(pronounced /ˈkreɪkən/ or /ˈkrɑːkən/) are mythical sea monsters of gargantuan size, said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the beasts have made them common ocean-dwelling monsters in various fictional works. The legend may actually have originated from sightings of real giant squid that are variously estimated to grow to 13–15 m (40–50 ft) in length, including the tentacles. These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and have reportedly attacked ships.
Kraken may be derived from the Old Norse noun kraka “to drag under the water”. In modern German, Krake (plural and declined singular: Kraken) means octopus, but can also refer to the legendary Kraken.