Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Deeply Peculiar

Magazine article The Spectator

BOOKENDS - Deeply Peculiar

Article excerpt

Below the thunders of the upper deep, Far far beneath in the abysmal sea, His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep The Kraken sleepeth . . .

wrote Tennyson in his sonnet about the gigantic sea monsters of Viking myth. The kraken legend is often said to have been inspired by real sightings of giant squid, and this is why Wendy Williams in her Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid (Abrams, £12.99) has chosen this as a title for her book. But there was no need for such a theatrical title. The truth about real squids turns out to be genuinely fascinating.

Many of the larger squid species are creatures of the deep and were little known until recently. The existence of the largest, the colossal squid, was only confirmed in 2003, while even the better known giant squid was only filmed live in the wild for the first time in 2004. …

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