As Long as people have been drawing maps, sailors have been lying about the size of sea monsters. These two activities meet in the curious word of map monsters.
One eternal truth with these monsters is that they never seem to resemble real animals. You can imagine the old sea dog describing his encounter:
Sailor “It were 100 league long and 30 leagues deep”
Cartographer “Did it have teeth?”
Sailor “Teeth! 15 rows of razor sharp bone crunchers”
Sailor “Maybe 25 nows i think about it”
Cartographer “What else?”
Sailor “20 legs, 10 heads, 4 tails, fire coming out of its gills”
Sailor “and horns. Probably. I didn’t see it in person”
Sailor “did I tell you about the teeth?”
have a look at this zoomable map on the National Geographic website. It must have been scary out there on the open seas.
Although you only have to see something like this to start to wonder…