What were the monsters that attacked the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Jules Verne doesn’t help much because, while he recounts the Alecton’s encounter with a giant squid, he uses the terms calmar (squid) and poulpe (octopus) interchangeably. His artist Edouard Riou (whose images are shown above) didn’t seem to know either, and draws both an octopus (left) and a squid (right, note the clubbed tentacle).

Why not just call them krakens? After all, there is a brief exchange between Conseil and Ned Land, which I shall proceed to translate:

“… Those beasts, they’re called krak…”

“Crack is enough”, replied the Canadian ironically.

“Krakens”, retorted Conseil…

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