Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine,  2 (1817–18), 645–654.

Remarks on the Histories of the Kracken and Great Sea Serpent

W, pseud.  [James Wilson] *




Zoology, Natural History

    Give an account of 'the history of the two most remarkable animals which have been described as inhabitants of the ocean' (645). Concedes that 'such accounts are too often imbued with a spirit prone to believe in the most absurd and extravagant fictions, and conveyed through the distorting medium of fear and superstition, yet it may safely be averred, from what has already been ascertained, that they are for the most part founded in truth' (645). Later states: 'It appears, in fact, to be a law of nature, that all animals of extraordinary magnitude produce much fewer young than those of inferior dimensions; at least, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, and the giraffe, are among the least prolific of the race of quadrupeds, and the whale and the walrus are probably even more sparingly multiplied. We need scarcely wonder then, that so few instances have occurred of a nature sufficiently positive to dispel all doubts of the existence of sea-animals' (647–48).

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