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article imageResearcher claims evidence the legendary kraken existed

By Leigh Goessl     Oct 11, 2011 in Science
Anyone who has seen the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series will distinctly remember the legendary kraken which took down Jack Sparrow.
While the movie's account of the kraken is pretty descriptive, for the most part there has never been any proof that any such creature existed, however one researcher claims to have evidence the massive sea monster with the humongous tentacles existed.
Professor Mark McMenamin, a paleontologist working at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, says he has examined markings which indicate a massive octopus creature, like the mythical kraken, did exist and was behind the demise of other large sea creatures.
McMenamin presented his case at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis yesterday.
The discovery came about after McMenamin was examining the remains of the ichthyosaurs, which were creatures "larger than school busses" and "swam at the top of the Triassic Period ocean food chain". Or at least this had been the belief until the paleontologist noted some markings on the remains of an ichthyosaurs in Nevada at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and created his case.
Historically the ichthyosaurs demise was a puzzling one to scientists as theories existed the creature died in shallow waters despite no evidence to support this; more recently experts believed ichthyosaurs died in deep waters. The question was how?
The Geological Society of America's press release reported McMenamin said, “I was aware that anytime there is controversy about depth, there is probably something interesting going on,” adding, “It became very clear that something very odd was going on there. It was a very odd configuration of bones.”
McMenamin noted the arrangement of the remains and felt these bones were "purposely rearranged" which indicated a potential predator.
“Modern octopus will do this,” McMenamin said. What if there was an ancient, very large sort of octopus, like the kraken of mythology. “I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart.”
McMenamin indicates the kraken was a highly intelligent creature. The press release goes on to explain the details of the purported victims' remains being arranged and that there is a pattern of "sucker discs", much like a massive octopus of sorts would have possessed. McMenamin's belief is that the kraken was drowning or breaking the necks of the victims.
Some say the evidence is circumstantial and, being there is no hard evidence since an octopus is soft-bodied and generally not fossilized, not proof the kraken preyed on those remains found in Nevada.
Brian Switek, a freelance science writer, appears skeptical, stating, "There is no direct evidence for the existence of the animal the McMenamins call “the kraken.” No exceptionally preserved body, no fossilized tentacle hooks, no beak — nothing. The McMenamins’ entire case is based on peculiar inferences about the site."
In an article written for Smithsonian Magazine back in June, Switek writes an interesting account entitled, "The Giant Squid: Dragon of the Deep", stating "After over 150 years since it was first sighted by the HMS Daedalus, the mysterious creature still eludes scientists."
Did the legendary sea monster even exist? Is the site in Nevada a graveyard, created by the mysterious Kraken, as McMenamin claims it to be? Based on other massive sized creatures that existed in the prehistoric periods, it could certainly be possible, however without hard evidence, perhaps may be difficult to assess.
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