We have always been fascinated with the mysteries of the deep. In the days when the world was still being explored, cartographers would draw sea serpents and other monsters in the wide spaces of oceans. Stories of sea monsters go back as far as the Bible and further.
So it is little wonder why we have held on to the idea of Nessie for so many years. She is the monster that is thought to lurk in Loch Ness of Scotland. Many people have claimed to have spotted her, but little more then fuzzy pictures have been produced after years of searching. But just last week, the clearest picture to date has surfaced. While some have dismissed the picture as just a group of seals or otters, some of us still wonder, what if?
1. The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft
Lovecraftian horror often carries the theme of what happens when normal people are faced by a horrible and unexplained evil. In this case, the evil is the monster Cthulhu. Considered one of the best monster stories written, Lovecraft has created a monster so alien that the mind is unable to come to a comfortable conclusion of what it is. Little wonder it has gathered such a following in pop culture.
2. Odyssey by Homer
The Odyssey is among the original sea monster stories. The entire epic poem is the journey of Odysseus and his men as they sail from the Trojan War, trying to make it home. The journey takes them 10 years, and many a struggle. Among which, are Sirens, that lure passing ships towards dangerous rocks with their beautiful voices. Odysseus also finds himself between a rock and a hard place when he must sail between the monster Scylla (a maiden with six monstrous heads who will eat six sailors) and the Charybdis (which will destroy an entire ship).
3. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson is the son of the Greek god Poseidon. While this may sound like a ancient tale, Percy Jackson is from New York City in the modern day. In this novel, Percy is sent on a quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece. During his quest, he faces the same monsters as Odysseus; sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis. However the Sea of Monsters isn’t the only Percy Jackson book where sea monsters arise. Through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and the Heroes of Olympus series, the son of the water god makes lots of acquaintances with many mythical beings of the sea.
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Also known simply as The Whale, this novel tells the story of Captain Ahab and his obsessive quest for revenge on Moby Dick. Moby Dick is a whale that destroyed Captain Ahab’s ship on a previous voyage, and caused the captain to lose one leg up to the knee. This novel didn’t gain it’s great reputation until after the death of the author. Today, the opening line of “Call me Ishmael” is one of the most famous opening lines in literature.
5. Jaws by Peter Benchley
This was the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film by the same name. It is the story of a shark that attacks the people of a small town, and the quest of three men to try and stop it. Many of the subplots were dropped for the movie, so if you ever want the full story, give this novel a try.
6. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
No sea monster list would be complete without this 1870 novel. Jules Verne was ahead of his time when he dreamed up metal boats that could travel beneath the ocean. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea tells the story of Captain Nemo aboard his vessel the Nautilus. The Nautilus explores the ocean floor until they are attacked by a giant squid.
7. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters and Jane Austen
From the same publisher that brought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we have another Jane Austen parody. This novel follows the story of Sense and Sensibility, but with the added tropes of sea monsters. When the Dashwood sisters are left penniless and evicted from their family home, they are sent to live on an island populated by both people and monsters.
8. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Peter Pan was the boy who didn’t want to grow old. Throughout the various versions of the Peter Pan story, there has always been Captain Hook and the crocodile. The crocodile being the Captain’s arch nemesis after the sea creature ate Captain Hook’s hand. In some versions Captain Hook also has a deep dislike of mermaids. Sometimes the term monster is all about your point of view.
9. The Loch by Steve Alten
A novel inspired by Nessie herself. When biologist Zachary Wallace’s father is on trial for murder, Zachary returns home to his native Scotland. As the trial is underway, Zachary’s father pleads not guilty, citing that he witnessed the victim being attacked by the Lock Ness monster. The news causes boats to flock to the Loch in search of the legendary monster. Desperate to uphold his reputation, Zachary goes in search for Nessie as well, discovering some secrets along the way.
10. Kronos Rising by Max Hawthorne
Some prehistoric monsters are better left dead. After the drowning of his wife, Jake Braddock accepts a job as a sheriff in his childhood town hoping for some solace. But a string of deaths and disappearances soon begin to plague the town. It isn’t until a whale carcass washes ashore Jake begins to realize how big the terror really is. He finds himself face to face with what was once the greatest predator of the seas.
11. Meg by Steve Alten
A novel about the very monster that keeps Shark Week alive and well. After a dive in the Pacific ocean, Jonas Taylor and his crew are attacked by a creature that shouldn’t exist. Jonus is certain that it was the Carcharodon megaladon, and he spends years theorizing and lecturing on the idea that the creature could still swim the deep oceans. When a friend is in need of help, Jonus must face his fears and return to the ocean, only to find himself face to face with Meg again.
What’s your favorite story from the deep?
Featured Image via Pixabay