31 January 2008


So the movie Juno has been receiving a lot of hype lately - for good reason, I'd recommend seeing it if you haven't. I managed to go and see Juno just after Christmas and the following scene, mentioning a kraken, left my boyfriend laughing for days.

You should try Adderall.

No thanks. I'm off pills.

Wise move. I know this girl who had a huge crazy freakout because she took too many behavioral meds at once. She took off her clothes and jumped into the fountain at Ridgedale Mall and she was like, “Blaaaaah! I’m a kraken from the sea!”

I heard that was you.

I didn't realize the kraken was featured in so many pop cultural references, but it has it's own wiki page. The kraken is a large sea monster, often depicted devouring boats. Many historians think that the myth of the kraken arose by sailors sighting giant squid in the ocean.

Modern interpretations of the kraken look most like giant squid. Giant squid, which can get as large as 10 meters (~33 ft), were for a long time only known from large tentacle marks on the sides of sperm whales and beaks found inside the whales. Occasional strandings of the giant squid allowed us our first peaks at this deep water dwelling animal, but they had never been photographed in their natural environment until 2004 by Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori.

Either as kraken or giant squid, this is one animal that has fascinated humans for a long time, the list of pop culture references are long and varied.

Of note though Jonathan Coulton, who's a singer/songwriter that writes primarily geeky songs, has a song about a sad giant squid called "I crush everything" - you can listen to it for free on his website (click on the blue play icon). While you're there, "That spells DNA" is also worth a listen.

So while Juno might be the latest mention of the kraken I've heard, I doubt it will be the last.

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