Sailors and wave waters have spun stories about mysterious undersea creatures since ancient times. Emerging from the deep with scales, tentacles, giant teeth and bottomless eyes, tales and legends of these deep-water animals kept swimmers close to the shore in fear of being taken down the briny depths. Underwater exploration, science and photography may have debunked most of the sea monsters our ancestors feared, but their stories and a few living examples remain tucked away in the dark corners of the ocean.
If you’re looking for another reason to stay on dry land this summer, join us for a free webinar presentation of “Stay Out of the Water: Sea Monsters” on Monday, June 20 at 7 p.m. with Dr. John Horgan, Assistant Professor of History at Concordia University in Wisconsin. Dr. Horgan will introduce you to the imaginary and real sea creatures which have tormented humans throughout time. Be prepared to be scared! Due to the generosity of our speaker, the program will be recorded and will be available for a limited time on our YouTube channel.
Walt Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Maybe one of your first glimpses of a sea monster was in Walt Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The crew of the high-tech submarine Nautilus, commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo, battles a giant squid alone in the vast ocean. The movie and the squid were so popular, that the Disney theme parks created 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage, which was open to visitors in Walt Disney World Florida from 1971 to 1994. This beloved theme park ride is long gone, but fans of this lost Disney treasure have recreated the voyage using virtual reality technology and voice recordings from the original ride experience. You can immerse yourself in what it was like to ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage for free on YouTube. The video creator included a short introduction to the project, but if you’re not interested you can skip to the full ride experience at the 2:25 time mark.
If you love reading about sea creatures, check out the Biodiversity Heritage Library online collection called “Monsters are Real!” The images date from the late 1600s to the 1920s and record stories and images of sea serpents, mermaids, leviathans, squid and dragons! The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a collaborative website where dozens of museums and libraries have scanned millions of books related to animals and the natural world. They have a bunch of great albums on Flickr, including some on mythical sea creatures. Some of the items in the collection go back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and you may need Google Translate to read the text.
For some modern thrilling reads, check out these monstrous titles from our library collection! See you at the Library!