sea monsters

Favorite TV Monsters: Sigmund the Sea Monster!

Sigmund.jpg

 

I could have sworn Sigmund and the Sea Monsters came on during the Krofft Supershow, but research has shown me that we saw this particular Krofft offering on Saturday morning on its own. Either way, I  LOVED this show, especially Sigmund’s brothers, Blurp and Slurp(who I would love to do costumes of with Steve). Often on websites you will see  the two names written “Burp and Slurp”, but if you watch the show, Sigmund’s tan-colored brother with the lower voice is clearly addressed as “Blurp”.

Sigmund’s cute little mouth with one tooth was the inspiration for Mo(my Puppatoons logo character)’s mouth.  😀

Dragons of Oceania: Araiteuru of New Zealand!

Araiteuru.jpg

 

Araiteuru is one of  the famous taniwha—guardians of the seas around Aotearoa (New Zealand). She was a female taniwha, believed to have escorted the Māmari canoe to New Zealand from Hawaiki. In other traditions,Araiteuru and another taniwha named Ruamano guided the Tākitimu canoe.
Araiteuru gave birth very shortly after her voyage. She had eleven taniwha sons,and she asked all of her children to go forth and see the country in which they lived, burrowing as far as they could. Then they were to return and report what they had seen.
On the sons’ journeys,they burrowed and dug trenches and valleys – creating the many branches of the Hokianga Harbour and surrounding geography as part of their burrowing quests.
Today, Araiteuru lives in a cave to the south of Hokianga Harbour  opening,where passersby can see the surf breaking across the bar. She is the guardian taniwha of the region, companioned with another taniwha named Niua, who lives to the north of the harbour.  Locals make sure not to bother or anger Araiteuru, for she has been known to raise storms or even wreck traveling vessels if provoked.

Sea Monsters: Ketos! (sea monster or ancient giraffe?)

Ketos.jpgOn Dec. 17, 2002,Adrienne Mayor published this in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology:

“This note proposes a new interpretation of a scene on a well-known Corinthian vase illustrating the Homeric legend of Herakles rescuing Hesione from the Monster of Troy. Commentators have assumed that the artist intended to depict the monster as a ketos, an imaginary sea monster, but the features of the beast do not conform to the traditional imagery of sea monsters in Greek art.
I suggest that instead of creating a typical hybrid sea monster by mixing the features of various living creatures, this artist used for his model the large fossil skull of a prehistoric mammal. The vase was painted in the midst of widespread interest in large fossil remains, which the ancient Greeks identified as relics of giants and monsters of the mythological age.
The features of the odd head on the vase match the basic skull anatomy of a large mammal of the Tertiary age, such as the Samotherium, a giant giraffe of the Miocene epoch. Numerous literary accounts describe exposures of these and similar large mammal fossils in antiquity along the Turkish coast, on Aegean islands, and on the Greek mainland. I conclude that this vase painting is the earliest artistic record of such a discovery.”

Monsters of the Sea: Sea Serpent of Gloucester!

Gloucester.jpg

This image is drawn from an early engraving depicting the monster with the caption, “Taken from life as appeared in Gloucester Harbour, August 23, 1817”.
First mentioned in 1638, and last seen in 1962, it was about seventy feet long, with big eyes, sharp teeth, and a scaly body. The serpentine beast was said to lurk in the waters off the harbor of Gloucester,located just north of Boston on the lower portion of Cape Ann.
During the summer of 1817, the serpent made its temporary home in the harbor. For almost an entire month, sightings were reported. This is particularly significant as Gloucester has always been a fishing community populated by individuals who were well familiar with the fauna of the sea.
General David Humphreys, a former member of George Washington’s staff, travelled down to Gloucester to interview witnesses. According to the testimony he gathered, the creature’s head, which it held above the water, was “much like the head of a turtle… and larger than the head on any dog.” Its color was like “dark chocolate”, although as the years went on its skin seemed to turn darker, to almost black. In a compilation of sightings printed in the Boston Weekly Messenger it was further reported that the creature was sixty to seventy feet in length, that it was about as wide as a barrel, that it moved rapidly in a serpentine fashion, that it was able to double back upon itself instantaneously. Countless people tried to kill it with muskets and harpoons but failed. Between 1817 and 1819, hundreds of people  reported seeing the monster.

Fiery Friday Dragons: The Drac of France!

Drac of France_0002.jpg

 

In the south of France, the little town of Beaucarie nestles on the banks of the River Rhone. In the 13th century,in the deep waters of this river, lived the Drac, an immense scaly beast that killed over 3,000 villagers and knights. Although it primarily lurked in the water, this serpentlike dragon had wings.
Early French and Germanic histories tell of the many unsuccessful campaigns to slay the Drac. Ocino, Ragnarold, and Umberto of Guineve all attempted to kill it, but their campaigns failed,and it is supposed that the Drac eventually died of old age.

A legend is told that a young woman was taken by the dragon to care for the beast’s  hatchlings. The woman was under a spell that made her forget her mortal life for seven years as she cared for the young dragons. She and all mortals were unable to see the dragon unless the Drac wished. The woman was made to rub a magic cream on the eyes of the hatchlings under the instructions of the dragon, and in the process she accidentally smeared some in her own eye. This action caused her to be gifted with draconic sight, and she was able to see the dragon on her own. The Drac returned the woman to her village after seven years.
The young woman then tried to warn the townspeople of the dragon but no one would believe her story. When the dragon discovered that the woman could see her, she returned with venegance, and ripped out the woman’s dragon-sighted eye so that the woman could no longer detect her presence.

 

Spooky Saturday: The Bakekujira.

Bake Kujira_0002.jpg

Translated literally as “ghost whale”, the Bakekujira are animated whale skeletons.that swim near the ocean’s surface, rising as they did in life when they would have had to breathe. Often, a host of eerie birds and strange fish accompany them. Bakekujira appear on rainy nights near coastal whaling villages.