The secret of a terrible sea monster
(ORDO NEWS) — In Old Norse epics, there is mention of a sea monster that could swallow entire ships – Hafguf. According to The Telegraph, modern scientists have finally revealed the secret of this monster thanks to new technologies.
Researchers recently used drones to make a marine discovery that helped unravel the mystery of the Khafgufa monster, which is believed to swallow ships whole. Legend has it that the sea monster emits such an attractive aroma that fish swim straight into its mouth, while it lies motionless in the water, resembling an island.
The 14th-century saga “Orvar-Odds” describes the creature as mostly hiding under the water and only rising slightly above the surface to open its massive jaws. After that, the insidious Khafgufa patiently waits for prey to fall into its mouth. Scientists now believe that ancient sailors were actually referring to the way whales were fed.
Observers have repeatedly noticed whales with their mouths wide open at right angles on the surface of the water in recent years. These sea creatures wait immobile for shoals of fish to swim straight into their mouths, thinking they have taken refuge from predators and not realizing they are heading towards danger.
Marine biologists initially thought this was a new habit of whales that arose through evolution. They began to study literature to understand if such cases had been recorded before. They found similar messages, more than 2,000 years old, in ancient tales of sea monsters.
Marine archaeologist John McCarthy from Flinders University in Adelaide said that when he studied the details and discussed the issue with colleagues who specialize in medieval literature, they realized that in the most ancient versions of such myths, sea monsters were not described at all, but a certain type of whale.
The word “hafgufa” is translated as “sea stink”. This monster was mentioned in Icelandic myths until the 18th century, along with other monsters such as krakens and mermaids.
The study materials were published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
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