Paleontologist Discovers "Giant Kraken Lair"

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Paleontologist Discovers "Giant Kraken Lair"

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A paleontologist has discovered what he believes to be the lair of an ancient, real-life kraken.

The Kraken, as you may be aware, is a giant, octopus-like sea creature of myth, capable of dragging entire ships to the bottom of the ocean. Kids will probably tell you that Bill Nighy used one to put the screws to Johnny Depp not too long ago. But paleontologist Mark McMenamin believes that a real live kraken may have one day roamed the depths, albeit a little further back in history than is generally thought.

McMenamin spent time at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada this summer, examining the fossilized remains of nine 45-foot-log ichthyosaurs, giant marine reptiles that thrived during the Mesozoic era. In the 1950s, Charles Camp of U.C. Berkeley posited that these ichthyosaurs had died accidentally in shallow water or from ingesting a toxic plankton bloom, but a more recent analysis of the rocks around the fossils suggest that it was actually a deep-water environment, putting that theory in doubt.

That was the mystery that initially attracted McMenamin to the site, but it was the state of the bones that grabbed his attention once he got there. Not only did they indicate that the reptiles hadn't all died at the same time, but they also appeared to have been "purposefully rearranged," a behavior exhibited in the current era by none other than the octopus. He also noted that the skeletons had twisted necks and many more broken ribs than would be expected in an accidental death.

But that isn't something any normal-sized octopus could pull off. Only a true colossus of the sea could capture and kill such massive prey. Only... a kraken! "I think that these things were captured by the kraken and taken to the midden and the cephalopod would take them apart," McMenamin said.

Even more bizarrely, the vertebrae are arranged in patterns similar to those of sucker discs on cephalopod arms. "In other words," the Geological Society of America stated in a press release, "the vertebral disc 'pavement' seen at the state park may represent the earliest known self-portrait."

Lending credence to McMenamin's theory is a discovery by the Seattle Aquarium, captured on video, that large octopuses actually hunt and kill sharks. "We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing," McMenamin said. "It was either drowning them or breaking their necks."

His theory will be very difficult to prove. His hypothetical kraken is soft, squishy and, aside from its beak, entirely boneless, which means the likelihood of finding any fossilized evidence of the thing is extremely low. Nonetheless, McMenamin, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America yesterday, is confident in his work. "We're ready for this," he said. "We have a very good case."

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And all at once a million tentacle enthusiasts rejoiced!

Well, if this pans out, the world just got marginally more awesome. And it has to be said...

Unleash the Kraken!

...

I'll let myself out...

I for one welcome our new Kraken overlords.

I know I'm not the only one who thought this when reading the news title:

Yetis from the Russians, and now Krakens from the Americans.

I guess that means we have to find Aslan.

I for one welcome Cthulhu as our new cephalopod overlord.

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Looks like case NIGHTMARE GREEN is under way then.

He studied under Dr Daniel Jackson.

Oh God. Memories of Deep Rising...rising...

D:

This is relevant.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods

Like Rick Rolling except your trapped all day.

Scorched_Cascade:
I know I'm not the only one who thought this when reading the news title:

I'd never seen that video before but awesome doesn't even convey what I feel for it.

So cheers for brightening my night.

Al.

RELEASE THE KR-
Oh. Ninja'd, of course.
Well then I for one welcome our new Kraken ove-
WHAT? Ninja'd there too?
-_-

Zachary Amaranth:
He studied under Dr Daniel Jackson.

I have to say I really love that reference. Brings back some memories. :)

Someone needs to go all Jurassic Park on that thing right now. I want there to be a Kraken in the world damn it.

I was all ready to be skeptical but their reasoning is compelling. We know cephalopods were common back then, and there's no reason to believe they didn't have comparable intelligence to cephalopods today. While oddly arranged skeletons can have very mundane explanations, back then "killed by cephalopod" was no doubt quite mundane!

"We have a very good case."

Actually you have absolutely NO case. This is a complete guess. He has no evidence at all to back up his theory.

Or it could just be a really, really big octopus?
Related: 'Bloop', seriously creepy-ass noise heard in the ocean a few years ago, they couldn't identify it, could be the same thing, could not. Either way, this kind of reminded me of it, and I felt the need to share it.

Woodsey:
Yetis from the Russians, and now Krakens from the Americans.

I guess that means we have to find Aslan.

