Miscellaneous

The Halloween Countdown: 10 – The Giant Squid from Jules Vernes’s 20.000 Leagues Under The Sea

Number ten: the Giant Squid from Jules Vernes's 20.000 Leagues Under The Sea...

“You could plainly see its 250 suckers, arranged over the inner sides of its tentacles and shaped like semispheric capsules. The monster’s mouth—a beak made of horn and shaped like that of a parrot—opened and closed vertically. Its tongue, also of horn substance and armed with several rows of sharp teeth, would flicker out from between these genuine shears.” Jules Verne, 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea

A couple of years ago, I was convinced a shark was coming straight at me, aiming for my head with its teeth bared, ready to devour me whole. I almost fell off my bar stool and angrily told my friends they should never scare me like that ever again. Yes, you read that right. I was sitting in a pub, far away from the sea, and we were talking about the world’s most frightening animals. We were so completely absorbed in the conversation, that my mind had transported me to a wild sea, in a small boat, where the idea of a shark approaching was not absurd at all. Needless to say, my friends also almost fell of their chairs, albeit with laughter instead of fear. This was so typically me, being scared of things that aren’t even there – that couldn’t possibly be there even if they wanted to.

So when I first read about the Giant Squid in Jules Verne’s novel 20.000 Leagues Under The Sea, I was scared, too. Terrified, actually. I had heard about the mythical being, the Kraken, but I had never read a detailed description of it. This one made me look under the bed (again, since this is an aquatic monster that only lives in the deepest parts of the ocean, I was completely aware of the stupidity of this action) to see if it wasn’t lurking there. I wouldn’t know what to do if I were faced with these creatures. In the book, there is a whole pack of them, killing one person in rather gruesome manner and doing significant damage to the Nautilus, but in the end, they are defeated.

Even if you haven’t read Jules Verne’s book, you must have heard of these monsters. Squids themselves aren’t particularly scary, but the issue here is that they’re not normal squids; they’re giant. Giant isn’t normal; giant is bad, and it’s scary. The bigger things become, the more we want to run away from them. And it takes some very brave people to fight them.

You may wonder why I decided to put this creature at number ten. Well, while going through the list I thought about that time when I was scared of that shark again; these monsters, enormous and bloodthirsty though they are, will always be far away from your comfy home. They’re quite easy to avoid. Just make sure you never venture out into the deep sea, and you’ll be fine. So Krakens, Deep-Sea Monsters, Giant Squids, whatever you want to call them, are scary enough to make it to the list, but not the end of the food chain when it comes to horrify readers.

Did you think these Squids were terrifying too? Or are there other animals that lurk in the sea that are way scarier? Share your opinion in the comments!

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