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Monsters of the Sea

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A fascinating exploration of sea monsters.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Lyons Press (first published 1994)
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Sydney Squidney

"Monsters of the Sea" is for those with a great curiosity about the mysterious creatures that lurk beneath the surface of the sea that humans have sometimes been granted glimpses of.

For as long as we've been curious, our access to the oceans' mysteries have and still remain so limited that sea monster legends have endured to this day.

Sea monsters are often considered some of the earliest cryptids to inspire countless popular myths and recent discoveries of giant squids, such as the massive 25 fo
Nov 02, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very informative. It was kind of dry in sections, and there wasn't much in the way of psychological exploration like I thought there would be.... But it was still enjoyable. It could stand an update, since it's almost twenty years old now. Nothing earth-shattering, but a good way to entertain yourself when you've nothing else to read.
Mar 28, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
The research that goes into this book is incredible. Myths and rumors about sea monsters that go back centuries are explored in great detail and shown how over time, they were debunked. The author even includes drawings showing very believable reasoning for why a certain known animal was mistaken for some kind of sea monster. Up until the chapter on sharks, the book is a great resource on aquatic legend.

It's during the shark chapter, though, that it goes downhill. For one, there are no great my
Sep 23, 2007 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ellis is a master archivist and his knack for finding early and obscure sources shows brilliantly in this book, as he traces the origins of sea monster legends and brings them up to the present with the actually biology of the animals in the myths.
Jul 27, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Dense! I wanted cool pictures of giant squid; this book is more like the extremely detailed history of everything weird that ever lived in the ocean. But I'm kind of smarter because of it. Maybe.
Apr 22, 2013 Holden rated it really liked it
This book was much different from any book of this genre I have ever read before. I didn't know what I would find when I opened it, would it be just another boring book about uninteresting fish? I was very much wrong, this book contains some of the most interesting material that I have absorbed in years. It takes you deep into the waters of Iceland to find the Kraken in all its mystery, to the shallow waters of the Bahamas to find the horrific and obscure Bermuda Blob.

Richard Ellis has spent hi
Sep 04, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a super fun read! It covered everything from the mythology of the Loch Ness Monster, mermaids and sea serpents to the origins of giant squid, whales, sharks, etc.

The research that went into this book must have been exhausting. The author references countless books or articles on each subject, as well as including paintings, drawings and more showing these animals as they have been depicted through the years.

This was a slow read for me because each page was packed with so much informatio
Jun 22, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: natural-history
I had high hopes for this book but was sorely disappointed. It was all I could do to finish it. It was a lot of repetition. I am not sure how many times I was told sea serpents were basking shark remnants or basking sharks swimming at the surface (exposed dorsal and upper caudal fins). I thought this book would be more about the animals that inspired these tales and when the "monsters" meant to the people who saw them. I was hoping from a lot more from this book but didn't get it.
Mar 19, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable book. An exhaustive guide on the subject, this book provides a comprehensive overview of sea monsters, myths, legends, and unexplained sightings. The author writes in an informative, yet entertaining style. While explaining many of the "monsters", he does leave room for some open minded speculation. If you like offbeat historical subjects, cryptozoology, or just a great read on the mysteries of the deep, this book will not disappoint.
Rita Brinkerhoff
May 17, 2009 Rita Brinkerhoff rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: deep-sea nerds
This is dense but fabulous - Ellis tracks the origin stories of all the different sea monsters from the Kracken to sea serpents, and then goes into descriptions of crazy dudes like Vampyroteuthis (which David Attenborough calls THE VAMPIRE SQUID FROM HELL). I find details about light-up tentacles engrossing, so I love this biz.
Aug 24, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ellis does a fantastic job of blending fact and folklore, bringing to life the monsters that have gripped the imaginations of men for centuries. Ellis' research is fairly exhaustive making this a dense read, but well worth it.
Mar 11, 2016 RumBelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I love nautical mysteries. This book has a varied, interesting selection of many different sea monsters. It detailed the legends and stories about them, as welll as historical facts and tidbits related to each monster.
Mar 25, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I put it simply like this, you read the title and the inside flap of the cover slip, and just skim through some of the fascinating pictures and you'll be hooked! Oh and the writing is not too shabby either. :)
Oct 25, 2012 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
As heard in the Science Times podcast.
Jorge Ribas
Feb 09, 2011 Jorge Ribas rated it really liked it
Great book detailing the world's monsters, separating myths and realities. A little plodding at times but very well researched.
Oct 14, 2012 Berbs rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on "monsters" I have ever read. Excellent resource for the skeptic and the believer.
Robert Kaufman
Oct 27, 2012 Robert Kaufman rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a great book. An enormous amount of research went into it. Interesting subject matter.
Jun 19, 2015 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun and informative read. Richard Ellis is a fantastic author.
Jun 19, 2008 Seth added it
A good reference to sea monsters.
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Richard Ellis is a celebrated authority on marine biology and America’s foremost marine life artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. His nine books include The Search for the Giant Squid (a Publishers Weekly 1998 Best Book of the Year), Great White Shark, Encyclopedia of the Sea, Men and Whales, Monsters of the Sea, Deep Atlantic The Book of Whales, and Imagining Atlantis.
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