All we need now are dragons from Europe. And perhaps Godzilla, but that'd just be a bonus at this point.

shameduser:
This is relevant.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods

Like Rick Rolling except your trapped all day.

oh no, another tv tropes link, how will I ever escape it?

....with THIS!

http://theglen.livejournal.com/16735.html

This article had me KRAKEN up.

Irridium:

Woodsey:
Yetis from the Russians, and now Krakens from the Americans.

I guess that means we have to find Aslan.

All we need now are dragons from Europe. And perhaps Godzilla, but that'd just be a bonus at this point.

And if we could grab an Ocelot while we're at it, that'd be great. Not that they're mythical creatures, I've just never seen one.

Andy Chalk:

"We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing," McMenamin said. "It was either drowning them or breaking their necks."

I'm just gonna pretend this guy got misquoted. I mean, "drowning a shark"? Come on now.

OT: This is some exciting stuff. Nessie better watch out.

Good. Now lets find an underwater cave with 500 ships laid to waste in its belly and the remains of a kraken in their midst.

Scorched_Cascade:
I know I'm not the only one who thought this when reading the news title:

Fucking love that song.

shadyh8er:

Andy Chalk:

"We think that this cephalopod in the Triassic was doing the same thing," McMenamin said. "It was either drowning them or breaking their necks."

I'm just gonna pretend this guy got misquoted. I mean, "drowning a shark"? Come on now.

OT: This is some exciting stuff. Nessie better watch out.

Technically it's suffocation not drowning precisely, but the majority of sharks do require constant water flow over their gills. As for the story I'm seeing little I would expect to pass peer review.

Brandon Flaming:
"We have a very good case."

Actually you have absolutely NO case. This is a complete guess. He has no evidence at all to back up his theory.

This. It's a massive leap to say, "Oh, well we found all these remains in one place, so it MUST be a midden, so it MUST be a giant octopus of some sort." There's no evidence that these ichthyosaurs were killed by a cephalopod in the first place. Furthermore, it would seem, from reading other reports, that the ichthyosaur remains indicate different causes of death over a number of fossils. On top of that, there's good evidence from modern fish "graveyards" that ocean currents can cause a large number of dead fish and other sea creatures to amass in one area, without the help of super-intelligent Krakens, believe it or not. This thing should be a total non-story. It, and other stories like it, are the reason that mainstream science journalism is so entirely ridiculous.

Double post, ignore.

As someone with an extreme phobia of Cephalopoda, please excuse me as I rock back and forth in the corner sobbing.

I was kind of interested in the article until I saw the video about an octopus eating a shark. After that, all interest in the topic flew out the window.

believer258:
I was kind of interested in the article until I saw the video about an octopus eating a shark. After that, all interest in the topic flew out the window...

...and shifted to octopus-shark-fights.

FOR ALL ETERNITY!

Versuvius:
I for one welcome Cthulhu as our new cephalopod overlord.

Cthulhu fhtagn!

bleachigo10:
Someone needs to go all Jurassic Park on that thing right now. I want there to be a Kraken in the world damn it.

What's the use, the Japanese will just eat them all.
That's probably what happened to the originals: they were too delicious.

Brandon Flaming:
"We have a very good case."

Actually you have absolutely NO case. This is a complete guess. He has no evidence at all to back up his theory.

Not the best case unless there is more they didn't release, but to say they have no case is also false.

GonzoGamer:

bleachigo10:
Someone needs to go all Jurassic Park on that thing right now. I want there to be a Kraken in the world damn it.

What's the use, the Japanese will just eat them all.
That's probably what happened to the originals: they were too delicious.

Giant deep sea cephalapods have huge amounts of ammonia in their flesh. They taste like a bottle of stale piss.

I knew it!
CTHULU IS GOING TO RISE!
Don't worry, i've got the Cthulu-proof bunker fully-stocked!

Also, as a person who is intrested in this sort of stuff, this is awesome!

Brandon Flaming:
"We have a very good case."

Actually you have absolutely NO case. This is a complete guess. He has no evidence at all to back up his theory.

This,

While it's quite likely there were (we know there ARE, after all) huge cephalopods, there is no direct, no indirect evidence that makes this any more likely than it being anything else.

Even cryptozoological beasts normally have a fair amount of evidence.

Related: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/the-giant-prehistoric-squid-that-ate-common-sense.ars

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