The Verdict: No Evidence That it's Real
The kraken is a mythological standby, a sea monster of epic proportions believed to have lived off the coast of Norway. But while scientists have turned up plenty of strange things in the sea, they’ve found no trace of the kraken.
Nevertheless, the creature made a big splash in the news last month when Mark McMenamin, a researcher with Mt. Holyoke College, claimed to have found evidence of the kraken’s "lair," in a Nevada fossil site. After seeing the bones, he said he noticed something strange.
"My first thought was that there was something very odd about the bone arrangement," he tells PM. "Then, what are all these skeletal remains doing here together in deep water? Next, it slowly dawned on me: Oh my, something murdered these creatures, dragged them to this spot, and messed with the remains. Bingo. This is the signature of a Triassic kraken."
The news of McMenamin’s findings spread quickly, but after a few days by scientists who called McMenamin’s hypothesis implausible. Plus, they pointed out, the kraken announcement was merely McMenamin’s interpretation of an already discovered and well-studied site, and he provided no direct evidence to corroborate the idea (tough to do, though, since a kraken wouldn’t fossilize.)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so the great sea monster remains a myth.