Some days change one's life compeletly yet are only recognized as such many years later. That was the case with the day in third grade when Marnie Baxter called me from across the playground, "Hey, Kraken!" It was just one of many nicknames I picked up throughout childhood.
It's my favorite nickname and the one that I have chosen for myself. When I taught at outdoor school and needed a camp name, that's the one I chose. I was Kraken for several years in the pouring rain, showing the wonders of Oregonian nature to sixth graders. We played tag in the trees by moonlight and marveled at baby crayfish. I have also been Kraken to complete strangers over the internet. I don't tend to do that in the pouring rain, but the moon is often high overhead when I'm online.
Somewhere along the line I began to wonder about this creature that I had named myself after. I knew it was some sort of squidlike sea monster, but that was about it. I discovered that the real giant squid, Architeuthis dux, is a mysterious creature. I guess that's appropriate. I can be a pretty mysterious creature, myself. My researches into the fact, fiction, and fancy of the Kraken appear on these pages.
So you've visited the web sites, you've watched the grade B movies, you've checked all your likely appliances, and you're still asking the sixty-four thousand dollar question, "Where can I find my own Giant Squid???" Check the map.
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above his swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant fins the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by men and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
by Alfred Tennyson