Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sea Monsters: Monster Week Day 3
It is a commonplace observation that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the depths of the waters of the earth, and it is from the mystery and uncertainty of those depths that the sea monster arises. While the dragon is the pre-eminent trial and foe of the hero, the sea monster doubles that danger, inhabiting and mastering as it does an element foreign to human life, ventured into only with great risk and skill. Its ancientry is legendary: since the primordial conflict of Marduk and Tiamat, heroes and gods such as Perseus, Thor, Beowulf, and Sinbad have encountered water monsters and sea serpents; yet it is one of the few marvelous beasts from legend that modern man still seeks the possibility of in deep lakes and oceanic abysses. To merely see one rising from the depths and then sinking back into darkness is reported as an occasion of fear and awe, a vision or portent of power breaching from an unknown world.