Monday, October 8, 2007

That can't be bigger that 1.25 square miles!

I hate to bag on the American Museum of Natural History, which is the greatest of all museums, but I was at the Mythic Creatures exhibit this weekend and the caption for the kraken stated that it was one of the largest of imaginary creatures at perhaps 1.5 square miles.

This is classic example museum speak in trying to exaggerate something to perk interest in it. How can you possibly scale imaginary creatures? It can't be verified. They exist in people's imaginations. And maybe one sailor was imagining a 1.75 square mile kraken while another was imaging a 1 square mile kraken. You know what? I just imagined a chupacabra three miles high. You think that's big? I'm imagining a kappa that carries the entire universe in the bowl of water on his head. My imaginary creatures dwarf the puny kraken!

Did sailors even try to put any kind of size descriptor on a kraken? I bet they said something like, "large enough to swallow this vessel whole" or "stretching from there to there."

I hate this sort of thing. If you can't get excited looking at the giant kraken model or realizing that explorers like Christopher Columbus and Henry Hudson believed in mermaids and sea monsters or by looking at beautiful old maps filled with pictures of krakens, sea serpents and other creatures some silly made up fact about how big a fake animal is won't do it for you.

Anyway, Mythic Creatures is a great exhibition and everyone should see it.


Steve Buccellato said...

What about Godzilla? Isn't he, like, 500 feet tall or something?

Steve Buccellato said...

I don't want to guess how many "square miles" he might be!

Marc Siry said...

You can take comfort in the fact that in the future, 5/6ths of all Krakens may exceed 1.5 square miles in size.