Into the Paranormal: Sea Monk

So, as I browsed the list of creatures today, I came across an interesting one I hadn’t heard of before, a Sea Monk, which sometimes goes by the name of monk-fish. It was named in 1545 to the fish off the coast of Denmark’s Zealand island. The creature got its name by looking like a monk, as you can see from the picture.

It was featured in Conrad Gesner’s fourth volume of Historia Animalium, a renaissance zoology book. Gesner, who was a doctor and professor, had previous experience with a similar sea creature in 1531 off the coast of Poland.

The sea monk was made well known in the epic poem La Sepmaine; ou, Creation du monde by Guillaume du Bartas. The poem reflects the belief that everything on land has something that corresponds in the sea.

In the 1850s, Japetus Steenstrup, a Danish zoologist, came up with the idea that the sea monk was actually a giant squid, which lined up next to one another look similarly shaped. Others believed it could be a walrus, grey seal, hooded seal, monk seal, or even a hoax. Although, there’s one more possibility, which came about more recently. Some believe it could be an angel shark due to the fact that it’s typically called a monkfish or, in Norway, munk.


What’s your take on the Sea Monk? Have you heard about it before?

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