Since the first giant squid — albeit a juvenile one hardly more than ten-feet-long — was spotted in U.S. waters last week, scientists and civilians alike have been struggling to reconcile a terrifying, many-tentacled monster of the alien deep as a real species that we actually share a planet with.
NOAA’s Journey into Midnight expedition team released nightmarish video footage of the giant squid on June 21 off the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the shy, teenage squid that fell for the expedition’s bait trap has successfully called on humanity to question everything it has ever learned or known about legends from the ocean floor.
Not sure what to make of the news? Here are seven of our top squid-lit picks:
1. Kraken, by China Miéville
When the body of a forty-foot-long giant squid disappears from the London Museum of Natural History, investigators find themselves questioning an ancient religious cult that may have something to do with it.
2. Sense and Sensibility and sea monsters, by ben H. Winters and jane austen
Ben H. Winters is well known for his take on classic novels. In Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Jane Austen’s Dashwood sisters find themselves marooned on an island with dashingly handsome and monstrous suitors.
3. 20,000 leagues under the sea, by Jules verne
Captain Nemo leads a bewildered team through the perils of the deep on his submarine, Nautilus, in Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
4. Dr. No, By Ian Fleming
Even Bond-writer Ian Fleming once caught the squid bug. In Dr. No, James Bond finds himself pursuing an elusive mad-scientist type on a remote island.
5. Beast, by peter benchley
Peter Benchley wrote Jaws about one monstrous sea creature; Beast is a similarly harrowing tale about an unlikely sailor who takes on a blood-thirsty foe.
Cthulhu, possibly one of the most terrifying and ancient of all literary monsters, haunts many of H.P. Lovecraft’s gothic-horror tales.
7. Sphere, by michael crichton
What’s scarier than the raptors of Jurassic Park? Dinosaur legend Michael Crichton lends his terrifying descriptions to the ocean-floor in Sphere.
Featured Image Via Ripleys.com.