen in areas as far reaching as Scotland and sometimes parts of England.

Electrically charged particles from the sun, caught in the earth’s magnetism that slowly filter down and collide with oxygen particles that make them glow. Solar flares produce more of these events and the largest Aurora was recorded 2nd September 1859, it also coincided with magnetic and electrical storms.

I could go on and on about how stunning they are but instead, if you have been you can tell us here in the comments!